Friday, August 1, 2008

Tyler Perry


I know this will probably offend the millions and millions of single, black, church-going, women who are loyal fans of his but it must be said. What does Mr. Perry have against black men? I have watched his movies and his stage plays and I believe I have them down to a simple formula.


The Men:


The "Bad One"- He will be pure "evil", misogynistic, materialistic and/or sexual deviants.


The "Good One"- He will be a good man who was on the right track until he lost it all, or got on to the wrong track. He is on his way back to "doin' right"; but he is constantly dogged by his reputation, and/or the repercussions of his checkered past and/or poor decision making. The most important part of the "good man" is; all the bad things that happened to him were of his own doing. out of selfishness or greed.


The men in Mr. Perry's movies have no natural instinct or urges to exhibit "positive" behavior until adversity has humbled them. They are "bad", for no apparent reason, until made "good". He couldn't do the Barrack Obama story because he isn't an ex-con, former gang member, thug-ass nigga, or backslider.


The Women:


They are always strong, positive, sensible, and amazingly maternal and willing to sacrifice any and every for their family. They are also always the star, motivating factors, and focal point of the films. They are offered every benefit of the doubt, and if they do have a fault or short coming, they are provided with a wonderful back story to explain why it is so.


If a woman doesn't fall into this cater gory, she is a minimal side character, or a comedic caricatures.


I don't mind that Mr. Perry does this. I actually find his movies very entertaining. But ever since The Color Purple was made a film( a movie the had absolutely no positive Black men); I believe that there has been a market for films that showcase Black women rising above despite the Black men in their lives. I know..... I know..... Many of you are saying, " But there really are Black men like that" or "You just don't understand what it's like to be a Black woman in the world today". Imagine if he wrote the opposite. Imagine if every woman in his film were no good? Imagine the public backlash. I am in no way saying that Mr. Perry should stop making films or stop making the kind of films that he does. I'm merely saying that he seems to be benefiting off of a media system that emasculates Black men and morally assassinates and ousts the Black man as the Patriarchal figurehead of the Black family. Maybe I'm reading too much into the films. Maybe I don't know enough about Mr. Perry's personal story. Maybe I'm just a hater. Maybe...

Or maybe we are being introduced to the Year 2000 minstrel show. Maybe Flavor of Love was too overt. Maybe this is just subtle enough to win us over.


And I haven't even mentioned the Organized Religion that he peppers in to his flicks to make sure we feel, at least a little, inadequate. I'm sorry if it seems like I'm hating on a fellow Black man, but I'm not. I wish Mr. Perry and all of those involved with his movement continued financial, spiritual, and creative success. I love seeing my brothers and sisters doing good; but my point of view; as a black man is, "something in the milk ain't clean". I still got love and respect for Mr. Tyler Perry, but that's just my opinion though; and who the hell am I?

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Now see, I find his movies to be hopeful and so inspiring. To me, as a single black woman, in this day and age; I like the fact that he gives me hope for a good black brother to be in my lyfe.

Just when I was ready to give up hope, I watch his movies and I laugh, I cry, and towards the end I have hope again.

On Meet the Browns, I cried and I laughed. I cried because she's like me, so afraid to love and let a man have her heart. I cried when her son got shot. I can relate to these things, but always at the end I'm given hope again.

The men are always the same in his movies,I agree with you there. But, I look at the bright side and say wow, A good man maybe be hard to find, but he does exist! And when you find one, hold on to him; cause he's worth the wait. His movies are just hopeful for me.

From STELLA to Meet the Brown's my man does exist and if STELLA can get hers, so can I!!!


I love them and find them all enteraining and inspiring. Madea cracks me up. You can always get a good laugh, a good cry and good insight on lyfe watching his movies.

Anonymous said...

Ima have to disagree on this one. I find Tyler Perry to be very insightful, whimsical, and enlightening. I watch characters in his plays and movies, male and female, demonstrating both strengths and weaknesses.
In family reunion (movie), the mother that placed her first born child in the bed of a grown ass man, doesn't have impeccable maternal instincts.
In diary(play), the man that began his own business, and was raising his daughters after the death of his wife was a good mainstream man. I know it doesn't seem to happen very often, but in diary (movie),the male character is a lawyer who is raising his children after his wife, their mother, is succumb to the addiction of crack cocaine and despite his own "harshness" toward her recovery demonstrates forgiveness and unconditional love. I can't think of any better qualities than those to possess: forgiveness and unconditional love.
I find the plays/movies entertaining and always a comic relief. Madea cracks me up as well girl! I believe his true message is about forgiveness, strength, unity, and unconditional love.
He allows us to trust in the strength of God and family. He permits the belief of finding a true soulmate, one that is definitely worth the wait!!

Anonymous said...

I agree. His movies are real lyfe though. I saw the play as well as the movies and your right; his true message is about forgiveness, strength, unity, and unconditional love.

Averroes said...

Tyler Perry is funny style. You have to wonder about a black man who makes his fortune tearing down the image of other black men. You are right on point with your critique but we all now there's a market for tearing down black men's dignity, even among so-called intelligent black women...It is what it is and the man's track record speaks for itself. Just because he makes you laugh, isn't a good enough excuse for supporting his garbage...I repeat FUNNY STYLE.

Anonymous said...

The track record does speak for itself. His plays/movies are everyday part of lyfe. It's the real world!

Again, I'm a single black woman who considers myself to be intelligent and I love/support my black brother. I'm down with him and for him. When you have a strong black man behind you and supporting who you are and what you are accomblishing, Wow! lookout. Two become One...

But, where are you; my strong black brother? Where are you, when our young men are lurking around trying to be a wannab. Where are you; my strong black brother, when our young men need guidance, mentoring and support.

It's not a tear down. I love you. We need brothers to step to the plate. Our young men are killing one another, they lack discipline and defintely lack how to meet/treat a lady. Can we get some brothers to step up and begin turning our young men around from Gs2Gents?

The women are just as bad. We need to gather up our young girls and begin teaching them how to respect themselves. Teach them how to love and honor their body. We need to begin building up their character and building up their self esteem.

Our young people are dying, their soles are lost while we sit back both women and men and point the finger.

How about we learn from the movie, take it with stride and begin making a difference. How about both black men and women begin respecting and caring about one another.

Remember, before you can begin building.....you have to tear it down! Now its down....lets work at building and rebuilding better qualities and practice forgiveness and unconditional love.

See, I like the fact that Tyler Perry brings to his movies/plays a sense of humor while showing forth the garbage and disfunctions that we carry.

His movies, always give me hope! His movies, and I have been to all his plays they demonstrate that there are some strong caring sensitive brothers waiting for a good woman to love them....that's what I get from his movies.

Let's stop focussing on the negative. Let's see the whole picture and pick up on the positive and learn and grow from it. The positive is there. Its an everyday part of lyfe.

Lets, just learn from his movies and become better individuals, better family people, better lovers, and better partners.

Averroes said...

anonymous the fact that you ask "where are you my strong black brother?" just proves my point! You are assuming all kinds of nonsense...there's plenty of black men, including me, that do more than our part for our community & our young men but ya'll so busy watching Tyler Perry movies that you don't see us.

We're in every state, city & hood and the more you disrespect us by acting like we don't exist (unless we drive fancy cars & wear fancy clothes) the more we realize that we don't need to be waiting around on ya'll to give us our props.Ya dig?

Anonymous said...

I got mad love for ya, my strong black brother. I give you props, see you didn't read the positive in my comment. Don't hate, let me repeat: (A good man maybe hard to find, but he does exist! And when you find one, hold on to him; cause he's worth the wait).

See I know your're there in every community, city and state. I'm simply making a statement, so don't hate on me.

Regardless whether I'm busy watching Tyler Perry or spending my money going to see his play, I would want my man right there beside me.

It's not always about material things cause I can handle my own. I look at the person and how he treats me. Its about communication, respect, honor, love and commitment.

Shorta like, if I rub your back tonight; will you respect me in the morning, dig on that. If I need my feet rub, will you be there to massage them for me? ya, dig. It's about a mutual commitment for one another.

I got Nuttin but love! so, stop hatin

Anonymous said...

The only person responsible for tearing down your dignity is yourself. You are responsible for your own actions and feelings.
Is there a market for breaking the black brother? Absolutely! Don't buy into the market my brother, by degrading TP for collecting some dues. Many white folk wait for the berrating of one another to begin, then they climb aboard the train! I'm not talking about the O'Jays either!
You may believe TP is funny style but the brother is trying to send a message to the community.I have not been fortunate enough to see the plays but I believe he addresses the audience after the show with his words of wisdom. Once again I believe there is a strong message of forgiveness, strength, unity, and love. The brother's struggle has been the same but different. Try to find the deeper message rather than the one you may superficially see. I see many fine, strong, insightful black men in his plays/movies coping/dealing/struggling with life. Check the perception and maybe watch the shows again and challenge yourself to look deeper, to find meaning. Peace and much love.

 
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