Among African Americans there seems to be no middle ground concerning Tyler Perry. Overwhelmingly, his work is either detested or revered. Forbes recently revealed him to be Hollywood’s highest earner last year, raking in 130 million bucks, sparking further debate within the Black community about the impact of TP’s films. Weighing in on Perry’s financial achievement on CNN’s Newsroom is writer/cultural critic Touré who considers the mogul to be one of the worst – “if not the worst” director in Ho-Town. He continues, “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 far behind the film phenom’s cinematic expertise. He likened 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 the cultural critic about the whole 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 fare, 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, TP 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.