By Timia Cobb
Web Content Contributor
I grew up watching Tyler Perry shows, movies, and plays. Everything he wrote surrounded black issues and problems. As a child, I thought it was amazing to see those issues addressed on TV screens.
However, it has been years and Tyler Perry is still writing the same plots about black women being sad, abused or struggling — I’m sick of it.
Tyler Perry has done a lot for the black community, but it seems as though he has done all he can do. Movies such as “Why Did I Get Married?”, “ Madea’s Family Reunion” and “Meet The Browns” were some of his earlier films that talked about family, love and the hardships black mothers go through.
Longer down the line in his career, however, he has reused the plots so much it seems as though he is ridiculing black people.
The characters he creates, portray black people as violent and ignorant ghetto clowns who mostly speak using AAVE. Not every character is like this, but his main characters whose jobs are to be comedic are like this in every movie. The characters that I am referring to are Madea, Hattie (Madea’s friend) and Joe (Madea’s brother).
As a black person, I’m proud of Tyler Perry. For a long time, no one took him seriously in the film industry because he was a black male director who only made movies targeting black audiences.
He alone has given hundreds of African Americans jobs and produced heaps of black content to relate to black people. However, just because he’s black doesn’t mean black people have to support him.
The reason why black people are choosing to stop supporting Tyler Perry has nothing to do with us not respecting him as a black man in the film industry. Black people are tired of his plots that make black people look bad and put black women down.
An example to support this argument is comparing Tyler Perry to the director and writer Jordan Peele. Jordan Peele gained fame by doing comedy sketches on his show Key & Peele.
However, he gained a lot of attention with his films Get Out and US. Jordan Peele allowed black people to be seen as main characters in stories that weren’t about financial struggles, that didn’t try too hard to be funny or that reduced the black characters to the stereotypes actual black people try not to be in real life.
In Jordan Peele’s movies, he also brings awareness to the racism black people face in the world. He hints at mental illnesses and allows black people to finally be the heroes of films without having to give something up such as wealth, social status, friends, etc. that Tyler Perry always does in his films.
Despite all of this, Tyler Perry has done a lot for the black film industry, but maybe he is at the end of his era. Tyler Perry says he writes about what he has seen black women go through.
I truly believe he doesn’t mean any harm, but when all you do is write black women into shows/movies as successful women who are being told to lower their standards to get a man, it says black women aren’t supposed to have standards.
When he repeatedly writes black women into shows where they have to build men up, it makes black women look like they have to go through struggles to gain happiness. It says black women have to be saviors and they always have to put others first. Black women deserve more than that.
Tyler Perry is at a level where he can support younger and newer writers to make the content that many black audiences want to see. Such as, a black romance movie that doesn’t involve giving up a job or lowering standards or a black-led superhero show.
Tyler Perry is a legend that will always be respected for what has done for black writers, actors, screenplay writers, directors and more. However, at this point in his career, he isn’t helping the black community, he is holding it back.
Featured image by Timia Cobb.