Tyler Perry lashes out Spike Lee’s racially-charged criticism: “He can go to hell”

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My opinion on Tyler Perry has changed for the better over time. I used to think his films were exploitative and dumb… and then I watched a couple. While his films will never be confused with high art or even traditional “good” films, they do have their merits – they are popular, sometimes funny, they make money, and they employ many, many black actors and actresses in lead roles, as well as majority-black casts and presumably crews too. It helps to think of Tyler Perry’s films as Southern-style, African-American soap operas – lots of melodrama, lots of over-acting, lots of manufactured drama and low-brow comedy. All in all, I find them at worst harmless, and at best, an African-American writer/director/producer/entrepreneur giving a certain demographic of the population the kind of fun, easy, popcorn films that they enjoy.

Spike Lee does not agree. Spike has been one of Tyler’s biggest critics for a long time, and when Spike attacks, he goes for the jugular. Spike basically thinks that Tyler’s films are just new-age minstrel shows. And when someone brought up Spike’s constant criticism to Tyler at a press conference a few days ago, Tyler finally let loose:

The long-simmering war of words between Tyler Perry and Spike Lee has is heating up again. Perry, in both a message on his website and a press conference to promote “Madea’s Big Happy Family,” hit out against Lee, who in 2009 said, among other things, that Perry’s films “harken back to ‘Amos n’ Andy’.” While Perry’s website message was vague and resilient, defending his work as both spiritually uplifting and fun, his words for Lee were blunt and harsh in the press conference.

“I’m so sick of hearing about damn Spike Lee,” Perry said during the press conference (via Box Office Magazine). “Spike can go straight to hell! You can print that. I am sick of him talking about me, I am sick of him saying, ‘this is a coon, this is a buffoon.’ I am sick of him talking about black people going to see movies. This is what he said: ‘you vote by what you see,’ as if black people don’t know what they want to see.”

Perry’s films are consistent high performers at the box office; all independently financed, they’ve taken in over $520 million in ticket receipts over the past six years. He recently extended his deal with distributor Lionsgate, with whom he has worked since 2005. Lee was critical in spite of that success.

“Each artist should be allowed to pursue their artistic endeavors, but I still think there is a lot of stuff out today that is coonery and buffoonery,” he said in ’09. “I know it’s making a lot of money and breaking records, but we can do better. … I am a huge basketball fan, and when I watch the games on TNT, I see these two ads for these two shows (Tyler Perry’s ‘Meet the Browns’ and ‘House of Payne’), and I am scratching my head. We got a black president, and we going back to Mantan Moreland and Sleep ‘n’ Eat?”

Perry cited Lee’s previous lashings of other black media figures, including Oprah; Perry and the talk show queen worked together in 2009 when they executive produced the drama “Precious.” Perry will also star in the upcoming drama, “I, Alex Cross,” which he won’t be writing/producing.

He was also angry about the perception that his film’s characters were stereotypes that don’t fit what African Americans are actually like in modern times.

“Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois went through the exact same thing; Langston Hughes said that Zora Neale Hurston, the woman who wrote ‘Their Eyes Were Watching God,’ was a new version of the ‘darkie’ because she spoke in a southern dialect and a Southern tone,” Perry offered. “And I’m sick of it from us; we don’t have to worry about anybody else trying to destroy us and take shots because we do it to ourselves.”

In a 2009 interview with CBS, he revealed the origin of Madea, the grandmother who he plays and often headlines his films.

“Madea is a cross between my mother and my aunt. She’s the type of grandmother that was on every corner when I was growing up,” Perry said. “She smoked. She walked out of the house with her curlers and her muumuu and she watched everybody’s kids. She didn’t take no crap. She’s a strong figure where I come from. In my part of the African-American community. And I say that because I’m sure that there are some other parts of the African-American community that may be looking at me now going, ‘Who does he think he’s speaking of?’ But, for me, this woman was very, very visible.”

[From Huffington Post]

I think there’s a valid debate to be had regarding the racial aspects of both Spike and Tyler’s arguments, I just don’t think I’m the one to start that debate. I see both sides of it, but I end up coming down more pro-Tyler, for several reasons. First and foremost, I think the whole “Spike vs. Tyler” thing isn’t solely about race, it’s also about North vs. South, as well as about education. Spike Lee is a New Yorker, and he came from an educated, affluent family. His brother went to Yale with Jodie Foster, for goodness sake. He’s followed a more “traditional” route to become a director – a BA, and then film school (Tisch) where he got a MFA. Tyler grew up poor, in the South, didn’t even graduate high school, is a self-taught writer, director and actor. Both men are influenced by their backgrounds, but I can see Tyler’s Southern influences in his films, and he is right – while some of his characters seem like caricatures, those people totally exist here. And not just in the Southern African-American communities.

So yeah… maybe Spike should go to hell. And while he’s on his way, he could try making a movie that will get a wide release. (Although I really did love Inside Job! MORE CLIVE, PLS.)

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106 Responses to “Tyler Perry lashes out Spike Lee’s racially-charged criticism: “He can go to hell””

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  1. NayNay says:

    I completely agree with Tyler Perry. Some people (Spike Lee) should just STFU!!!!!

  2. Marie says:

    Team Tyler! I loathe Spike Lee.

  3. mln76 says:

    I see both sides of the story. Tyler Perry is a genius in a very specific way and you can’t take away what he has done by any means and I have seen parts of one of his movies and despite myself enjoyed it (not enough to watch the whole thing though) That being said I wince at the stereotypes and hate those commercials for his shows on TNT. So I see where Spike is coming from. Especially since Spike has done some of the most thought provoking films about the African-American community.

  4. Shelley says:

    Team Tyler – And I’m white, if that matters.

  5. aenflex says:

    I like the diversity in their styles. I like what they both bring to the table. Perry has worked very, very hard for his sucess, I will say.
    It’s too bad they don’t agree, but not all white entertainers agree all the time either, so I don’t see how this scuffle is any different than any other.

  6. DenG says:

    I won’t critique Perry’s movies or TV shows because I haven’t seen any. It’s just preferences, y’all, and very subjective. I like what I like and don’t expect others to agree. Am I right or am I really right?? Tee-hee!

  7. Lala11_7 says:

    Being a Black woman and a former fan of Spike Lee, I’m going to LOVE answering this one…

    While it is true that there is not and has NEVER been enough representation of the African American experience as a WHOLE projected in Hollywood…

    How DARE Spike have the tenacity to open his mouth and complain about what ANOTHER director is doing…

    How about this Spike…MAKE MORE MOVIES!!! Do what Mr. Perry did and open a studio…produce television projects that reflect YOUR viewpoints instead of choking on ice cold “Haterade” complaining about other folks…

    I mean…REALLY!!!

    (and I am NOT a huge Perry fan…being a hardcore cinemaphile…however, I do appreciate and understand where he is coming from…and yes, I do have a Madea in my family)…

  8. Eve says:

    Spike Lee does not agree. Spike has been one of Tyler’s biggest critics for a long time, and when Spike attacks, he goes for the jugular.

    Who does Spike Lee think is worthy of his praise? Granted, I think he’s a competent director whose films reflect on difficult subjects, but he’s one self-entitled prick, isn’t he? I do prefer his films over Perry’s. Mostly because I grew tired of the “black man in drag” kind of comedy, but honestly…there are audiences for both director’s films.

    @ DenG:

    I like what I like and don’t expect others to agree. Am I right or am I really right?? Tee-hee!

    Yes, you’re right. And Spike Lee would probably think I’m childish for giggling every time I see neologisms like “tee hee!”…I just can’t help but find them funny.

  9. garvels says:

    I don’t understand why Spike Lee finds it necessary to insult a fellow artist’s work. I personally think Lee is just jealous and I am willing to bet that Perry’s box office success exceeds Lees’. It sounds like Spike Lee is a big advocate for censorship and trash and burn politics. I love Tyler Perry’s kind spirit and I have watched and I own several of his movies. I wish him continued success.

  10. KJ says:

    I’ll be in the minority here, because Spike Lee IS an arrogant, loud mouthed dick. But I’m team Spike for sure. I hate TP’s movies for the most part. And while I appreciate what he’s doing for black actors, I think he’s the Larry the Cable Guy of the black community. And he’s capable of a lot more. He caters to the lowest common denominator in the black community, and I feel like if you set low expectations for your audience, you’re essentially hindering their cultural growth. I wouldn’t say he’s a coon (and there’s definitely some coonery going on in our community), but I wish he would devote his energies and talents into making films that not only appealed to a largely black audience and showcased black talent that usually is reserved for bit parts in more mainstream movies, but also are intellectual, thought provoking and don’t pander. We will never grow as a culture if we keep setting the bar that low.

  11. Quest says:

    Spike should be glad/proud of Tyler – I think he makes wonderful, homely movies that most people can relate to. Don’t be such a hater Spike.

    Just to quote – “Can we all just get along”

  12. Isabel says:

    The root issue here almost appears to be classist. It’s as though Spike is ashamed of any representation of African American culture that doesn’t have roots in higher education and pedigree. He’s a brilliant director…and also a complete prick.

  13. angie says:

    Team Tyler, he can make whatever kind of movie he wants. That being said, it has always bothered me that he is praised for using all african-american casts. That’s not a merit, it’s racism disguised as progress. If a white writer/director attempted the same thing and brought it to peoples attention, would he be praised or censured?

  14. MikeyAngel says:

    I don’t understand why any community, white, black or otherwise, feels like they all should agree. Nor do I understand why any one director feels like they have the right to criticize any other, especially because they both share the same skin color. Team Perry.

  15. leuce7 says:

    The problem is they are both “black” directors, and I don’t just mean race. Their movies are more heavily weighted, and I think Spike Lee sees that as something to take seriously, that should lead to thought-provoking, intellectual films. Tyler Perry doesn’t; he makes the movies that he wants to see in the theater, that look like what he knew growing up.

    If this were the director of “Doubt” calling out Michael Bay, for example, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. But it’s not, and the question to me, I suppose, is what do “black” directors owe their audiences, if anything?

    As for me, I find Tyler Perry’s movies simplistic and don’t watch them, but to each their own. I enjoy the Fast and Furious movies, and they’re ludicrous. I think moviegoers can handle range in their film choices. But if I had to come down on a side, I’d go with Spike Lee, just in terms of filmmaking, though. Tyler Perry’s movie are more or less filmed plays, and he needs to improve (although he has been, but still needs work) his film craft. Not a criticism I can lob at Lee.

  16. MikeyAngel says:

    Oh, and please enlighten me, what the hell is coonery?

  17. JohnsWifey says:

    Tyler Perry is a racist. Lee FTW!!

  18. Hollowdoll says:

    I’m with Tyler Perry on this one. All nationalities/races have stereo types. I grew watching the Swedish chef on the muppets and it DROVE ME CRAZY!!! I have seen a few Madea movies and they are good, they are slapstick fill with strong messages. Spike Lee needs to be a little more open minded.

  19. truthsf says:

    I agree with Spike. WhileTyler may helping get our ppl jobs, his movie s are still feeding the same bullshit sterotypes about black ppl.

  20. jay says:

    Funnily enough it feels more like Spike exhibiting classism over the perceived racism he thinks Tyler is promoting. I mean, he comes from affluent means and comes across with this superior air that higher education can sometimes help to trigger in those prone to it. Tyler’s stuff might not be Oscar caliber per se but he is trying to give back in his own way; Spike could learn a thing or two. He really isn’t all that militant, especially with his snottiness; in some ways Tyler is getting a message out about the family unit, it’s basis for “home” and learning to succeed and be compassionate in the world, whatever that “family” is, while Spike wants to be seen as “culture changing” and “edgy”, and while he’s put out some decent work he isn’t doing anything, imo, all that groundbreaking that others haven’t done before. Spike needs to realize there are a myriad of avenues and approaches to the life experience and all have their valid points; his is NOT the only viewpoint. Have some damned class, Spike.

    I’m not even a fan of Tyler per se having only seen some of his work but he sure doesn’t seem to be setting anything back, imo. Just working it from his own angle and knowledge. Good for him.

  21. Relli says:

    I agree with you Kaiser i think this is more of North vs. South, class/education and upbringing. I think people need to understand that although they may share an ethnic background that does not mean they have the same thoughts, perceptions or experiences in life. How you are raised has a lot to do with how you view the world and what you seek out in life. While i can understand both sides of the debate, I think this a good old fashioned example of the old not accepting the new. I remember watching Spike films as child and thinking how poignant they were for the time, but would they hold the same power today? While have never watched a Tyler Perry movie or show,as a minority i applaud Mr. Perry for his success. And really isn’t that what its about raising people up rather than keep each other down?

  22. Lala11_7 says:

    @KJ I take COMPLETE and total umbrage to your statement that Perry is catering to the “Lowest Common Denominator” with his movies…pray tell what DEMONINATOR would that be?

    Perry’s movies ARE getting better…all of his “non Madea” movies such as “Daddy’s Little Girls”, “The Family that preys together”…etc., shows growth…

    The man is self taught…he didn’t have the opportunity of attending NYU or Columbia to get educated by the “masters” regarding directorial aspects and character development…

    However, I will say this…I have enjoyed Mr. Perry’s last three movies FAR more than I have enjoyed Mr. Lee’s last three strained exercises in cinema…

    (and I will NEVA forgive Spike for “She Hate Me”…NEVA!!!)

  23. truthSF says:

    And while I love watching Tyler’s plays, his movie renditions are far, far worse. It’s like, he’s feeding into that Hollywood stereotypes by always making the dark skinned lead a bad guy and the light skinned the good guy. See “Diary Of A Mad Black Woman” and “Madea’s Family Reunion”.

  24. KJ says:

    @angie – I’m sorry but I hate the argument that “if a white director had an all white cast he wouldn’t be praised.” That’s because that’s the norm. That’s the standard. That’s Hollywood. Mainstream = white. I’m sorry, white people, but you are top dogs. You don’t get to complain about the inability to have an all white cast and be applauded for it. It’s like what Chris Rock said about white people wanting to use the N word. Last time we checked, that was one of the few advantages we had over whites. So stop bitching.

  25. lucy2 says:

    I don’t think I’ve really seen any of Perry’s stuff but…it’s HIS stuff, he can do whatever he wants – if people don’t like it, they don’t have to watch. I don’t get why Lee is so bothered by it, but rather than simply criticize, why not make an effort himself to do the work he wishes Perry were doing instead?
    I agree it sounds like classism, which exists in all aspects of the industry, leuce’s Doubt/Michael Bay example is perfect – there’s something for everyone.

  26. KJ says:

    I also see the classism/elitism argument against Lee as a strong one, but honestly – we need elitism. It’s the only way we move forward. If everyone was complacent with low brow humor we would never aspire to anything greater. There’s obviously a fine line. You should embrace higher art without deriding the goodness of simpler pantomime.

    But I still believe if we don’t have higher cultural aims, we’ll never advance. If that’s elitist or snotty, then I’m elitist and snotty. Unfortunately, if you’re a prominent black figure, you end up representing your culture. That’s something whites usually don’t have to deal with. As someone pointed out above, if this were Michael Bay vs. some ridiculously artsy fartsy white director like Lars Von Trier, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. But since it is that way, Tyler Perry needs to realize the power he has comes with a lot of responsibility. He shouldn’t have to represent “black film” but he does. And a lot of the representation he’s putting out there is low brow, stereotype laden crap.

    @lucy2 – I feel like Spike’s bothered by it because of the sheer popularity. He wants movies that have a deeper cultural message (of course in his mind, movies like the one’s he makes, but I digress) to be the ones that black audiences flock to see. Not movies like Madea’s Family Reunion. And frankly, a lot of blacks feel that way. It’s like listening to rap on the radio when you know about good hip hop. It’s hard coming to terms with the fact that what’s being put out there is the worst rep of a really varied genre.

    **edited for spelling/grammar errors -_-

  27. Cherry Rose says:

    I have more respect for Tyler Perry than I do for Spike Lee, mainly because Tyler never had the doors opened for him like Spike Lee had. Tyler had to bust his ass to get where he is today and he based everything on what he grew up in and around.

    While Tyler Perry’s films will probably never get an Oscar, they’re highly successful, so obviously they’re reaching people.

    On a side note, I did like Diary of an Angry Black Woman, and I’m not black. =]

  28. judyjudy says:

    I will never understand why people take movies so seriously.

  29. Ari says:

    Writers normally benefit from working with what they know – Perry is no different. Why should Lee have any say in what Perry grew up with and is still familiar with (and finds comforting) till this very day. He can critique it all he wants but in all seriousness, Lee is just an elitist.

  30. The_Porscha says:

    I don’t understand why anyone has to be team anyone. I think they both made valid points (in rather harsh ways on both sides, however). There’s no one way to categorize all white Americans, Hispanic Americans, Latino/as, Black people, etc. There’s an entire spectrum. Spike Lee “represents” some of the Black community with which he can identify or at least feel comfortable pointing out. Tyler Perry does the same for the Black community he sees, identifies with, reveres, etc. They come out looking like polar opposite images but it doesn’t make either any less true. I know plenty of people who enjoy Perry’s movies, and consistently go to his stage shows, even though I am not one of them. I also know plenty who enjoy Lee’s movies and think highly of his work.

    There’s no “limited” space for these two people. They can both continue working and catering to their specified audiences. It’s like the Nicki Minaj vs Keys debate – there’s lots of space on an iPod and a computer drive. There’s no reason you have to debate the two of them to the death. If you enjoy one over another, great. If you like both, no harm done.

    (And KJ – great point, totally agree with that last paragraph especially.)

  31. original kate says:

    “She smoked. She walked out of the house with her curlers and her muumuu and she watched everybody’s kids. She didn’t take no crap. She’s a strong figure where I come from.”

    i am from the south and there were many ladies, black and white, like this and still are. i haven’t seen any of perry’s movies but i applaud him for using so many black casts/crew. i also remember him speaking out about being molested as a boy,which was brave of him. i love spike lee, and his movies are amazing. i agree, this seems more like a north/south feud.

  32. Lynetta daniels says:

    I think we all have to vist where we came from to arrive at our destination. That being said LIKE IT OR NOT ……..There is an abundance of truth in Tyler’s productions.

  33. jay says:

    And who’s to say that there isn’t crossover? It doesn’t have to be either/or; why can you have the Hangover and The King’s Speech but not two different areas represented in African-American life? Everyone looks for escape or laughter, remembrance of what they either grew up with or at the least knew about, and that doesn’t preclude striving for what some would deem “higher” than that. Education is the path to success and achievement but part of that education is learning to acknowledge there is a multitude of levels in the psyche and approach to life and not all of them can be dismissed because the “well-educated”
    deem them “less than”. Takes all kinds to make up a culture/citizenry and not all are going to be well liked or welcomed but they are part of it.

  34. kazoo says:

    @ KJ, yes!!! The only Tyler Perry movie I’ve actually somewhat liked was “The Family that Preys”, primarily because it was the most complex & interesting thing TP has done. I wish he’d do more films like that, versus the Madea crap.

    And I love, love, love Spike Lee. He needs to make more films. I wish he wouldn’t publicly spew this crap, though. You don’t see white directors calling each other out. Lee should just be happy that a black director is doing well and hiring black actors and crews.

  35. vj says:

    What movie displayed more coonery that Spike Lee’s “School Daze?” Spike took the tension between light skinned and dark skinned black folk and turned it into a coon fight. He generalized the issues, without even attempting to dissect and examine the origin and nature of the conflict. He portrayed it as light skinned folk are elitists and dark skinned folk are social activists. As a light skinned African American woman, I was appalled at the bull ish! He even gave an interview for that movie claiming that light skinned black people weren’t down for the cause.

    Spike can kiss my high yellow black @$($!

  36. TQB says:

    I just think Lee’s criticism is misplaced. Yes, Perry has made all these silly movies and shows, but when the opportunity comes to make a movie like Precious, there he is. He’s also given millions of dollars to the NAACP. Sometimes you have to make movies that pay the bills.

  37. Shannon says:

    Bah hum bug…this Spike v. Tyler debate always devolves into some sort of critique against black culture. Personally, I’m not a particular fan of either director and while I can understand both sides of the arguement it’s totally played. IMO, both directors speak from spite and bitterness than anything else. Also, the media LOVES to see black on black “crime”, so they continue to fan the flames like usual.

  38. Kerry says:

    Love the debate on this. So many great points. Thanks for posting this Kaiser.

  39. Hanh says:

    If Tyler Perry’s movies didn’t make money, he wouldn’t be making them. His movies are what people what to see, not Spike Lee’s movies. Spike is just jealous of Tyler because he’s more successful. Spike is classist, thinks hes better than Tyler because he’s got the ivy league education.

    People can make movies they want to watch fluff or high brow. If you don’t like it, don’t watch it.

  40. k says:

    Good points on both sides. There indeed is a North-South and classist divide.

  41. di butler says:

    So Spike is finally tired of bashing 80 something Clint Eastwood over the movie Bird? It only took him a decade. Doesn’t he need to be throwing Obama a celebrity event somewhere? It’s obvious he can’t make decent movies anymore. As for Perry, he brings in lots of dollars here in ATL for black communities. So, regardless of how good his movies may be, Tyler all the way.

  42. Kate says:

    Spike Lee is a JEALOUS BITCH!!

  43. weslyn says:

    As a black person from the south, I thought his stage plays were harmless bcuz they r supposed to be dramatic and full of overacting but his movies r coonish..he also seems to take some of the worse stereotypes about black women and amplifies them by 10..I tend to think this is less about class and more about the general messages about and for our community..think about crooklyn vs madea’s family reunion..

  44. nic828 says:

    “Each of his films advances nearly the same message to his audience (which is overwhelmingly African-American, female, devoutly Christian and over 30). Be demure. Be strong but not too strong. Too much ambition is a detriment to your ability to find a partner and spiritual health. Female beauty can be dangerous. Let a man be a “man.” True female fulfillment is found in the role of wife and/or mother.”

    http://www.thenation.com/article/tyler-perrys-gender-problem

  45. Annaloo says:

    Spike Lee has been playing the race card for FAR TOO LONG. Sure, the guy can make a film, but can Spike Lee EVER be about anything that is not dramatic elitist racial sturm und drang? NO

    Hey,Spike, guess what: black people can be different from what your afro-centric, neo-suburban-militant high-art ass POV thinks it should be! Perry may not be the best filmmaker in the world, but he’s offering some diversity, so why the hate?

    I had seen Tyler Perry’s “Diary of a Mad Black WOman”… NOT WHAT I EXPECTED. THat film was marketed so INCORRECTLY, and while it wasn’t Dogma 95 level filmmaking, it still had a very moving story and deeply complex character. Made me think differently of Perry and his work.

    Spike Lee’s stuff makes me hate the people around me, which is how he operates.

    Plus, Lee is reknowned for his arrogance, both in the film and commercial industries, and his neighbors in Fort Greene talk smack about him AND his mean and snobby dwarf of a brother.

    Perry should not even acknowledge this stuff, and go on making what he loves and making money, raising his profile and the profiles of people of color in film. Lord knows Spike Lee’s not going to slow himself down over Perry.

    If you want a Minstrel Show, just turn on any low-rent rap video with hos. THAT’S who Lee should be going after.

  46. Johnny Depp's Girl says:

    Team Perry!! I am southern, I love southern humor and when I watch Tyler’s movies, I laugh my a$$ off, but also, he does bring spirtuality into each of his movies. There is a message. I love his movies.

    Spike has always hit me as abrasive and oppositional. C’mon… a fellow man of color making HIS own style of movies and you bash him for it?

    Bite me.

  47. Mia says:

    I’ve never been a huge fan of Spike Lee’s so I take his criticism with a grain of salt and a heaping of professional jealousy. Tyler Perry is the commercial success Spike wishes he had.

    I despised Tyler’s plays at first, thinking they were making a mockery of Southern black culture, until I saw one of his movies. They aren’t masterpieces, but there is always a message to them. I also respect the man’s hardwork and his generosity.

    I’ve enjoyed a few of Spike’s movies (Inside Job being my favorite), but I’ve had issues with them & their portrayal of black men and women. He has his beliefs and opinions and they show up in the movies he writes and produces. Should I bash him for those? No, I just don’t spend my money on them.

    Spike needs to stfu and do his own thing and stop bashing another man for eeking out a niche in a predominately white profession.

  48. WhiteNoise says:

    I do get Spike’s frustration to some degree. There are relatively few successful high-profile black directors and he probably feels that those who become influential/major players, like Perry, should adopt a more ‘responsible approach’ (for want of a better term) towards how black people are portrayed. Although knowing Spike and his ego, were Perry making high-brow, critically acclaimed ‘message’ cinema, Spike would probably still be begrudging about it since he seems to have a problem crediting other people’s achievements. His default mode seems to be to criticise.

    I admire him as a director but he needs to pull the stick out of his ass and relax a bit and credit the public with some intelligence. Bottom line, Perry is very successfully making movies that people want to see and Spike needs to accept that not everything has to be deep and meaningful. And also, that his own personal reservations about Perry’s type of filmmaking and the message he thinks it might be sending, may exist only in his own mind.

  49. lrm says:

    too bad people of any race, who attended a ‘high brow’ university, mostly have their heads up their a*ses and are not really that forward thinking, when it comes down to it.
    Life is not an agenda to be implemented in one’s head.

    The head is meant to inform the experience, ya know?

    Yea, how many people have a family member with phd. who disowns and is embarrassed by his roots?

    Meanwhile, they are usually no more capable of thinking outside their own box than the place from whence they came.

    It’s all dichotomy and pardon the pun, black and white.
    But life is really alot of grey.

    The true thinkers are usually the artists and writers….

    IMO, neither lee nor perry’s works guarantee freedom for the viewer. And freedom is the end result of justice, activism, awareness, etc.

    It’s really up the the viewer to see past the charades and get to that place him/herself.

    But Lee will go on thinking he is the catalyst to true intellectual thought and has the ‘right formula’ for everyone.

  50. Beatrice says:

    I think Spike is just jealous. I love Tyler Perry’s movies because his stories are uplifting and positive. Women of all races can identify with his female characters–they might be abused and hurt, but they have resiliance, find their inner strength in the story, and come out winners. As a matter of fact, I totally love Madea because she’s smart, sassy, and says outrageous things I secretly wish I could say.

    I was so touched by the 60 minutes profile of Tyler Perry. He’s much like one of his characters. Despite being lonely and abused as a child, he overcame and became an incredible success. He deserves fame, fortune, and respect. Yea Tyler!

  51. Gal says:

    Whiny Spike Lee. He’s always whining about something. Boo hoo, I didn’t win the academy award…blah, blah. Make a movie that people want to see and quit complaining. And now to get some press he has to try to bring down someone else.

  52. lucy2 says:

    That’s a good theory about popularity, KJ, I think it’s probably pretty accurate. I just don’t get why he spends so much time and effort criticizing, rather than being proactive and channeling that energy into putting out there what he wants to see instead, through directing his own stuff, or producing stuff for others. Give the audience better alternatives if what’s out there is so bad.

  53. Ally says:

    He was criticized by Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock, too.

    @Nix828, that Nation link is awesome. Here’s another great excerpt:

    Each of his films advances nearly the same message to his audience (which is overwhelmingly African-American, female, devoutly Christian and over 30). Be demure. Be strong but not too strong. Too much ambition is a detriment to your ability to find a partner and spiritual health. Female beauty can be dangerous. Let a man be a “man.” True female fulfillment is found in the role of wife and/or mother.

    http://www.thenation.com/article/tyler-perrys-gender-problem

  54. Catherine says:

    This “Team” stuff cracks me up. It is like effing high school all over again. I bet these celebrities are so glad you are on their team! Yay!

    I have no respect for grown men who go on Oprah and cry about being abused and I also have no respect for directors who are arrogant enough to bash other artists for their choices in life. Spike needs to mind his own damn business.

  55. DeE says:

    You know the saying the book is better than the movie? Well, all of T.P’s movies are based off his plays. The plays are better than the movies since the movies add more melodrama and sometimes coonery. Watch the plays first before judging T.P. only on his movies. All and I mean all of his plays leave the audience members with messages of upliftment and speak to many generations. The messages aren’t hidden, they are obvious. With the movies, well he is tapping into every venue for the $ and even possibly doing a bit over dramatization, but at the core, he is great. Oh, and unless I misunderstood, African Americans like more than just popcorn films. We can check our brain at the door, which the world over encourages!, but we are also very astute and enjoy intellectual films books etc. We just aren’t easily picked for such roles!

  56. Denver Danni says:

    As a house mom / partner, I watch a lot of the Tyler Perry sit-comes (which features many of the same actors) usually while I’m cleaning, and they all have amazing messages. Families should be watching his shows. Respect for adults, internet safety, dealing with broken homes, drug issues: you name it, they’ve done it and its still funny. Sometimes its a little morally tedious, but the shows have extraordinary messages for families and kids. The more I get to know about him as a person, I’m just wowed. I think he’s awesome. Doesn’t change the fact that Crooklyn is one of my top 5 movies of all time.

  57. Mary Jane says:

    I’ve ne’er seen his movies but have seen a few episodes of “House of Payne” and thought it no better or worse than the other dreck on TV. But if making that and making movies allows Tyler Perry to keep doing things like this, I am all for it…

    http://www.times-herald.com/local/Tyler-Perry-gives-Arnco-woman—keys-to-her-family-s-new-home–1626881

    http://articles.nydailynews.com/2009-07-21/gossip/17929550_1_creative-steps-alethea-wright-valley-swim-club

    Spike needs to STFU and back the f*ck off the brother…

  58. Jeri says:

    Tyler does his thing well but I don’t think Alex Cross should be protrayed by a comedian that is most famous for his cross-dressing.

    Alex Cross is a very masculine guy and I will never be able to look at Tyler Perry without seeing him in a dress.

  59. leuce7 says:

    As someone who grew up dirt poor and managed to go to a “high brow” university, I take exception to the generalization that we all come out with our heads stuck up our own a*ses.

    We’re on here debating (justly) how both Perry’s and Lee’s film have merits for everyone, why are we then going on and blanket-trashing a particular group?

    Elitists are just people who think their group is better than everyone else’s–and that doesn’t only come from the “high-brow” on down. It works from any group’s viewpoint. The discussion here has been awesome and respectful for the most part, can we continue in that vein?

  60. Katija says:

    I hope this doesn’t come off as bigoted, but as a white person, I never really thought to sit down and watch a Tyler Perry movie (except for Precious, which I know he had some hand in). I recently saw “Diary of a Mad Black Woman” and actually really enjoyed it. I look forward to watching more of his stuff on Netflix. I think white audiences would probably find Tyler Perry’s work more accessible than Spike Lee’s…I think Lee is talking about struggles that are very specific to the black experience, while Perry is just talking about human experiences from a black perspective.

  61. Panko says:

    If Perry were white Lee would have not made that comment bcause Perry wouldn’t have had to carry the cross of “educating” people.

  62. pera says:

    Why Lee borders to talk about Perry? It is like a filet mignon criticizing a burger. There is room for both!

  63. fizXgirl314 says:

    I don’t understand how you can have an ALL black cast… how is that even remotely realistic????

  64. hmm says:

    I think the simplistic answer is to label Spike a hater but it goes much deeper than that. I don’t begrudge Tyler making money and producing the movies that he does, but does that mean that he’s exempt from valid criticism about his portrayal of black people in his projects? Spike Lee has made some amazing films and he has certainly endured his share of criticism from Hollywood and the public at large. I just don’t understand why Tyler Perry should be immune from criticism simply because his movies are lucrative.

  65. Leticia says:

    I watched Spike Lee’s movie called She’s Gotta HAve It many years ago, and I thought that that movie really promoted a negative stereotype. The main character was s#xually active with three different guys, and the movie had no point aside from the fact that the main girl had to have a lot of “it.”

  66. WhiteNoise says:

    I don’t think anyone’s said he should be immune from criticism, not sure where you’re getting that from?

  67. KattyKat says:

    I have to preface this by saying I am not black. I am also not fully white. I have never seen a Tyler Perry movie because I never thought they were targeted toward me and I admit that makes me uninterested. I have seen a few Spike Lee movies and I found them boring and pompous. I <3 Denzel Washington but the documentary I saw about Malcolm X was much more interesting and documentaries are not known for holding my attention. Spike’s Malcolm ex was over long and tedious.

    Spike Lee has a history of lashing out as any artist, black or white who he feels impugns the integrity of the black community. Who made him judge and jury? Maybe he is just threatened by Tyler Perry’s success. A success earned without white people.

    Tyler Perry’s movies seem harmless. He hires African American actors and crew. He specifically targets African American audiences. Isn’t that a good thing? They obviously love his work because Tyler Perry is a very rich man.

    Tyler Perry was also instrumental in getting Precious made – thus introducing audiences of all colors to Lee Daniels, a promising African American director who did not make a “stupid comedy”.

    Tyler Perry movies seem to be about families and a sometimes feature a man in drag. Kind of like Hairspray with black people. I liked Hairspray. Yeah it was stupid and no white people aren’t like that but it was entertaining.

    I am going to look for Tyler Perry movies now just because I can’t stand Spike Lee.

    TEAM TYLER

  68. Amanda G says:

    Some of Tyler’s movies have been crap, but he seems to be the only popular black producer around lately so I can’t hate. Where has Spike been?

    On a side note, I have to say that I briefly met Spike a couple weeks ago and he was very kind and generous to my staff.

  69. harfang says:

    Here’s the key part for me, when Tyler explains “This is what he said: ‘you vote by what you see,’ as if black people don’t know what they want to see.” Spike is being a snob. He is patronizing people. It’s totally understandable to dislike and even be offended by Perry’s MO. But Spike’s acting like he speaks for all of American Blackness, which he doesn’t.

  70. Newbie says:

    I get tired of the entire racial debate. I know that people are different, they have different experiences, etc. But it all feels so tired. Every group, whether racial or religious, has a history of being used, abused or persecuted at one point in time or another. I wish we could just be forgiving and let some of it go. Different demographics each have different upbringings (like the two directors in this particular story), and it can be argued that those different upbringings contribute to that person’s outlook on life. But I for one think that many many outlooks=the mark of an evolved individual. We need both of their styles. I fail to see what’s wrong with either. Perry’s portrayal of the African American, though generalized, is pretty on point. And there’s nothing wrong with it. While I find Perry’s films to be a little “home-fried” sometimes, I thoroughly enjoy the humor and the spirit of them. I know that there are African American people who cringe at his characters, but why? The world keeps turning and not everyone in the black community is going to have grown up “Perry-Style” (I’m looking at you, Spike), but I don’t see how one is better or worse. I love the deep south demographic. It’s beautiful to me. There are strong ties to family and sticking together. It makes me tear-up. Not necessarily Perry’s films, but the roots of African American race. I understand that all of this was of course, strongly affected and shaped through slavery and other horrific happenings, but I think that despite that terrible tragedy, the black community has enriched America, both then and today. Of course. And I don’t mind whether someone is a top executive raised in the north or a southerner who acts like Madea. I think it’s all wonderful. This is a sensitive topic, and I hope I haven’t offended anyone.

  71. Melinda says:

    Spike needs to chill out.There’s a new sheriff in town;get over it.I’m just playing.I really do think that there’s room for both of them.

  72. Sugar says:

    I think Lee is terrified of being “black” (in the sense of Tyler Perry movies), and I think Tyler Perry is a moron.

    They both win!

  73. lambchops says:

    Well-said. It seems like these two men have totally opposite personalities on two opposite ends of the spectrum from completely different backgrounds. Nobody says all movies made by white directors have to be serious or arty like Woody Allens films, so why should all movies made by black directors be serious and arty like Spike Lee’s films.

  74. Dena says:

    Lee Daniels directed the movie Precious not Tyler Perry.

    I’m Northern and African American. However, my family (like the majority of African Americans) are from the south.

    Those of you who raised the north/south and class-based angle are on to something. I understand Spike’s criticism. For unsophisticated people, they listen to rap music and then conclude that it represents EVERY African American despite our rich musical heritage and contribution to American music and world music. For unsophisticated viewers, they watch the nightly news and conclude that all African Americans are crimnals. We don’t have a lock on crime. Tim Allen was a drug dealer and who supplies Charlie Sheen and Robert Downey? In a world saturated by media–cultural media, music, videos, and movies are like cultural ambassadors to the uninformed. With all things being equal, Tyler Perry’s movie would and should end up in the same bin as those starring Jim Carey–gratuitous slapslick with a dash of realism thrown into the mix. However, with the cultural / image / perception stakes being so high, Perry’s movies don’t “uplift the race”–shall we say. However, what they do is add diversity and a fun-loving good time for those who can relate and/or who enjoy his style.

  75. whitedaisy says:

    Spike Lee is the biggest racist around. Seriously.

  76. miss silver says:

    i am an Asian who has seen every one of Tyler Perry’s movies. They all have one thing in common — a message of God’s grace and loving your neighbor. I would rather see Perry’s movies than Lee’s although I did like his “Do the Right Thing” a lot.

  77. truetalk says:

    i enjoy different types of movies same as my taste in music;eclectic.
    everyone to his own

  78. Chris says:

    “If you want a Minstrel Show, just turn on any low-rent rap video with hos. THAT’S who Lee should be going after.”

    @Annaloo: Totally agree. A lot of rappers reinforce racist stereotypes better than white supremacists. I could just see racist white people pointing at gangster rap videos and saying “See that’s what they’re like”

  79. Anna says:

    IMO Spike doesn’t want any Black director to be more important than him.

  80. ADS says:

    I love that some are prefixing their posts with ‘I’m white’ or ‘I’m not black’. Why so touchy peeps?

  81. RHONYC says:

    spike.
    lee.
    hates.
    black.
    people.
    ;-)

  82. lmp says:

    I get it, Spike doesn’t want a black guy making movies that depicts black people in a bad light to white people.

    BUT you gotta let a black man (woman) try at least to make something work, to help kick down those doors.

    It’ll get better, but it doesn’t help when you got two grown, smart and successful black men bickering in public.

  83. rose80 says:

    I love how some of you think it’s important to tell the rest of us what race/ethnicity you are before you comment as if that will make what you have to say more important.

    This debate is very simple…it’s about class and the audience. Spike caters to the “deep thinking” crowd and Perry goes for the “drama popcorn” crowd. To each his own. I think both men have done great things for Black actors in hollywood and depsite some of their faults they mean well and want to help their communities.

    Oh and please watch this clip of Tyler Perry singing in one of his plays…the plays are better than the movies…but as I stated earlier…to each his own.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJEYTN_Yn-s&feature=related

  84. Sumodo1 says:

    When Spike Lee referenced Mantan and Sleep’n'Eat, he was talking about characters in a movie of his that was so bad, it was pulled from theaters. “Bamboozled” is painful to watch. Do Lee’s movies make money anymore or does he still have to direct commercials? (Right?) I think Lee is jealous of Tyler Perry’s commercial success and his public adulation. What’s more, Tyler Perry had a cameo in the Star Trek reboot. That alone would be enough to make most guys jealous!

  85. irishserra says:

    @rose80 (#84): I’m pretty sure the personal ethnic identifications are not done to signify that one’s comment is more important than another poster’s comment. It’s actually to give the reader a vague idea of the poster’s background, which would logically enhance the sense of the information posted.

    Spike Lee has always seemed a little militant to me. I’ve never cared for his movies, which no doubt colors my view of this debate, so perhaps it’s not fair for me to comment on Spike Lee. But I will say regarding Tyler Perry, that apparently there ARE people who identify with these movies and the characters because people are paying money to watch them.

    While I’ve never gone to the theater to see Perry’s movies, I did happen to catch one on television or satellite one night and I was pleasantly surprised. As a white woman, I generally would have assumed that the themes of his movies would not really have appealed to me, but I nearly peed myself laughing during the movie. I couldn’t even tell you which movie it was, but it was really funny and I noticed that I wasn’t being assaulted by curse words, sex or violence during the movie and I still found it entertaining! That stood out to me because I’ve got little ones and I’m constantly having to monitor what’s on the television, especially when they are around.

  86. rose80 says:

    irishserra…i guess i should have elaborated on my comment some more. I do not see the importance of including your race/ethnicity when making a comment about if you liked or disliked a film by either of these men…especially since this is clearly a class issue and not race issue. I don’t think you’ll ever hear Clint Eastwood telling Michael Bay that he is making white people look bad by making the films that he makes. It’s a class issue…not a race one…IMO. Different strokes for different folks.

  87. dana says:

    Didn’t TP make “Precious” and “For Colored Girls”? Revelant, important movies that should make SL proud. I don’t know anyone in Hollywood, or anywhere else for that matter, who abandons their bread and butter. Instead of bitching, SL should join forces with TP. Can’t we all get along?

  88. Ron says:

    Ok, I write comedy for tv and film, and i hate to break it to you, but comedy comes from sterotypes. There has to be something the audience will recognize to create the humor. There are sterotypes for a reason, and that’s because the generalizations are base and true and that’s where funny things come from generally speaking. I don’t love the general “Tyler Perry” movies, they just aren’t my thing, but I truly appreciate his tenacity and talent and it’s amazing what he has done. He created his own studio for God’s sake, you can count on one hand the men who have done that in the last 50 years. He is amazing and deserves nothing but respect for what he has done. I seriously had to look up on IMDB what Spike Lee has done that I have seen in the last 10 years, other than the 25th Hour, nothing. Spike hasn’t been relevant, like he thinks he is, for years and he is quite obviously jealous. I love that Tyler, just let it loose and told him to go to hell.

  89. KG says:

    Sorry, but Tyler Perry should thank his lucky stars that Spike Lee paved the way for him to become a notable director in Hollywood.

    Lee is allowed to have an opinion, and even be critical, because he didn’t have his career bankrolled by Oprah. He had to set out and do it on his own.

    Plus, Spike has been nominated for an Oscar as a director twice (one for a feature film and one for a documentary). Tyler Perry can’t even ever dream about that …

    So yeah. Team Spike. The most Tyler Perry will ever be good for is making a bunch of mass-market schlock that rakes in good $. Look at the scripts he hasn’t written, has taken and completely destroyed — namely, “For Colored Girls …”.

    And his heavy hand in “Precious”, even just as a producer, was noticeable.

  90. skilo says:

    I have only seen one Spike Lee movie and that was Do The Right Thing in 1989. I’ve seen almost all of Tyler Perry’s movies. I guess that says it huh?

  91. Dirty Martini says:

    Totally Team Tyler.

    There is room for all kinds of movies, and if you don’t like T’s movies Spike………then don’t go see them. In fact, go make some more of your own.

    but quite criticizing others, and just plain deliver what you think appropriate.

    And let the movie goers choose for themselves. I bet they go to more than one movie.

  92. Layla says:

    Tyler Perry’s movies are not funny at all. They’re just bad. Really bad.

  93. jill says:

    i don’t think that Spike’s point has anything to do with white ppl. most of the ppl who attend Madea’s movies are actually Black. Spike’s point is that these movies are degrading of their intended audience. i entirely agree with him.

  94. LBeees says:

    Didn’t have time to read all the comments, but some good stuff is being brought into the conversation.

    Personally I like both directors (of course, the issue of race is raised but not gender… where are the black women directors!?! I’m sure they’d love to get in on this!), I haven’t seen many of Perry’s films but the poster for his latest (?) made me crack up. It’s the one where he’s posed to look like Snooki. I thought that was brilliant.

    And then, of course, Lee has his edgy, artistic side. When the Levees Broke, Do the Right Thing, that one with Clive Owen and Jodi Foster. He likes controversy and high-brow disseminations of issues.

    But both men have their crafts, their niches. Someone said it just right when they mentioned that we need both: cinema needs comedy and drama. We need chocolate and vanilla (or raspberry chocolate and dark chocolate, whatevs).

    I know I’m not always in the mood for socio-political agiprop theater pieces. There are days when all I want is a dark, meaty story to be immersed in; and then there are days when all I want is to watch Hamlet 2 and crack up.

    There is room for both! Why don’t these guys compromise and work together? They should put aside their differences and come together for a melding of their respective genius. I bet that film would be pretty cool.

  95. NicoleAM says:

    Dumb and Dumber is one of my fave movies :) Something you want something serious and thought provoking…and other times you just want to kick back, relax and LAUGH.

  96. hmmhmm says:

    “Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois went through the exact same thing; Langston Hughes said that Zora Neale Hurston, the woman who wrote ‘Their Eyes Were Watching God,”

    Wayy off topic for him to compare himself with those mavericks.

    on a tangent note, but “he’s jealous” remarks are elementary. it brings nothing to the discussion.

    I thought about it all day, here’s my two cents. Both are different in how they build their crafts. For one, Spike is cynical person whereas Perry is optimistic. Spike doesn’t care about commercial success, is an arrogant prick and doesn’t care about collateral damage. Perry is the opposite. He’s the “American sweetheart” whereas Spike is the guy who broods and thinks the system is wrong. (Not even going in with who’s right or wrong) But it’s easier to like Perry because of his personality over Spike. Spike doesn’t care about getting criticized regardless of his opinion hence he’s been whiny for so long. So he made a comment about a commercial he saw on TBS, (what two years ago?) and obviously the media kept badgering TP about it.

    Second off, just because he employs an all african cast, so and so doesn’t mean he’s advancing it. It’s hard, I know to get over being the “face” of the culture because they are prominent but it is a stigma. Regardless of anyone who advances that isn’t American, they will be the prized idol, for example Manny Pacquio for the Filipinos, or Jacky Chan/Lucy Lui (kind’ve…) for Chinese. The thing is, perhaps Spike saw it as one dimensional. Sure there are bafoonery in American culture but it’s hard because “whites” like stated are top dogs. Despite the many bundy’s, archer, there are tons of shows like Dallas, DH, idk, many others. But for minorities, we are heavily microscoped if one branch of something is popular.

    It’s not to say that Spike did any better than TP. Both their works have a pos/neg affect on the AA community. They both have their opinion and to just say that “we bring ourselves down” is ignorant. Example, are we forgetting Ryan Murphy VS. EVERY NON GLEE supporter. Clear example of bringing each other down. We just don’t see it because it’s the standard/norm but when it’s in a minority’s case which doesn’t happen alot, it gets magnified.

    So perhaps he’s whiny, a prick whatever but to me he makes sense. It’s kinda like what the new millennium “rap” is to “old” school rap. The 90′s prefer more poetic/lyric guys like A Tribe Called Quest while now the popular thing is house music and Kanye. Sure, Kanye is more lucrative but does that mean it’s better? It’s rather subjective and just because it employs all black cast and ensemble doesn’t necessary mean it’s a positive thing. I mean, most of the characters are played by TP..

    And this thing of why not have Spike go make so and so, it’s more complicated than that.

    last note, Inside Man was amazing! cmon now, eye candy clive.. swoooon!

  97. Masque says:

    For the longest time I refused to watch any of Perry’s movies because the trailers looked awful and fluffy and sappy and that Madea character just looked stupid. My friend kept trying to push Diary of a Mad Black Woman on me and I kept passing. I finally watched and was blown away!

    True, it’s fluffy and sappy and the religious stuff is laughable and formulaic but still, there is a terrible darkness in the main character (Helen) and Perry doesn’t shy away from it. In fact, he basically walks up and punches you in the gut and forces you to see the rage and hate in that character. It’s beyond uncomfortable and very painful to watch. The rest of the movie may be fluffy and sugary but I think he did that because 1.) a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down and 2.) the man knows that even in the darkest times, laughter can be found.

    I’ve watched a couple of other TP movies and they did the same thing….took a funny, loving approach to showing triumph over horrible circumstances/emotions.

    Also, Perry just seems like an all around nice guy. And nice matters.

    Team Perry, FTW!

  98. Masque says:

    Whoops, forgot to add……Madea totally charmed me. She reminds me of several women who were around when I was growing up.

  99. Jennifer says:

    It’s depressing Lee criticizes the only other prolific, A-list black director in Hollywood. And calling Perry’s films “minstrel” is a true slap in the face- Lee can’t get any lower than that. Perry’s films are funny and deep at the same time (except “For Colored Girls” -that movie wasn’t funny). He deals with powerful subjects and I don’t think he’s afraid of the raw emotions certain experiences can bring out. I think people are afraid of the subject of sexual abuse and Perry explores it a lot in his films. People get embarrassed and call that “melodramatic.” I worked at a theatre which played “Monsoon Wedding” by Mira Nair, and my coworkers would make jokes, mocking the voice of the actress, a sex abuse survivor, when she would go off on the predator. People are just embarrassed when sex abuse survivors put a voice to their pain. I love Perry because he consistently tackles this and other traumas in a realistic way and where the female survivors are the stars of the show. (Instead of like, films where its about the former victim or a friend of the victim taking vengeance, which is more comfortable to view, but far less likely to happen in real life.)
    Perry gives actresses fleshed out roles and makes them the focal point of his films-and this is rare for a male director, regardless his race. For this I also appreciate Perry. Spike Lee is talented/cool, but deeply cynical, and I can feel it strongly in most of his films. Perry is more about speaking from the gut I think, and Spike Lee is more cerebral. I do love “Crooklyn” by Lee though.

  100. DeE says:

    Rose80…….your view is one you are entitled to though, as I mentioned and you echoed, T.P’s plays are better than his movies, and all of his plays are meaningful and leave audiences with great messages. I will say that overdramatization for the screen in order to tap into those profits seem to dilute his orignal message a bit. I respect your stance but am here to say it has NOTHING to do with class. Audience members viewing his movies aren’t only the drama popcorn crowd as you put it. That is really an overgeneralization and far reaching. I go with several of my girlfriends to see how well the plays translate to the screen, and we have graduate degrees. Spike Lee is talented as are many other producers who may make some “check your brain at the door” movies. We should be careful in speaking to other’s “class” simply based off of their being an audience member at a T.P. film. WOW wee.

  101. rose80 says:

    Poster 102..i can’t see your name sorry…

    I didn’t make the overgeneraliztion…Spike Lee did. And I never made any comment about the audience’s class. Maybe one sure be more careful before criticizing another’s comments. I’m not sure what you read, but you clearly misunderstood my one of my posts (I made 2), or maybe I didn’t make if clear enough for one to interpret correctly. Spike made the generalization that TP’s films are minstrel like etc… As I stated earlier, his beef with TP is about class not race in my opinion. They are both black so I can’t help thinking that race is irrelevant here. Why would one black director attack another black director’s work and label it as minstrel like? Spike was raised in a different social class then TP, his upbringing was more affluent. Spike was not exposed to lifestyle and environment that TP was, so in his mind, TP’s work is not positive for black americans. Spike enjoys making deep thinking, intellectual films and TP enjoys making overly dramatic with some comedy and good family fun with a postive message popcorn movies. So in my opinion, Spike thinks his sh** don’t stink because of his upbringing and makes generalizations about TP films because he can’t relate to it…you know, because of HIS class.

  102. mia says:

    I love Madea!!! “Stop popping that gum little gurl!!”
    I think, finally a movie that has a good message and doesn’t make you want to slit your own throat after watching it. (see Black Swan)
    I have all of Perry’s movies and can quote most of them.

  103. keepitreal says:

    Raise the bar people. Tyler’s crossgressing fetish is insulting. And he’s depriving a black ACTRESS from playing madea. lol.

  104. Earnestly says:

    Do the Right Thing was inducted in the National Film Registry. So, why would Lee be jealous of Perry?

    I am not a fan of Lee, but I absolutely can’t stand Perry and his crap. It’s the same cliche nonsense over gain, with few exceptions. Meet a religious down-on-his-luck person and watch with the power of God, and a naggy, aggressive, overall unpleasant black woman how they find their way.

    Yes, he may be super popular, but he got there mostly by perpetuating the stereotypes that blacks are aggressive, loud, and ignorant. Minorities do not have a strong presence in Hollywood and seeing him as one the ‘forgers’ particularly grates on me.

    It would be fine if he was doing it just for the sake of comedy, but he actually accepted an NAACP award for this tripe. It implies that he thinks he is a positive force in the black community. Then again, that they would award a black man who introduced a mammy archetype into mainstream media says much about their standards.

    tl;dr

    Tyler Perry is a hack.