I think I’ve done a good job of concealing my, uhm, disappointment in the work of Tyler Perry. I’ve not publicly ranted my inability to find any humor or creativity in his recycled stories, tired punchlines, black-male-bashing melodramas or the ubiquitous “black comic in drag” shtick. I’ve never put down his projects. I’ve never swayed anyone from supporting his films by seeing it in the theaters or buying his dvds (that even goes for the bootlegs). In fact I’m often curious to know from his fans – just what is so funny? The truth is (and I say this proudly) I’ve NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER seen ANYTHING he’s done. No plays, no movies… not even the tv shows. I simply don’t get it. Or him. That’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it.
His filmography is completely unappealing to me and yes, friends and family members have tried to convince me that I would actually like “Why Did I Get Married”, though in my core, I know I would not. Whenever I hear about one of his projects selling-out box offices, I am always confounded and bewildered. Is this really the best we have to offer in black cinema? Are we really to believe there are NO OTHER stories to tell than those of a sassy-black grandmother mentoring yet another woman whose been derided by some no-good black man? I wonder if his support and adoration come from his fans being that die-hard or if its simply because he’s the only “show” in Hollywood. You may have heard me say, I wished he would use his power of influence to give rise to young filmmakers whose works would counter the stereotypical representations of black people in cinema or at least who have something different to say.
I am not hating on TP’s success nor his creative endeavors. However, I do reserve the right as a thinking, scrutinizing, well-read and well-traveled person to critique his work – sight unseen- because it doesn’t take me watching one of his films to know what to expect. And frankly my appetite for black exploitation, whether its objectifying, subjugating or just plain dumbing down, is quite full – to the point I may vomit. Which is what I did when I saw Perry’s marketing poster for his next film. #FAIL. #FAIL. #FAIL!