Tyler Perry vs. Madea

Illustration for article titled Tyler Perry vs. Madea

The Clip:

Managing Madea

The Buzz can in no way, shape, or form knock Tyler Perry's hustle. He is a self-made millionaire whose success and prosperity is based largely on shrewd business savvy and loyalty; loyalty to the fan base who support him because of the stories he tells. The reason he has been able to move from the fringes of media to becoming a brand onto himself, the reason why the big boys even consider distribution and production deals with him is because they know he can deliver the only thing they care about: money, their bottom line. Add to that the fact that he keeps black actors working consistently when Hollywood is still very lukewarm in that regard and nothing but praise can be heaped on the gentleman.


But something gives The Buzz cause to pause: Perry's demonstrations of his artistic ability. In watching this interview and others, it is apparent that he is considerably more talented than his work betrays. Let's set aside for a moment the notion that he should better represent Black America; it's immaterial to this discussion. Rather than carrying the mantle of a people, The Buzz is calling into question Perry as an individual. We expect more, not because he has to speak for us—that's the President's uneviable task now—but because we believe he is a talent capable of better than he is providing. Perhaps he knows that. Perhaps he feels as though he cannot escape Madea or the general scope of the work he produces. Indeed, he says as much when discussing his desire to retire the character but being swayed by the will of his message boards. Maybe then, there is nothing more to say.

What say you? Does Tyler Perry put forth what he does because he is catering to his audience or is he just not capable of better?