Young children are precious. They are adorable in their pint-sized nature; innocent beings who amass knowledge day by day, constantly learning. And their mothers and fathers who take care of them are relentless, protective, and caring. There are things that children should not hear. Things that children should not see. Most particularly, “For Colored Girls.”

I am not going to be a movie spoiler, but if you watched Tyler Perry’s “For Colored Girls” in theaters with the rest of the Americans who helped the film earn $20.1 million this past weekend, then you’ll know where I’m going next.

WHY WOULD YOU BRING YOUR CHILD TO A RATED-R MOVIE?

Especially a mature drama like “For Colored Girls?”

From the previews, play, and book, it is evident that this was not intended to be a family fun flick.

Ntozake Shange’s 1975 classic play, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf, was adapted by “Tyler Perry” and that branding perhaps misrepresented to some viewers the idea that Madea was going to make a guest appearance during the dark scenes of the film. The movie mogul is known for his blockbuster comedies that satirically potray the lives of African-Americans. Does this mean that no one takes Tyler Perry seriously? Don’t get me wrong.  By retaining the original author’s intent, the adapted film was gutsy, poetic and powerful. But the fact that there were twenty-something-year-old moms with their three baby boys in tow entering into a film clearly restricted for patrons above the age of 18 seemed a bit irresponsible.

Would irresponsible mean leaving your child at home while going out for a ladies night to watch a highly debated film? No, especially not if you used the nearly 30 or odd-some dollars to hire a babysitter instead of harming your children’s mind for two hours. People who have seen the movie—you know exactly what scene I’m talking about. All I know is, after one of the most tragic scenes in the film, children in my theater were crying. I mean, little 5 and 6-year-olds bawling at the top of their lungs along with grown men and women. I was disturbed because those children had just been exposed to some serious, explicit imagery that seemed strongly inappropriate for their age group. That, along with all the other adult scenes in the movie (including the opening section of the film which featured a naked man), was shocking to say the least. But I cannot imagine how traumatizing or scarred some of these children must have felt after leaving that theater—or how those images will replay over and over in their heads. What lessons will these children learn from watching the film? That it’s okay to watch R-rated movies. That these messages are normalized. And that when they grow up they will subject their own children to the same tom-foolery because, well, their mother thought it was okay to do it to them.

Perhaps some may argue that these parents can’t afford to hire a babysitter and therefore have to take their children with them. There are certain circumstances that lead to these unfortunate situations, and if this be the case for those parents who have to take their children with them to see “For Colored Girls,” then perhaps they should just wait until the movie comes out on DVD. I mean, you wouldn’t sit your child on your lap while watching a XXX movie in the living room, would you? I didn’t see any parents covering their children’s eyes or ears in the theater, an old-fashioned trait of parenting that I wish had been blasted from the past this past weekend. Or even better—make the children watch a G-rated film. We must be mindful of what situations we put our children into. Innocence is a precious virtue, one that, with parental care, can transform into wisdom instead of ruthless ignorance.

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  • Perkisha

    ITA with this whole article! I was sitting behind a woman who was literally breastfeeding her newborn during the movie (but the baby was actually very quiet throughout the movie) and she happened to be sitting down the aisle from a woman who had her young daughter (probably about 5 or 6) sitting next to her. I was sick as thought about this little girl watching the graphic scenes. I was angry about it until I realized that the people who should care about these children being exposed to these images, thier mothers, seemed to care less. I finally just decided to thank my lucky stars that the children were quiet during the movies and not make the same mistakes with my own children…SMDH.

  • c0c0puffz

    My parents allowed me and my brother to watch Rated R movies when we were 8 and 9. To my mom she was giving us an education showing us black movies, but some of the scenes gave me nightmares. Like Jungle Fever, she was trying to teach us not to date outside our race and Boys in the Hood, to not join a gang. I think that’s why some kids grow up fast watching sex scenes and violence. Kind of surprised that they don’t check the ages at the movie theater.

  • thomas turner

    For Colored Girls is a 2010 American film adapted from Ntozake Shange’s 1975 stage play
    Tyler Perry failed to adequately translate the original stage play to film
    Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 34% of 79 professional critics have given the film a positive review
    “Screenplay is inadequate for its source material, stating that each character “gets the opportunity to suddenly burst into Shange’s poetic arias” because of love, abandonment, rape, infidelity, abortion, mental or physical abuse but the shallow perception of brakes up’s leave you hanging

    The Principal cast carried this movie and that’s not even enough to watch it the screen play left me stranded, dark, uncomfortable, because of the intentions of the subliminal messages aimed at starting smear campaigns instead of ideas that are remarkable the film accuses men of never getting it together
    • Janet Jackson as Jo
    • Whoopi Goldberg as Alice
    • Thandie Newton as Tangie
    • Loretta Devine as Juanita
    • Anika Noni Rose as Yasmine
    • Kimberly Elise as Crystal
    • Kerry Washington as Kelly
    • Phylicia Rashad as Gilda
    • Tessa Thompson as Nyla

  • First of all, for those who had to endure the wailing child/ill mannered CP; ya’ll should went to the suburban theatre. Second, for those who thought bout showing it to their child, “NO!!!” Definately, not in a theatre setting. If you felt your child was mature enough to handle it WITH (true) ADULT supervision, then you–as the adult–should sit down with your child at home; push the pause button; and use it to explain the seriousiness of the scene, and your expectations.

  • It’s not for colored women, who act like colored children either. I sat in front of a whole “pack” of sistas, who decided to celebrate a birthday at the movie theater. They were loud and ghetto. It’s like they wanted everybody to see and hear them. No respect for others.

    The saddest part about it all was they were all too old to be so…tacky. They had to talk all thru the movie, and EVERYTHING was funny…which I’m sure was because parts of the movie hit a bit too close to home, and when folks can’t deal with negative emotions, they often laugh.

    I plan to see it again, in the comfort and quiet of my home. But…children have no business seeing this movie.