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make it stop, tyler perry

January 22, 2020
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It’s funny, every time Mr. Perry gives us a reason to be proud of him, to celebrate the progress he’s made as a Black storyteller, he insists on making us walk that shit right back. With the release of this new film A Fall From Grace, I have just a few burning questions: why doesn’t Tyler Perry (a) want to make progressively better work and (b) why he feels like he’s immune to criticism?

I can admit that Perry has been the recipient of heavy criticism for most of his career and that his willingness to push forward is an incredible gift. But if your viewership and target demographics keep trying to pass along a legitimate critique, at what point does it become prudent to take them seriously? For Tyler Perry, it seems that the answer is never. Not ever.

Between bragging about not hiring Black writers to bragging about filming a (clumsy) movie in five days, Tyler Perry cannot help but miss the point: what’s so great about your individual advancement at this point if you’re not advancing Black narratives and other Black creatives?

What’s the point in owning the biggest, most extravagant studio outside of Hollywood if you’re not inviting talented Black artists to express themselves and add to this much larger story?

And, yes, Tyler Perry has built a historic empire on bad wigs, abused Black women, and dark-skinned villains, so surely he’s doing something right. McDonald’s does something similar. We’re not supposed to care if what they’re putting out is bad for us, right? Sigh.

We’re all rooting for you, Tyler Perry. Please, help us help you. Hire some local wig techs. Pay fair wages to quality writers. You can do it.