After years of criticizing filmmaker Tyler Perry, Spike Lee only has one thing left to say on the topic.
“Everything I need to say about Tyler Perry has been said. The man’s a brilliant businessman. He’s doing what he does. God bless him,” Spike told CNN correspondent Don Lemon.
Spike has been one of Tyler’s most outspoken critics, describing his films and fictional characters as stereotypical. Tyler remained silent for quite a while, but last year, he finally addressed Spike’s comments.
“Spike can go straight to hell,” Tyler said.
To that, Spike said, “He told me to go to hell. I say, ‘God bless him.’ He told me to go straight to hell, that’s even different,” Spike said. “God bless him.”
Although he has nothing more to say about Tyler’s films, Spike did comment on the effects of films that reinforce negative stereotypes.
“I live and breathe cinema. I’ve been a professor of film at New York University for the past 15 years,” he said. “I know the damage that has been done through the imagery throughout the history of television and movies.”
As even Tyler’s critics have to admit, the filmmaker has a loyal audience that helps his movies perform well at the box office. His latest film, Madea’s Witness Protection, earned $10.3 million its opening weekend, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Spike’s latest joint, Red Hook Summer, earned just $42,100 when it was released in limited theaters this weekend, Deadline.com reports.
Watch more of Spike’s interview below.
See what Spike, Mo’Nique, Cornel West and others have to say about Tyler’s films.
Photos: The Madea Debate
—Tracy L. Scott
Are you glad Spike is done criticizing Tyler, or do his concerns still need to be voiced and addressed by Black filmmakers? Leave your comments below.