Yesterday, at the Los Angeles press day for his film, “Madea’s Big Happy Family,” Tyler Perry went in on Spike Lee, who has frequently criticized Tyler's films for pandering to stereotypes.
“I’m so sick of hearing about damn Spike Lee," Tyler said. "Spike can go straight to hell! You can print that. I am sick of him talking about me, I am sick of him saying, ‘this is a coon, this is a buffoon.’ I am sick of him – he talked about Whoopi, he talked about Oprah, he talked about me, he talked about Clint Eastwood. Spike needs to shut the hell up!”
Tyler says he’s especially disappointed much of the criticism comes from within the black community, and finds most of it inaccurate or baseless. “I’m sick of it from us,” he said. “We don’t have to worry about anybody else trying to destroy us and take shots because we do it to ourselves. …And they go on to say that people of other ethnic groups or white people don’t go see my movies, and that’s all a lie. I’m standing on stage looking at thousands of people, thousands of faces, with every race represented, and I’m tired of it. I’m tired of just laying down, tired of just being nice and letting them say whatever they want to say however they want to say it without people knowing what the intent really is.”
Spike Lee has yet to respond, but we wait with bated breath.
Sidebar: Monday, Tyler took a less direct stab at Spike and his haters in this message posted on his Web site.
You know I don't dwell in negativity. I try and stay above it, but I wanted to say this to you. You and I both know that there are folks out there that work overtime trying to keep people from seeing my movies. Even though I don't say anything, it doesn't mean that I'm not aware of it. They say all kinds of things about the films, Madea and me. They call me everything, but a child of God. I even had someone tell me in a press conference that I don't have a "white" following. We all know that is not true. Had they been on tour with me they would know White folks, Black folks, Asian folks, Latin folks, Navajo folks, and everyone in between was there laughing side-by-side having a good time.
It's crazy the things people print without any facts. What is also interesting is how hard they work to try and discourage you from going to see my films, as if you don't know what you enjoy. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about!
But it's okay, you know why? Because I know that they don't get it! They don't get the spiritual side of this, they don't get the folks that not only laugh, but also get something out of it that they can use to make their lives better. They don't get that this is about more than making a movie and telling a funny story. They don't get that it's about uplifting and encouraging the soul. They don't get that most of you have been with me long before they knew who I was, and they don't get that you have my back. And to tell you the truth, it doesn't matter if they get it or not, as long as you do. I thank God for you every day. You know what you enjoy, you know what makes you laugh and gives you a bit of uplift after you've seen it. So come laugh with me this weekend with Madea.
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