Christian producer, director, and actor Tyler Perry has come under fire from people who believe that his films are damaging to the black community by exploiting black stereotypes in the characters he creates.
Tyler Perry told New York Magazine that he is surprised by the backlash:
“Let me tell you what took me aback about that,” he told New York magazine. “When people were like, ‘How dare you put fat black people on television, these are caricatures, these are stereotypes’ – I was so offended because my aunt’s fat. My mother’s fat. My cousins are fat.’ People who are like, ‘How dare you – these harken back to Mammy, Amos ‘n’ Andy.’ I would hear all these things, and I would go, hmmm.”
The Haves and The Have Nots creator also came under scrutiny from fellow director Spike Lee, who claimed that Perry’s television shows set black America back in progress.
“There’s a lot of my audience that likes what he does. And there’s a lot of his audience that likes what I do,” he said. “When you make those kind of broad, general strokes, and you paint your audiences in them, they go, ‘Wait a minute, are you talking about me? Are you talking about my mom?’ “
Pic credit: Time