Tyler Perry: “Spike Lee Can Go Straight To Hell”
It seems like Tyler Perry has had it up to here with the criticism. In a Tuesday press conference in Beverly Hills, CA, the director, writer, and actor fired back at his critics, particularly fellow Black filmmaker Spike Lee.
“Spike can go straight to hell! You can print that. I am sick of him talking about me, I am sick of him saying, ‘this is a coon, this is a buffoon.’ I am sick of him talking about black people going to see movies. This is what he said: ‘you vote by what you see,’ as if black people don’t know what they want to see.”
“I am sick of him – he talked about Whoopi, he talked about Oprah, he talked about me, he talked about Clint Eastwood. Spike needs to shut the hell up!”
Perry is one of the most successful Black directors in Hollywood history.
Yet, the filmmaker is often times criticized for stereotypical Black characters in his movies, most notable the gun-carrying, loud-mouthed character Madea, played by Tyler Perry in the popular Madea series.
Some critics have gone as far as to call his movies and plays a “minstrel show” and demeaning to Blacks.
Still, Perry said he doesn’t understand why the majority of his criticism comes directly the Black community, when directors and actors of other races don’t face the same negative feedback from their own communities.
“I’ve never seen Jewish people attack Seinfeld and say “this is a stereotype,” I’ve never seen Italian people attack The Sopranos, I’ve never seen Jewish people complaining about Mrs. Doubtfire or Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie. I never saw it. It’s always black people, and this is something that I cannot undo. Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois went through the exact same thing; Langston Hughes said that Zora Neale Hurston, the woman who wrote Their Eyes Were Watching God, was a new version of the ‘darkie’ because she spoke in a southern dialect and a Southern tone. And I’m sick of it from us; we don’t have to worry about anybody else trying to destroy us and take shots because we do it to ourselves.”
Perry continued to express his frustrations saying, “So me being frustrated with it, and then they go on to say that people of other ethnic groups or white people don’t go see my movies, and that’s all a lie. I’m standing on stage looking at thousands of people, thousands of faces, with every race represented, and I’m tired of it. I’m tired of just laying down, tired of just being nice and letting them say whatever they want to say however they want to say it without people knowing what the intent really is.”
Tyler Perry’s latest film Madea’s Big Happy Family opens nationwide in theaters this Friday.