Tyler Perry Has A Question For Us

Tyler Perry 

Tyler Perry is known for having a majority black cast in his movies.  He recently sent out an e-mail to his fans that said:

“I was once told [by] someone that my movies only appeal to black people and no one else. Now, I know that’s not true. I know that even though I write from an African-American experience and most of the time I have an all African-American cast, that doesn’t mean that other people from other walks of life can’t relate. I think that any human being who goes through what we all go through can relate to my films (I saw “Slumdog Millionaire” and loved it and I’m not Indian). I know and remember that when I’m writing. But when this person said that to me they also said Europeans would never relate, and that sat in my spirit. So I decided to come to Europe to find out for myself because I always thought that my work was universal.

Monday I started in Rome, and then on to Madrid, and will end this weekend in London. So far all of us seem to be pretty much the same…(smile). We love to laugh, we all have problems, we all want love, and we all have a church in every country. And since these are the things I usually write about, I don’t see how that statement can be true. Do you?”

Why do black filmmakers and/or actors have to defend or justify their content at all times?  The movie theaters are consistently and historically bombarded with all white films, yet when we have an all-black cast, we must justify our relevance in the scheme of life in America.  Sometimes we even see some of our favorite black actors compromise themselves for a paycheck because our productions are not getting the greenlight they need in order to be made.

The black experience has specific cultural dynamics that may not relate to the general public, but if it’s not a movie that is specific to those experiences, anyone should be able to see a human face and relate to: relationship crisis, loss, marital bliss, marital failure, birth, triumph, defeat…life. 

Tyler Perry, Spike Lee, John Singleton, Antoine Fuqua, The Hughes Brothers, and other black filmmakers will soon enjoy the turning of the tide.  As it has been reported, the majority is fast becoming the minority (no pun intended).  Last year, the New York Times reported, “An analysis by Kelvin Pollard and Mark Mather of the Population Reference Bureau found 489 counties where a majority among people younger than 20 are racial and ethnic minorities and another 274 where they account for 40 percent to 50 percent of people in that age group.”  If I’m not mistaken, this is the age of the moviegoer population, right?

Obama (and filmmakers) are privy to an axis of change.  The old ideas of race relations are hopefully dying with the old and more humanitarian views are being born everyday in their place.  The playing ground is finally becoming even and those who have enjoyed their privilege of being the majority in America are seeing our connection and its overwhelming relevance and worth as we travel into the 21st century.

 -J.C. Brooks

12 thoughts on “Tyler Perry Has A Question For Us”

  1. I have attended all of Tyler Perry’s movies and there has always been a good attendance from the white audience. So don’t believe what they say about white people not viewing the movies or the TV show.

  2. The Black experience is universal and one which all cultures can relate to if they are honest enough to just open their eyes and look aorund. Kudos to Tyler Perry I love him and his work. Now Tyler can i submit my film script to you? No pun intended, a full 13 week TV episode. Holla, I’m 72 years old but my mind is still open. Grangran Elder Performing Poet in Memphis,TN

  3. I don’t watch that much tv, neither do I go the movies that much, because all I see is white, white, white! Where is the diversity in these movies! I can relate to Tyler Perry movies and plays because I see my families and friends, neighbors, etc. When I see movies that is about love written by or produce by white writers, I see one or two blacks, and even when the movie is written about saving the world I only see one or two blacks! So Please Tyler don’t let these whites who are in control of the establishment tried to reverse what they do on you!

    I am not a racist but I am just tired of seeing on the movies , news, tv etc, that we have to see things only from the whites perspective! This country is too diverse.

  4. If it were true, then SO WHAT! GET OVER IT. For years I’ve sat and watched people (white people) live an easy good life. And they are the minorities. Tyler if it’s drama that they want you know New Orleans got your back “Ya herd me.”

  5. I have seen the majority of Tyler Perry’s movies and truly love them. Personally, I feel that all of his movies transcend beyond color and actually create an atmosphere that people of all races can thoroughly enjoy. If you want to speak about race just think about how many blacks and minorities are actually represented or shown on the Big 3 channels (ABC,CBS and NBC)? And the numbers are growing smaller each day. If the CW and BET stations weren’t on the air then we would hardly have any actors, actresses, writers, or etc. So in my opinion, if Tyler Perry ever stopped making movies we would experience a total BLACK OUT at the box office.

  6. Personally I think it is a ploy to “share the wealth”. No one said a word when Tyler Perry started out on the stages across the country. Yes, my girlfriends and I saw his one man show in Cleveland, Ohio and we loved it…No reviews from many white people on that yet the theme crossed all color lines and we were proud to attend.
    It seems to me if Tyler Perry sells out his company to White corporations like most of the people of color do, who make it big, …then there wouldn’t be any problem, for them (white people that is)
    What type of role would white people play in Tyler Perry’s production and why is my question?
    Further more, without sounding racist, I hope Tyler Perry and others can remain as they are in business.
    We had to fight and shed blood just to get to this point..
    There are still plenty of movies that do not have African American roles or appearances…I for one love ‘Bollywood Movies’ but I don’t complain about not seeing us on the screen! I just enjoy the movie!!

  7. I’ve got some old unreleased Tyler Perry videos, I’m getting ready to post to the internet. You’ve got to see this stuff. Tyler’s plays were raw when he first started. You knew he was going to be huge even way back then.


  8. Why is it when blacks begin to be well accomplished in their idea someone from the mainstream have to have a problem with it. We as in African-Americans have been watching white television for years and years. They have gotten some of our children thinking they have to look a certain way in order to be accepted. Black television is well rounded and deals all sorts of topics. Tyler Perry’s movies and plays are a hit in my household because of the truth behind it all.

  9. Hi mr Perry… I had a dream yesterday and i really tried to send this message then but for some reason it wouldn’t happen, so here i am agin. A dream that tore me from my sleep, not a night mare but a dream, i think will liberate me for ever. In my dream there was an infant, this infant had grey hair and she spoke with me, while i don’t remember everything she said i do remember her saying with a voice of incouragement “IF YOU WANT TO GO TO MINNIOPOLAS, I’LL TAKE YOU” when those words were spoken i started shoutin, after witch we both ran from where we were to start that jurney. When i woke from my dream all i could think about is “OUT OF THE MOUTHES OF BABES AND SUCKLINS LET EVERY WORD BE ESTABLISHED” i had an ergancy in me like i never knew. Ironic the infant was a she because the grey hair reminded me of wisdom and wisdom is referd to as “her” or “she”. It’s never been a desire of mine to go to minniopalos, this is what makes me to believe that when she said that, God was letting me know that i can make it,i can go any where i want. THIS! brings me to the porpous of this message. Mr. perry i have a movie idea that i’v been holding on to for years at least 7. It’s always remained a ides because i didn’t know what to do with it. But that morning when i had the dream i went to the libreary so i could find a resorce and in my serch you came from nowhere. This movie is undoubtditly one of a kind If u are at all are interested in my idea please, please contact me. I really believe in my heart that this is my time. The reason i didn’t mention anyting about the movie is because all are not to be trusted and i see that there are people who can read this message. Thanks for your ear, look forward to hearing from you soon… Teddy. I’m from Chicago, Cabrini Green projets and the struggle has been my life. I feel like the wait is over, it’s my time. .By no means take no sympothy i really need help and i don’t mind asking. [email protected]

  10. sorry for all the mispelled words i pressed submit before i could correct…jorney i did know how 2 spell, lol…

  11. Hi Tyler,

    Im all the way from sunny South Africa. Im of Indian and Portugeuse descend and trust me every nation can relate to your movies. I love them and will continue to support you all the way.

    Much love,

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