Tyler Perry Revisits Spike Lee’s Past Criticisms of ‘Madea’
Tyler Perry is revisiting the criticism that he has received regarding his popular “Madea” franchise, and one specific comment he’s responding comes from Spike Lee.
While appearing as a guest on Who’s Talk to Chris Wallace?, Perry was asked about his initial response to Lee’s comments who had previously called his work “buffoonery,” and although the “Madea” projects brought in the big bucks, “we could do better.”
“A lot of this is on us. You vote with your pocketbook, your wallet, your time,” the Academy Award-winning director said back in 2011. “The man has a huge audience, and he’s very smart with what he’s done. At the same time, for me, just imagery is troubling.”
To which Perry responded, “I’m so sick of hearing about damn Spike Lee,” Perry said at the time, in a conversation with the Wall Street Journal.
While the Hollywood icons have since settled their public debate, Perry now is adding that he has “heard it all before” when it comes to all things Madea.
“There’s a certain part of our society, especially Black people in the culture, that they look down on certain things within the culture,” PEOPLE reports.
“For me, I love the movies that I’ve done because they are the people that I grew up with that I represent,” Perry continued.
Adding, “So when someone says, ‘You’re harkening back to a point of our life that we don’t want to talk about it or we don’t want the world to see,’ you’re dismissing the stories of millions and millions of Black people. That’s why I think it’s been so successful because it resonates with a lot of us who know these women in these experiences and Uncle Joe and so on and so forth. But what is important to me is that I’m honoring the people that came up and taught and made me who I am. Their stories deserve to be told too.”
Most recently, Perry released his latest title on Netflix, A Jazzman’s Blues, which is a coming-of-age period drama that stars actors Joshua Boone and Solea Pfiffer as star-crossed lovers Bayou and Leanne, whose forbidden love is set in the backdrop of the deep South during the 1940s.
Perry is the director and writer of the film.