Updated: Mar 7, 2019
I have a confession, Tyler Perry was and you know what actually is still one of my role models today. Tyler Perry is one of the reasons why I wanted to be in the entertainment industry. Let me explain why....
I remember all the hit Tyler Perry movies my favorite up to this day is definitely 'Diary of a Mad Black Woman' and 'Madea's Big Happy Family' Teyana Taylor and Bow Wow....lol love them.
'Diary of a Mad Black Woman' was different. It was different to all the white love movies that you saw on TV. So yes it was a great movie and don't ever doubt that. It was real - we saw a marriage crumble and a new relationship grow all while having a good laugh and implementing God. That's exactly what made it different. That concept of prayer, faith, and testimonies portrayed on media. We rarely...if we did see that. Of course also the concept of Madea. Come on... I mean he was Madea, the uncle, himself, and the producer! So yes Tyler Perry was my role model!
I remember as a teenager, reading up on his success story. There was a point where Perry slept in his car to make ends meet, then produced plays before making his big debut. However, what I saw at a young age was someone of color, who was poor, and followed his dreams. If Tyler Perry did it, so could I.
But for many years, I was embarrassed to say that Tyler Perry was my role model - I was embarrassed during my time at my dominantly white school. Their inspiration came from names I barely heard, shows I didn't care to watch, and movies cast and crew that had no resemblance of me. I had this one class assignment where we had to list our favorite movies and TV shows then present it to the class. On that list, I did not have any of all my Tyler Perry movies and sitcoms. Why?
Tyler Perry movies "aren't good". We laugh. We joke about them. We trash them, but why? In an article posted by The Washington Post, Madea — with her crude language and penchant for physical attacks — has long drawn criticism for perpetuating damaging stereotypes of African Americans.
It's true Madea became a "problematic" stereotype. "One of Perry’s most prominent critics has been Spike Lee. The filmmaker has made thinly veiled references to Perry’s work, which he called “coonery buffoonery" in a 2009 interview with Black Enterprise. “ - The Washington Post
Personally, Madea has been a good laugh to me over the years. So there's no surprise that Madea still brings in millions! Why? Because even though it's filled with stereotypes on the African-American community it's comedic. She's a character with a filthy mouth, a lovable fool which might remind audiences of their own crazy family members or the family members they're grateful to not have. So whether you'll admit it or not, she's pretty darn funny.
How would it have been different if Tyler Perry was a white man who created "stereotypical" content of the African-American community?
Rest in Peace to the Madea Franchise. I will certainly be heading to go see Madea's Family Funeral and you should too because regardless if you want to talk smack about his movies or not Tyler Perry did contribute to putting minorities on the map in the media and entertainment industry and he is still a success story. He showed us minorities that anyone can follow their dreams, believe in yourself, write the stories you want to be read, and create the content that you want to share.
Note: Madea Family Funeral has already made $1.1 million as of March 1st.