Among African Americans there seems to be no middle ground concerning Tyler Perry. His work is either detested or revered.
Forbes magazine recently labeled him 2010 Most Successful Man in Hollywood, raking in $130 million dollars, sparking further debate about the impact of Tyler Perry’s films.
CNN’s Newsroom contributor Touré considers Tyler Perry to be one of the worst – “if not the worst” director in Hollywood. He says, “He’s willfully ignorant of the craft, and I can think of no aspect of the filmmaking craft that he excels at, certainly not acting or writing or cinematography or directing or set design.”
Touré’s critique extends beyond Tyler’s cinematic expertise. He likens the overall message conveyed by Perry’s films to “cinematic malt liquor for the masses,” or in other words, “If [Perry] was making chairs they would fall apart. If he were making food, it would make you throw up.”
Basically, what sickens Touré about the Tyler Perry ‘brand’ is what he perceives as a celebration of “a certain victimhood and telling Black women that it’s okay to feel like a victim and to wallow in the pain of your life.” Objectively speaking, however, Touré admitted, “Black Southern women do not see themselves at all in Hollywood films, so when he’s serving them movies where they appear to be in situations that are naturalistic and recognizable to them and definitely have that Christian message, I definitely understand why my grandmother, my mother and my aunts love this stuff.”
Which is why, despite what Touré, and other like-minded individuals declare, Tyler Perry Studios keep crankin’ ’em out. With 3 movies and a TV series already in the works, Tyler Perry’s 13th feature film, “The Marriage Counselor,” will begin production on October 25th.
Malt liquor for the masses or food for thought, Tyler Perry’s moving full steam ahead – and all the way to the bank.