Dear Tyler Perry
Dear Tyler Perry,
Frankly, I am inspired by your hard work, determination, zeal, and commitment you’ve shown in building your career from scratch to what it is now. Even recently, you’ve built your own studio, a masterpiece that the blockbuster movie black panther was shot in. Your story is a great push for anyone who’s looking for motivation and encouragement to pursue their seemingly big dreams. From the time you’ve started till now, you’ve stood out from the crowd and have become an entertainment mogul, producing at least 40 movies. Overall, your success has shown that greatness is not garnered by the color of our skin, but by sheer passion, hard work, and determination.
More than making a name for yourself, you have given back to the community through your charitable contributions in education, providing clean water, and in the health sector, to mention but a few. And because of being true to your dream, you’ve provided countless jobs for various individuals. Mr. Perry, you have been truly remarkable.
I’ve been a committed follower of your stage plays, and movies. Over the years Madea has become an icon of almost most of your movies. I’ve seen a couple of your movies that have made me laugh at some point because of the comic relief they are packed with. Other times I’ve even cried and sympathized with the characters. However paying keen attention to your movies like Diary of the mad black woman, Madea Family Reunion, and more recently Acrimony and Nobody’s Fool, I’m starting to wonder why do you keep portraying black women as being emotionally unstable and immature, angry without boundaries, violent and being obsessed with having a man. I’m not in any way implying that your stories don’t spark hope in people’s hearts, or that they don’t answer questions about life in general, what I’m saying is that your feature of black women is narrow-minded, stereotypical and doesn’t capture every black woman’s perspective of life. Honestly, I can’t relate to your representation of black women because that’s not how I am. I’m more than certain that a lot of us black women feel that your movies underrepresent our aspirations, struggles, and success.
As an entertainment mogul, you have a voice that is heard by millions of people all over the world, Rather than constantly misrepresenting black women, give your story a new opportunity to learn from different black women; learn about our struggles, our success, our personalities, how we love and how we contribute to the world around us. You shouldn’t constantly portray black women in a way that undermines what we truly represent. Black women are not insatiable with life until we have a man, we’re not junkies and prostitutes as your movies portray, we’re not all emotionally unstable and immature. Of course, we face major health issues like depression, just like every other race on earth. But somehow, instead of educating viewers on mental health with your movies, it always hinges on representing the black woman as being emotionally unfit, fickle, obsessively in dire need of a man, petty and unambitious. What culture exactly are your movies perpetuating? What are you teaching the younger generation?
Mr. Perry, you need to realize that you can create a new paradigm as a writer, actor, and producer, among the many things you have become. Quite frankly, we’ve had enough of Madea, no doubt she is one of the most hilarious characters you’ve created, however, the grandma who’s violent and vulgar, yet, wise enough to dish out morals, is no longer appealing.
News flash, black women are not always in a toxic relationship, black women are successful and don’t always obsess about men, black women are not always in broken homes. There’s is more to us black women than you represent. You say that most of your movies are inspired by real-life stories. I’m not doubting you, but then there are more than 7 billion people on earth, more than half being women. You should learn new stories, and let your stories be more inclusive. People watch your movies and think black people are just the way your movies represent us. So, we must deal with more societal pressure and the angry black woman label they’ve tagged us with. Mr. Perry, I have a question for you, You are friends with Oprah & Gayle, do they represent any of the women in any of your storylines?
My letter to you is not a rant, it is a heartfelt truth. I am passionate about helping other women thrive, and I won’t stand on the sidewalks with your shenanigans while women are misrepresented. I sincerely have faith that you won’t wave off this letter as a form of criticism, but accept it as an awakening to include more black writers to write the truth, and to produce movies that we foster our heritage and shape our culture, and not misrepresent it.
I’m Black & I’m Proud and I am also Disappointed & Dissatisfied with you.
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