My Tyler Perry Problem Has Nothing To Do With Him

Tyler Perry as Madea
Tyler Perry as Madea

Damon Young writes:

I then thought about every other Tyler Perry movie I’ve seen. All (in my opinion) vacillated between “eh” and “eh, this sucks.” These feelings are far from ringing endorsements, but I didn’t hate any of his movies, either.


Again, though, this particular form of ambivalence isn’t new for me. I have the same feelings towards dozens of different actors, movies, producers, and directors. That’s just human nature. You’re going to like some things and dislike some other things, but most things are going to fall somewhere in the middle. But I haven’t written about all of those people. I have about Tyler Perry, and the amount of effort I’ve put into thinking about him—someone who falls in the low end of my middle—just doesn’t equal how I actually feel about his work.

It then dawned on me: My “dislike” of Tyler Perry had nothing to do with his work and everything to do with the fact that there aren’t really any alternatives. Yes, you have your Spike Lees and your Ava DuVernays and whomever else you want to mention, but no other black filmmaker is as prolific and popular. Basically, if he was just another popular black filmmaker in a sea of popular black filmmakers, I wouldn’t have thought so badly of him. I probably wouldn’t have thought much about him at all. I was allowing his lack of competition—and how he was received by other people—to not just influence but determine how I felt about him.

Read on at Very Smart Brothas.

Read More:

Very Smart Brothas is a culture blog founded by and featuring Damon Young (aka \"The Champ\") and Panama Jackson.