Can We Leave Tyler Perry Alone?

I don’t know if it’s a case of the “Crabs in a Barrel” syndrome or if people just don’t understand him, but people REALLY don’t like Tyler Perry.  Now I admit that sometimes Mr. Perry has a tendency to go off the deep end, but I have never seen people come together with their disdain for a person like they have this man.  Even Spike Lee, whom mainstream media never cared for and even some of my friends could care less about a 40 Acres and a Mule film, has stated his dislike for Tyler and likened “Meet the Browns” and “House of Payne” to minstrel shows. (Read the article here.) 

Most recently, Mr. Perry was made fun of on “The Boondocks“.  Aaron McGruder, an African-American male and show creator, parodied Mr. Perry and portrayed him as a homosexual, tyrannical director who hits on his male stars.  I haven’t watched it (yet), but from what I can tell this has caused a lot of controversy.  You have some people who thought this was absolutely hilarious and some who believed this was just done in poor taste. 

Now, for Elle’s opinion, I think it’s three-fold.  First, I am a Tyler Perry fan-I support the films, but not a big fan of the tv shows. (Sorry).  I think he’s an amazing talent and can appreciate where he’s come from and what he’s accomplished.   I think there are some things that he should leave alone (like the new movie he’s directing, but I’ll probably still go see it).  No matter who you are, people are going to talk about and criticize you. (Even Jesus had enemies and haters.)  And despite all of the negativity that has come his way, he has managed to rise above it.   Is ALL the negativity coming his way warranted?  Absolutely not.   I don’t know what it is about this man, but people love to hate him.  It’s worse than right-wing Conservatives hating on President Obama.   Mr. Perry has given jobs to actors that maybe would not have the jobs that they do, he has employed Blacks behind the scenes, and he has told some of our stories that others have never discussed.  Most importantly, he revitalized the African-American audience, because let’s face it, Black people weren’t really going to the movies like they are now.  And that’s mainly because films were not being made for us.  Yes, we had John Singleton and Spike Lee, but they have fallen off in the last few years.  Thankfully now we have Mr. Perry, Gina Prince-Bythewood, Lee Daniels and Rainforest Films, just to name a few. 

In short, all of this criticism has got to stop…or at least slow down a little.  One motto I live by is “If everyone likes what you’re doing 100% of the time you’re doing something wrong.”  I’m not saying that everyone has to like everything that he does, but these people are just being obnoxious now.  What do you guys think?  Is everyone being too hard on Tyler or are they right on?  Please share your thoughts because I want to know your opinion.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern Girl…in the city.