Tyler Perry has gotten a LOT of flack over his representation of black people (women especially) in his movies. He started with the loud mouth, gun carrying character by the name of Madea in plays. Once wind of a new play would hit tickets would literally be sold out in a snap. Everywhere you went Madea was the topic of all black peoples’ conversations. I think bootleg was invented when the Madea plays came out (ok, that’s a little drastic lol). Madea became a household name because every black family had a Madea in it. Tyler Perry went from the stage to film with a plethora of Madea movies which then led to tv shows and his own production company. All of a sudden blacks were not feeling Tyler and his movies anymore. People felt as though he was capitalizing on black culture with outlandish stereotypes, dehumanizing black women and kept the same story lines. Suddenly he is losing support from quite a few fans who have been there laughing from the jump. Spike Lee has become the loudest critic of them all. He has been heard saying Tyler Perry’s movies are nothing but black faced buffoonery to anyone who would listen. For awhile Mr. Perry would take the high road and not comment to Spike Lee’s strong comments. Last year though I guess Mr. Perry had enough. During an interview on a red carpet event Tyler Perry gave the person interviewing his honest opinion about the situation. They have been going tit for tat ever since.
Although Tyler Perry’s movies are similar and not Oscar worthy I applaud the brotha for his accomplishments, his work ethic, what he has become (being homeless then an author, actor) and his ability to make people laugh. Actor Ben Vereen feels this little competition or beef is unnecessary. He says Spike Lee and Tyler Perry need to get it together and chop it up in person. A respectful talk can lead to understanding the other person’s views. He even admits that they should work on a project together. Now that would be unbelievable! It’s easy to address the press with their dislikes instead of a physical conversation. Use their popularity to create something big for the black community! Tyler already has the commercial audience while Spike Lee has another level of depthness in his creations.
Thing is Tyler is comfortable. I mean Madea and all of the ghettoisms is what got him on the map. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix seems to be his motto. Maybe someone such as Spike Lee can make him challenge himself to other types of movies. Arguing only makes the parties mad which will not be productive at all. And it saddens and irritates me when I see blog posts or articles denouncing ever watching another Tyler film. I see this a lot from writers. If you’re not feeling what he represents either contact him and offer him something or create something on your own.
To sum it up Mr. Vereen says, “Reality tv is the new black face and making us look like buffoons.” He also added, “We don’t
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‘ stand behind our artists who are there for us to express our truths.” Do you think he has a point?
Now I have someone who is feeling how I’m feeling about this new movie called The Help. First off I am a realist not a opportunist. I don’t wanna be looked at as one of those black people who shouts ‘this is clearly a race issue’; but as I said 30 seconds ago I am a realist and will call out bad ish when I see it. I’m gone need a bull horn for this one!
This movie I will not see and I have no passion for reading this sudeenly popular novel. Why has it all of a sudden become this over night sensation? And it has me seriously wondering if a black author had written this would it have gotten as much notoreighty? Say if Spike Lee wrote it, I know for a fact that it wouldn’t get recognized as much.
Boston Globes Wesley Morris is throwing out his opinion too. He says:
“The Help joins everything from To Kill A Mockingbird to The Blind Side as another Hollywood movie that sees racial progress as the province of white do-gooderism. It comes out on the losing end of the movies social history. The best film roles 3 black women will have all year require one of them to clean Ron Howard‘s daughter’s house.”
To this day I have no passion for watching movies that make it seem that blacks will not prosper unless a great white hope comes riding in on its horse to come save the day like they are captain save a hoe. We can prosper without them although Essence is not helping that theory.
This movie really needs to be locked up in a vault with the rest of the ‘gotta save the black folk’ movies. Hollywood needs to let this horrific era and come up with some original work. Our history should not be displayed like this just for a few dollars.
When I started really to go hard on this writing journey I said I didn’t want to limit my talents to just one genre (no disrespect to the writers that do). All I want to do is write good work. I also said that I want to be the Spike Lee of the writing world because his works are prolific. He hits on subjects affecting our community however the main reason I want to be compared to him is that he pushes the limits. His work makes his viewers think. I want to do that! I respect him and I respect his opinions. With that being said just because I respect his opinions doesn’t mean I agree with them.
Recently Spike Lee has been heard admitting that winning an Oscar is not important. It’s not all about getting an Oscar true but if I’m creating these hit movies using my own money I deserve at some point in my career to be recognized for it be it an award, etc.
If he is in another level mentally that allows him to surpass worrying about his epic movies winning an Oscar then more power to you boo. Again yes there is more to writing than frivolous fake gold plated awards but damnit I’m human and a tad bit self-absorbed so I want one of those naked men so I can finally cross it off my bucket list.
To all my writers is it important to be recognized materialistically for your work?