Friday, March 21, 2008

Tyler Perry: The Face of Black America (groan)

As you know, I am doing research for a presentation on how much Tyler Perry sucks. In a freak example of synchronicity, Pajiba just posted the review for Meet The Browns, and it covers a good chunk of what I was going to talk about. Instead of putting a long winded post there, I decided to put it here, thereby getting more traffic. *evil cackle*

Second, I must applaud your excellent point. In a local independent paper here, they had an article where the author (a man of Middle Eastern descent) was trying to figure out what he was missing in TP's films, because he didn't find even remotely entertaining, but others did. He went as far as to see "Married" with three co-workers, all of whom happened to be single African-American women who professed a love for his work. His conclusion was similar to yours: it is the farthest thing from quality and severely lacking artistic merit, and it is about as subtle as a bat to the head, but it is a very visible showcase of a segment of American life that has rarely been touched.

What pisses me and a lot of his detractors off is that because he (and others like him, like David Talbert) is the only game in town, that sudden;y we have to accept it unquestioningly. The second you say something against him, you get a hundred other voices screaming back about racism and such. Fuck, Amos and Andy was a groundbreaking show (in that it had an African American as a main character), but that doesn't mean I have to laud its horrible depiction of my people.

At this point, Perry is so full of himself, he doesn't even see why anyone would consider his work offensive pandering. If he would just come out and say "Hey, I know my stuff sucks. I am barely even trying. I am just making me a quick buck and putting the actors on the screen because nobody else will," I wouldn't have nearly as much of a problem with him. But he acts like his movies are pieces of art, and seems honestly surprised that folks outside of his deliniated demographic (single or divorced lower-to-middle class African-American women 18-60 with a Protestant, most likely Southern Baptist religious background) don't appreciate his "hard work".

And the really horrible thing is that because he has a monopoly on black media, he is giving others an excuse to demean us as well. I found this link during my research. Trust me, you need to read it for yourself. I wonder if he knows of this crap.

This only shows that now, more than ever, I need to make it. I need to finish the stuff I have been working on. I don't claim to speak for all black people. I can only speak for myself. But I will be damned if I am going to let some dumbass in drag be the pinnacle of black cinema.

I swear, the day I see Sidney Portier in a TP film is the true end of the world.

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9 brain pickings:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Funny you mention it, because I just wrote a newspaper story about not liking Tyler Perry's movies.

  3. Im one of Tyler Perry's biggest fans. And a huge blogger.

    The part I dont get about articles like YOURS is that if there is something I dont like or dont get.............. I DONT DISCUSS IT.

    EXAMPLE: I HATE CHEESE. SO what conversation would I have TO BLOG about it?
    Which brings me to this question? Why post about Tyler Perry when you dont get his movies or style of writing?????? Couldnt you have wrote a piece on Drillbit Taylor? You ENJOY movies like that right?

    Oh well........... after YOU finish Judging.........



  4. You said:

    I need to make it. I need to finish the stuff I have been working on.

    And still after that *blogger boy* you still wont be better than TP!!

    Oh and look for Sidney to be in a TP movie, Im sure he's working on THAT TOO. * cackle*

    Better start reading your bible * BLOGGER BOY* cause the day is NIGH!

  5. (The only director I can think of who's "better" than Perry is Uwe Boll. Bleh)

    Ah, don't worry -- I support you. Some fans will eventually see the light, too -- my mom, for starters. She used to think Tyler Perry was OK when she bought and watched Madea's Family Reunion on DVD. However, around Christmas, she, my brother, and I watched Daddy's Little Girls, and we all thought it was unrealistic, clichéd, and the characters unbelievable and the plot over-the-top, unoriginal, and predictable. Now, Mom thinks Perry writes the way he does because he knows "that's what they (black people) like;" in other words, they're parochial and undemanding enough to take his work as is. Then again, my mom's an émigré originally from Nigeria since 1981, so... take that as you will. ^^;

    I'm in the Atlanta area, too -- I live in Ellenwood... east Clayton County.

    In other news: Oh, yay! The "Don't Panic" guy! I read your article every time I get Creative Loafing! Yay, yay! :D

  6. andisheh: This is crazy! I referenced that article in this post! For some reason I could not find a link to it, before. Thanks a lot. By the way, big fan of the paper, and your work in particular.

    anonymous 1: And what I don't get about comments like yours is....if you don't like what I say, WHY RESPOND? Do you go on some cheese-lovers site and say "Why do you have to say you like cheese so much?"

    But you know why you respond to me? Because you CAN. Because it is your right to do so. Just like it is my right to put whatever I wish, positive or negative, on my own blog.

    Also, what is wrong with Drillbit Taylor? And how do you know I would like it? You make it sound like such an insult.

    And no offense, but I'd like to think God has a few more blasphemous rogues on his list before the name of a random dude on the internet. Thanks for the comment, though!

    anonymous 2: So, you DO want me to thank you in my acceptance speech? I need a bit more that "anonymous" to go on.
    Whoops sorry I forgot: *cackle*

    Seriously, do people just surf the Web for anti-Perry pages, just so they can complain? Don't you think that is a little pathetic?

    Godam5: Thanks for the support. My family seems to be in a similar transition phase. Ellenwood, represent!

  7. What Perry is doing is "niggerism" at its most pernicious: passing it off as some kind of high art. Black culture NEEDS to discard the perpetuation of "entertainment," thuggery, ghetto worship (the ghetto never was, and NEVER will be "good" (it doesn't matter what some rapping drug-dealer tells you, the ghetto SUCKS), swivel-headed fat cunts, and silly sports as the only projections of "black culture."

  8. Yes, BSlim, YES.

    Vermillion, please make it big, baby. PLEASE. As the risk of sounding like a kissass, I think that you have more talent in your pinky finger than Tyler has in his entire body. This, I know.

    I used to at least respect Tyler's hustle, but you know what? If a non-black man had produced the crap he does, I'd be shitting bricks. So why is it okay if he does it? Because he's black? HELL to the no. I refuse not to be offended because he happens to be black. Crap is crap. But you have no idea how very alone I am in my loathing of TP (I'm in Atlanta, too!). Especially since technically, I fit his demographic to a T.

  9. Shadows of DakaronMarch 31, 2008 at 4:32 PM

    Excellent view, Vermilion, and a great cause to use as ambition. Yes, the lowest common denominator always have their crusaders, who take to the streets to "crusade" against the insults done to their hero...but that's because it doesn't take much intelligence or thinking to be that way. If even half of TP's fan-base stopped for a moment, wondered exactly who he was poking and prodding at, and finally saw the light that is some semblance of independent thought, he wouldn't be anywhere near as popular as he is. Yes, my friend, you must make it, because true people like you must set the example for the rest to follow, people who show that the bottom line is not about ethnicity, color, blood,'s about who you are as a person, and who you aspire to become.


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