Being named one of the highest paid men in Hollywood isn’t silencing Tyler Perry’s critics. Former CNN correspondent, Touré, is the latest to jump on the anti-Madea bandwagon.
“Tyler Perry is one of—if not the worst—director in Hollywood. He’s willfully ignorant of the craft, and I can think of no aspect of the filmmaking craft that he excels at, certainly not acting or writing or cinematography or directing or set design,” Touré told CNN.
While many critics have spoken against Tyler’s stereotypical characters, such as the loud-talking, Bible-toting Madea, Touré’s beef with Tyler’s films has to do with the messages they send to women.
“He’s celebrating a certain victimhood and telling Black women that it’s okay to feel like a victim and to wallow in the pain of your life,” he said, adding, “It’s like cinematic malt liquor for the masses.”
Reformed Tyler critic, Dr. Boyce Watkins, defended the moviemaker during the CNN interview noting that Tyler is “no Lil Wayne” and offers a good message.
“If you look deeper at Perry’s message, these characters really are bait … He’s using comedy to educate the masses,” said Boyce, who gives Tyler credit for creating jobs for Blacks in the TV and film business.
Despite their differences of opinion, neither man could argue that Tyler serves an underserved audience.
“Black Southern women do not see themselves at all in Hollywood fare, so when he’s serving them movies where they appear to be in situations that are naturalistic and recognizable to them and definitely have that Christian message, I definitely understand why my grandmother, my mother and my aunts love this stuff,” Touré said.
However, he made the point that just because Tyler’s movies are popular doesn’t mean they’re good.
“If he was making chairs they would fall apart. If he were making food, it would make you throw up,” he said.
Watch more of the debate here.
—Tracy L. Scott
What side of the Tyler Perry debate are you on? Do you love his movies or hate them? Are you tired of the critics? Leave your comments below.