A letter to Tyler Perry

I have heard the talk and the negative comments about Tyler Perry’s body of work but never felt the urge to cast an opinion, even amid the Kim Kardashian fallout.  As an artist, a writer and a businessman, Tyler Perry has creative license to put out the work he wants.

As a consumer, I can choose to pay my eleven bucks to see his films or not, it depends if his films appeal to me.  I’ve paid to see a few, caught a couple on cable and passed on the others.  When it comes to Madea, I’m done with her, no offense Mr. Perry.

However, I thought his work on For Colored Girls was awesome and it showed his depth and range.

So why do I care now to say something?  I care because I read his message to his fans who were upset about his decision to cast Kim K. in his upcoming film The Marriage Counselor.  Maybe Tyler was having a bad day, but he was condescending and as a consumer, who is black and female, I did not appreciate it.

On her blog, Vibe Contributor, Bené Viera fluidly expressed her distaste for his letter so well that I don’t need to write anything about but suggest you read her view in her Open Letter to Tyler Perry.

I would like to only add this important point.  In his letter, Kim Kardashian in the Marriage Counselor, Mr. Perry explained why he selected Kim K. for the role:

“After I finished writing this movie, I sat back and re-read it. Half way through my read, the gravity of what I had written hit me. I knew that this message was not only for my age group, but for all audiences, especially the youth. ESPECIALLY THE YOUTH!! YOUNG FOLKS NEED TO SEE THIS!!”

He then explains that Kim K. was perfect for the role because kids look up to her, but I wonder if he considered WHY they look up to her.  I would bet, it is not for the right reasons, especially when self-image and self-esteem are serious problems today with our young people.  Adding Kim K. to the cast (which makes no difference to me) was in my opinion, a business move which probably had more to do with the bottom line and not the underlining message in the film, which is his right.

However, I was offended by his remarks and he should know better and in her Open Letter to Tyler Perry, Bené Viera called him on it:

“…Where my round of applause halts is your latest letter to your fans, “Kim Kardashian in the Marriage Counselor.” With all due respect, Mr. Perry, this is where I draw the line. You are well aware of the latest controversy over your decision to cast Kim Kardashian in your next film the Marriage Counselor. You stated you’d read enough emails and heard enough backlash that you decided to pen a ridiculously condescending letter justifying your decision. Curious to find out what your response would be I attentively read your letter with disgust after only one paragraph in. Within the first two paragraphs you managed to insult your core fan base who’ve helped you break glass ceilings in Hollywood—black women.”

Read Bené Viera’s entire post at Bené Viera

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I am a writer - on Chapter 2.

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