Hells naw I ain’t goin to see that new Tyler Perry flick!!!

I am no Tyler Perry fan.  His movies, his storylines, his choice of actors, his plots (or lack there of), his cross-dressing, his flat-underdeveloped characters, his over-simplification of black male/female relationships, his rather uninspired and pedestrian cinematography…  All this shit is wack.  It does nothing for me.

That said, I don’t have a problem with Mr. Perry per say.  I’m not going to demonize him.  That wouldn’t be fair, or constructive.  On the low, there is a place for this brand of entertainment and I actually believe that he is doing the best that he can do – with what he knows.  And therein lies the crux of the problem.  The above criticisms, are not so much an indictment of Tyler Perry as much as they are an indictment of where we are (are not) culturally/socially as a people.

I believe with all my heart, that if we: 1) where more culturally stimulated and demanding; 2) created better product/content, 3) had real access to or control of the media, the Tyler Perry films (and most of commercial hip-hop and R & B) would not over-occupy as much of our cultural space as they do today.

Tyler P. is a man of his time.  The same is true of his audience.  We are at a cultural low point – a modern day nadir period. Most of our cultural products ooze that dark reality.  Look, I know that more than a few of you might think I’m being hard on ol’ boy.  You want me to acknowledge and give credit to Mr. Perry because his films ain’t “negative” – because his characters are more “positive”.  Hey, given the cultural garbage that we consume on a daily basis, I can understand and even relate to that sentiment.  However, I don’t think that it is effective/fruitful to combat “negative” images/stereotypes with “positive” images/stereotypes.  In the end, they are both stereotypes.  And stereotypes aren’t real. Neither approach captures the complexity of our lives – of our history.  Positive characters can be just as staid, flat, and one-dimensional as negative characters.  So, for me creating/portraying more “positive” images of black folk gets us nowhere.  What we need are films, plays, shows, music etc., that portray us a being more HUMAN.  Wonderfully human.

So again, I ain’t goin’ to see “A Family That Preys”.  Nothing against Tyler Perry.  I simply think we can do better.

Humbly Submitted;

Kdizi kdizo


2 Responses

  1. Read your comments on Tyler Perry. Wouldn’t you say that his films give more substance than what we constantly see in some other (thankfully not all) African American movies? We’ve been beaten over the head with violence, profanity, and explicit sex that simply don’t represent us as whole. I know mainstream has these, too. But mainstream is so broad, you can easily stay in mainstream and pick out the cleaner entertainment as well. I want my children to be able to watch and be proud of our movies – made by Black producers. And I’ve found some in Are We There/Done Yet, Last Holiday, and some others (along with old Cosby movies). Tyler adds to the variety that we need. I can’t surf network tv with my children, like my parents could years ago, because of what somebody might be doing on the screen between the sheets or profanely saying. And that stuff is explicit.

    But I surely do like to stumble across Diary of A Mad Black Woman and Madea’s Family Reunion. Tyler’s brand of entertainment gives a fresh approach with pure laughter that more people than we think can relate to. Tyler Perry’s movies give our families more options that we need.

  2. Dear Yvonnerobert:

    Thanks for the comment. Agreed, there is a lot of NOT SO-family-friendly garbage on TV/the radio. Agreed we need more options, particularly for our shorties/kids. And I would love to be able to support more black content creators/producers/directors etc., but alas I can’t. why? Because most of what makes it to the TV/movie screen and the radio airwaves is hot garbage. Admittedly, some of the garbage is milder and less explicit than others, but it still garbage. Again, nothing personal, but Tyler Perry falls into that category for me. I would never make a conscious sober-minded choice to allow my kids to watch a Tyler Perry flick. I don’t think it would be the worst thing in the world if they saw a Tyler P. flick, but I would never be the one to offer it up as an entertainment option. Again, my point with all of this is that we can – we must do better. We are so much more complex and wonderfully human than how we are typically portrayed on TV – the radio – the movie screen…



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: