Tyler Perry’s little outburst at Spike Lee has shown up so many times in my newsfeed that I finally broke down and read about the press conference and then this letter he posted on his website called “They Are Trying To Kill Madea!”1
My first thought: Well, I certainly hope so.
But, you know, I don’t want to be a “hater” or anything, so I actually read the whole thing. Most of it is just whining about how folks out there are trying to stop his audience from seeing his movies by going on and on about how they’re terribly written, misogynistic, crap2 instead of seeing what’s good in the movies. To wit:
They don’t get the spiritual side of this, they don’t get the folks that not only laugh, but also get something out of it that they can use to make their lives better. They don’t get that this is about more than making a movie and telling a funny story. They don’t get that it’s about uplifting and encouraging the soul.
Really, Tyler Perry? Is that what your movies are about? You could have fooled me, because from the small sliver I’ve seen in passing or been forced to watch by my family members (who have unfortunate bad taste), I haven’t seen much that’s spiritually uplifting or been imparted any wisdom that might make my life better. Perhaps it’s because I have not sat down and watched any of these films in full that I’m not experiencing the full effects.
Perry is on a serious “poor, poor me” trip right now, which is surprising since his newest movie just hit theaters and I haven’t seen any inkling of his next movie not getting made because of the world’s haters. I would have a lot of empathy for his sensitive artist bit — being one myself — if I didn’t have the impression that his movies aren’t just bad, they are bad for you. Not just You in general, but for the American black community as a whole.
But again, I havn’t watched them all. Maybe it’s time I did.
Thus The Angry Black Woman’s Tyler Perry Project:
I will watch every movie made by this man in an attempt to offer critical analysis based on actual experience and viewing. As I watch each, I’ll liveblog it, then I’ll write up my thoughts after it’s over and I’ve had time to settle. The movies on my list:
- Diary of a Mad Black Woman
- Madea’s Family Reunion
- Daddy’s Little Girls
- Why Did I Get Married?
- Meet the Browns
- The Family That Preys
- Madea Goes to Jail
- I Can Do Bad All by Myself
- Why Did I Get Married Too?
- For Colored Girls
I just added all of these to my Netflix queue3 — oddly, only Madea Goes to Jail and I Can Do Bad All by Myself are available for instant viewing. As I’m on 1 DVD at a time right now this might take a while, but I plan to start with Diary of a Mad Black Woman this coming weekend. If you all would like to join me in this endeavor and maybe hang out in a chat room all watching the movie together, let me know in the comments. As it is, I’ll let you know when I plan to watch each movie so you can bring the popcorn.
- The second link goes to a text-only version of the message. In the full website view, you can’t link directly because it’s a Flash-based website. Siderant: How is it that Tyler Perry is this successful and still has a website from 1996? This shit is terrible. Just because you came from the ghetto doesn’t mean your digital home has to still be one. [↩]
- At least, this is the impression I get from the critical analysis I read [↩]
- And now my recommendations are messed up forever. [↩]