An Open Letter to Tyler Perry

Dear Mr. Perry,

Let me begin by congratulating you on your massive success. It is truly commendable to overcome the obstacles you have—molestation, poverty, abuse and homelessness—to becoming the highest paid man in entertainment. If nothing else, your story of triumph is living proof that achieving a dream is attainable even when one’s circumstances reek of hopelessness and despair.

I write this letter as a black woman, journalist and media critic. I have also watched 95 percent of your films and several of your plays. I have had countless debates with intellectuals about the quality of your work and whether or not your depictions of the black community are damaging. In those conversations I’ve often played devil’s advocate arguing both sides of the debate. I have taken offense at the way people belittle your target audience because a part of that core audience are my aunts, mother, cousins and grandmothers. It is one thing to critique your artistry, but it is quite another to demean those who enjoy your work. Mostly I have emphasized on several occasions that you deserve credit for employing black actors and actresses in Hollywood. For whatever reasons the non-black executives calling the shots in Hollywood rarely take chances on black films where the lead characters aren’t thugs, whores, uneducated, uncouth, angry or ghetto. Some of Hollywood’s A-list actresses who have been in the game for nearly two decades struggle with landing quality roles. Not because they aren’t skilled enough at their craft to play the role, but because the roles are nonexistent. It bears repeating that I applaud you for employing black actors.

Where my round of applause halts is your latest letter to your fans, “Kim Kardashian in the Marriage Counselor.” With all due respect, Mr. Perry, this is where I draw the line.  You are well aware of the latest controversy over your decision to cast Kim Kardashian in your next film the Marriage Counselor. You stated you’d read enough emails and heard enough backlash that you decided to pen a ridiculously condescending letter justifying your decision. Curious to find out what your response would be I attentively read your letter with disgust after only one paragraph in. Within the first two paragraphs you managed to insult your core fan base who’ve helped you break glass ceilings in Hollywood—black women. Perhaps you need to reread what you wrote so you can understand how problematic it is:

I could not have imagined I’d be getting all these emails about Kim Kardashian. I HAVE SEEN THEM!! YOU HAVE BEEN HEARD!! …LOL. Now, may I say something? Can a brother get a word in?….LOL. Y’all gave me a new movie title, Tyler Perry’s “Diary of a Mad Black Woman Cause You Hired Kim Kardashian, Don’t Make Me Take Off My Earrings and Boycott Yo A**.”…

You continue on with your anecdote about an older woman you met in a Mexican restaurant. Is this supposed to be a black woman since she pronounced Kardashian wrong?

I was in a Mexican restaurant and the cutest little old woman stopped me and said, “I want to talk to you about KAR-DAT- CHA-NEM.” I said, “Ma’am?” She said, “What is wrong with you putting her in the lead role of your movie?”

For the record, I could not care less that you cast Kim Kardashian in the Marriage Counselor. You certainly have the right to cast whomever you think can play the part. I also understand this to be a great business move. You and I know that Kim Kardashian’s role, no matter how big or small, will ultimately get her fans in the theater seats, which equals more money in your bank account. My gripe with you is specifically the way you addressed and depicted black women in your letter, which goes hand in hand with how we’re portrayed in your films.

See, you’re missing the point of why your fans disapprove of your choice. In your attempt to hold Kim K. on this rosy pedestal by attempting to convince us that she is a role model for young girls and women, you shitted on the very women who have made you the Tyler Perry. From what I’ve read, people are specifically concerned about Kim’s role because many believe she lacks talent, therefore is undeserving of the role. You say you want to reach young people, but what example are you setting by casting a woman only famous for fame’s sake? Had it not been for her sex tape with R&B star Ray J, Kim would still be working in a boutique in Cali instead of plastered all over the magazines and boob tube. If it was diversity you were looking for, were there not any A-list white actresses available for the role?

I’m not sure why you chose to reduce black women, again, to the “angry black woman” trope that you’ve used repeatedly in your films. The “Don’t Make Me Take Off My Earrings and Boycott You’re A**” bit further contributes to the notion that all black woman are attitudinal, loud, angry and violent. Post-slavery black women have fought against being the negative stereotypes of the jezebel or Mammy. And we’ve made many strides. However, black women are still marginalized in the media where stereotypes contribute to the fallacy that all black women are monolithic. You, Mr. Perry, have reinforced these same problematic tropes time and time again. This letter is only one of the many examples.

In countless interviews you claim your critics miss the message in your films. I’d argue the message is very clear. Forgiveness, love, trust and family are great stories of morality. The other half of the message in your films is that black women need a man to save them from themselves. Black women are incapable of being happy. Black women are angry. Black women are downtrodden. Black women are many things, but positive they are not. Acknowledging the positive message (i.e. Christian theme throughout your films) does not make you exempt from critique of your portrayal of black women.

The lead actresses in each of your films follow very familiar stereotypes. Only, unlike other Hollywood films that get greenlit, it is a black man writing the script, casting and directing instead of old white men in suits who are distant from the black community. There’s the “angry black woman” in Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Daddy’s Little Girls, Why Did I Get Married? and Why Did I Get Married Too?.  In Daddy’s Little Girls, The Family that Preys and For Colored Girls there’s the emasculating bitch that is educated and intelligent with a budding career, but she’s intolerable and has to be tamed by her savior—a man. And how about the helpless downtrodden black woman with the unimaginable hard knock life? It takes a man to save her from her woes. Viewers see this trope in Madea’s Family Reunion, Meet the Browns, Madea Goes to Jail and I Can Do Bad All By Myself. Ever so often you throw in Madea for comedy hoping the laughter will distract viewers from the problematic nature of Madea’s character. That’s another letter for another day.

With your most recent letter to your fans it is painstakingly clear that you have issues with black women. Your disregard for black women is apparent. I am no psychologist so I will not pretend to diagnose whether this problem stemmed from your admitted frustrations that your mother couldn’t save you from your father’s abuse, or from the molestation you experienced at the hands of a woman. Maybe it is neither. It is high time you deal with your issues with black women internally and stop inaccurately portraying us in your films.

I will not be supporting your latest film or any other film you make in the future. My decision has nothing to do with Kim Kardashian. Your disdain for the very women who have helped you reach the level of success you’ve achieved is disheartening. It was black women purchasing tickets to your stage plays before Hollywood even knew you existed. As a black woman, I don’t need you to tell my story. What you’re portraying on screen is not the American black woman experience. It certainly isn’t mine. The sooner you realize just maybe there is some validity in the critiques of your work, the better. Black women don’t deserve to be caricatures in your film, patronize your movies with their pocketbooks, only for you to condescendingly show no regard for their valid concerns. By the way, critique isn’t synonymous with angry. I hate to break it to you, but you have us all wrong. And I reject your depictions wholeheartedly. You must do better. We’re demanding better.


A Happily Concerned Black Woman

P.S. Spike Lee isn’t hating on you. He’s right.

  • This letter is absolutely fantastic, but LATE. His disdain for African American women is nothing new, showing up in his first show, and continuing through them all. I am one of those who criticize those who see it as well (including my mother and her church folk), because one thing i’ve learned is that by killing the head, the body will die. TP being the body here. Or the head. All needs to die.

    We should have pulled his films into the town square and burned them!

    He can’t seem to wrap his mind around the fact that he’s lending a huge hand in the construction of a society, or the maintenance of one. it’s heart breaking for so-called intellects and scholars and thinkers and filmmakers who know better. there is a high price to pay for those who use their talents to feed the people garbage.

    Thanks For This!

  • suga honey

    “The other half of the message in your films is that black women need a man to save them from themselves.” This has been my issue with him since his first film. I can’t say that his plays are phenomenal, but the spiritual message throughout was always at the forefront. When he jumped in to movies, though, God was replaced by “a good man”. And with most of his audience being women, and a lot of those women being single, that is one of the worst messages a man with that much power can present to our community.
    Loved this letter. You took the words right out of my mouth with the Spike comment.

  • Anonymous

    Awesome post! Although I hardly care about this entire fiasco, I do wholeheartedly agree with you that Mr. Perry’s anecdote in the letter to his fans was unnecessarily condescending. I’m not sure how deep of a hole he has now dug himself in-only the ticket sales will reflect that-but what I do know, is that at the end of the day, we as a people need to get a grip on our ‘image’ issues. It has become the topic of every article/blog I read nowadays. Either we’re not happy with the way we’re being portrayed in the media, or we’re upset because we’re not being seen enough. It’s become quite overwhelming. 

  • Just a reader

    Wow… I love this. I have actually been a die hard supporter of Tyler Perry yet than changed after watching his movies and noticing the same theme you pointed out. Thank you for speaking out on this.

  • Sindanu

    Waow ! This letter is brilliant !
    Sister you just won a new reader/follower/fan !

    • Teprfirm

      I loved this as a actress i appreciated reading thjs.

  • Ms. Thang

    I understand all that is being said. So you said it now let’s move on. You are not keeping any money from his pocket and people like me are still going to go see his movies. We have had worse things done to us (black women) that has nothing to do with a movie by our “brothers” and ohers, so what, life goes on. Sure you are allowed your opinion, and so be it, but live and let live. Leave the man to do what he does, and leave Kim K to do what she does however she may do it. Don’t go see the movie if you have a problem. People are so uptight about nothing. What about the homeless, our kids getting better education, teachers/coaches molesting our children, our young people committing suicide because of bullying, people not able to find jobs, the things that matter, hurricanes, tornadoes, and I can go on.

    Have you done an open letter on what we should do about any of those things?

    • Projones

      I suggest you reading more of Ms. Viera’s work before taking shots about what she has written an open letter regarding. It is a very WEAK argument to dismiss this post as being “uptight”, and miniscule in relationship to other very real issues that affect our community, ESPECIALLY when these issues are discussed on this site OFTEN.

      Check yourself before you post, because you just swallowed your foot.

    • Projones

      And the fact that you see a problem with what is going on, and what was said, and understand the arguments raised here, but will still go support him nonetheless makes you an active agent in your own disenfranchisement. The images that populate mass media are as important to critique and regulate as the school systems that fail our children.

      Should we dismiss problematic representations because there are bigger fish to fry? Should we focus on reducing the murder rate in our communities and ignore rape because one is worse than the other? This type of thinking is problematic. Confronting issues is important, and holding people accountable who profit off our community is paramount to improving our conditions. Period.

      • JustSayin

        “Confronting issues is important, and holding people accountable who profit off our community is paramount to improving our conditions. Period.”
        What struck me here was your use of the word ‘paramount.’ Really ?? Improving conditions which directly affect us is more important, in my opinion, than intellectualizing about the decisions people [in this instance Tyler Perry] make.

        • Stefanie Ritual

          projones is right.  holding people who profit off our community is PARAMOUNT to improving our conditions.  this applies to a number of people/corporations/polititians…

          projones is right.

    • Noname

      It’s people like you, Ms. Thang, who have made TP one of the highest-paid people in entertainment. If he’s capable of portraying black women in such a constantly negative and degrading image, he’s also the same person who could create more roles for women – of empowerment, richness of the soul and of course… success.
      To say you’ll still feed the very vehicle which portrays our own black women is these oftentimes degrading roles is ridiculous. You, My Dear, should become more informed about being a STRONG BLACK WOMAN. The mad black woman pen continues to write itself over and over because of movies that depict us as nothing more worthy of greatness.
      With that said (and with very little address)… Kim Kardashian is NOT the reason EVERY woman has an issue with TP’s latest movie. Some (like myself) have taken a strong disliking to TP’s movies on more than one occasion and have NOT spent my hard earned money in ANY theater to support it. I’d much rather spend my hard earned money on images that portray me and the women I surround myself with. And they are NOT the gun toting grandmother(s), drug addicted, abused, low self-esteem having, immoral creatures women seen in these wanna-be/bootleg black power films.
      So what… if TP hires more black actors/actresses than white America! Who cares when all he’s doing is proving their already disrupted image of us as his (TP’s) truth. HELL! He’s obviously closer to the “white man’s” thinking than he’s willing to admit.
      You, the rest of the followers and TP can take several rows of seats _    in the DO BETTER SECTION of what’s wrong in America!

  • Personally, I’m not a big TP fan. I think the characters in both his movies and his plays lack any real depths but I’m not sure if I can fault him for that seeing it has made him a huge success (if it’s not broke why fix it?). That aside, I don’t see why so many Black women are upset about his choice to use Kim Kadarshian in his latest movie or even the letter that he wrote (which was unnecessary) to justify his decision. I read the letter, it didn’t come off as condescending but rather it seemed as if he were just being playful as he’s been known to do. And let’s be honest, many Black women have earned a reputation for being (feisty??) at times and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In some scenarios it’s even a compliment. 

    As far as his movies always depicting a Black woman needing a Black man to save her, again, those same (basic) stories and plots have made him into a multi-millionaire. Why should he change it? Unless of course, more Black women like yourself, are more vocal, not just as individuals but collectively, then maybe it will force TP to create more thought-provoking films and plays. I’m all for that. I also agree that Spike is a better film writer and director IMO, but TP’s success with the material he puts out has surpassed Spike by leaps and bounds. And who’s fault is that?

  • tuttifrutti

    As I’ve stated in a previous response to this issue in another publication, it’s interesting that Kim Kardashian is the catalyst that is causing folks to really critique Tyler’s works! Why has he been given a pass for so long anyway? I’ve long held that his works have been sorely lacking in depth, creativity, originality and positivity. He has always portrayed Black females as one-deminsional victims or scandalous vixens! yet, we’ve continued to flock to his movies in droves! Most of his characters have been stereotypical caricatures; be they gay, thugs, males, children, grandmothers or whomever. Yes, he has accomplished a great deal in a few years; has garnered praise from Oprah herself and has been defended against Spike’s ire. However, he has never been that prolific a script writer…IMO.

    • GailScottt

      Perry has been given a pass because, on the most part, he’s all there is. In the 1950s black people watched Amos & Andy because that was pretty much all they had. In the 1970s black people watched Good Times for the same reason … It’s understandable.

      Hopefully, Perry’s reach will be limited when it comes to producing other people’s works after his failure with For Colored Girls. That’s my biggest beef with Perry these days: having the power to ruin a masterpiece.

    • Emme

      TP has LONG been criticized for his simplistic writing, lack of depth, creativity, etc.  This is just another reason for his critics to attack his product.  I’m a longstanding critic of TPs work for the same reasons.  I just don’t think he’s a good writer or director… maybe i’m extra critical because he tells stories I want to hear, but does so in a way that I just can’t appreciate.

      Nonetheless, I can’t say I totally agree with Bene’s interpretation of his letter or her belief that “the black woman monolith” isn’t accurately depicted in his movies.  Many black women aren’t aggressive, bossy, and “ghetto” but others are.  If you think there aren’t plenty black women who don’t display some, if not all of the characteristics in his movies, then you too should broaden your circle. Most of my friends don’t fall into that category, but I’ve been fortunate enough to build relationships with people on both sides of the tracks… and believe you me, those “attitudes” are held by some on both sides.  We black women are a diverse bunch.

      That said, I wholly agree with Raphael.  TP is doing something that has brought him success and that’s why he continues to do it.  Some people love his work and they are entitled to that.  I think his letter was him trying to be funny in his consistent TP way.  Some people take offense to his humor.  I guess I just don’t.  I don’t think its as much at the expense of black women (or black people in general) any more than black people have done things to portray themselves in a negative media light.  That’s not to say black women are negative — I don’t believe that — but no ethnic group or portion thereof fits everyone else’s desired mold.  

      I think in the end, most of us non TP fans aren’t so much mad at TP as we are the lack of better-written, broader, deeper, and more diverse storylines featuring black people in H-wood.  If there were more black Spielbergs and Scorsceses then we wouldn’t be so concerned about the existence of the black Adam Sandler (or whoever you might choose to represent popular/simplistic comedies.) 

      • Stefanie Ritual

        why should anyone broaden their circle to include angry bitter black women?  if someone doesn’t associate w/those types of people no matter their race, why should they start to?  makes no sense.
        the author mentioned that these types of people exist in all groups, & her problem is w/the fact that this is he ONLY way we are portrayed.

        a valid point.

        ps.  the reason there are more white film moguls who produce better movies than black ones, is that white audiences refuse to spend their money on BS while trying to convince their fellow moviegoers that what they just saw on screen is worth watching.

    • Afroparnting

      He may have gotten a pass for his plays.  I for one
      enjoyed them. As for his movies, I think we all gave him the benefit of the
      doubt.  And it was only fair that we do due to him breaking into a new
      aspect of entertainment.  However, it has been coming to a head for a
      while bw’s collective dissatisfaction (Kim K had nothing to do with
      that).  And TP sensed this.  I think ‘for color girls’ was a
      strategic move of his part to quail the displeased voices of sistas.  And
      it did for some. Me personally, it did not. TP movie continues to depict bw
      women in peril, w/o intellect, or not worldly.  Ever since his movie the ‘diary’,
      I have stopped patronizing his movies.

      What is happening now is not a critique movement triggered by Kim, but a movement
      by black women demonstrating their collective power by rejecting psychological self-depreciation
      or cognitive dissonance.  A segment of bm
      in entertainment have catapulting this women to where she is now, idealizing
      her as the ultimate beauty (despite the fact she is fabricated from head to
      toe) and now a powerful bm in the industry TP has picked up the mantel adding
      to this perpetuation.   So it is not Kim the person that is being  rejected, it is what she symbolizes to a segment
      of bm & pretty much how bm are trying to force bw into accepting this.  So I get why the backlash.  Basically, if bm want to support and continue
      to idealize and make this women rich, so be it. But I be darn if you are going
      to use & exploit me (the bw) to make this happen.  

  • Anonymous

    I get so tired of black women playing the victim when in actually most of the stereotypes are very true. You Britne in this very letter, seem like a bitter black woman. Let’s for one second guess who most of the negative fan male for Kim K came from. Do you think it was black men? Or white women? Of course not. It was ANGRY black women who are mad and jealous of Kim K because she is famous for being beautiful. And for no other reason. Tyler doesn’t have a problem with black
    Women. He simply puts in film what is reality. And that’s why so many black people have a problem with his films. Black people don’t like their horrible reality thrown in their faces. Does it apply to all? No. Which is why I don’t have a problem with it. But I can promise it applies to MORE then it DOESN’T apply to. This Kim K issue is a prime example of that! Angry black women attack Kim K as if she did something to them. She did nothing. Yet they try to boycott her her. It’s sad. And here you are angry for people calling you angry, when in actuality you are angry. You should have directed this letter to your fellow black women.

    • Bushwick

      Who is Britne? Are you on the wrong website? And what attack was there on Kim K in this post? Do you dispute her overall lack of talent?

      We obviously didn’t read the same post. What I read as about Tyler Perry, and you’re on here defending Kim K when she is a non-issue. Didn’t BV state explicitly:

      “For the record, I could not care less that you cast Kim Kardashian in the Marriage Counselor.
      You certainly have the right to cast whomever you think can play the
      part. I also understand this to be a great business move. You and I know
      that Kim Kardashian’s role, no matter how big or small, will ultimately
      get her fans in the theater seats, which equals more money in your bank
      account. My gripe with you is specifically the way you addressed and
      depicted black women in your letter, which goes hand in hand with how
      we’re portrayed in your films.”

      Clearly, you have poor reading comprehension.

      Furthermore, the issue is with Perry’s letter, and the problematic tropes that it validates. But with a name like AmericanBoi, I’m pretty sure you stan for Herman Cain too..

      • Anonymous

        iPhone spell check changed her name to Britne. I apologize.

        My point was that Tyler Perry was responding to angry black women who attacked Kim Kardashian. She got offended by the way Tyler responded because she felt like he was pretty much SHITTING on the black women that watch his films right? I think I got that.

        The problem is that MOST black women are angry. Why…I don’t know. But the vicious fan mail about a woman who’s done them nothing is just one of the MANY examples of the angry black woman. That is my point. I’m quite aware that Bene has no problem with Kim. I can read. But Kim Kardashian is what sparked his letter, which is what sparked her response. And my response is that her anger is directed at the wrong person. Here we have a black women, angry with Tyler, for calling black women angry at him for casting Kim Kardashian.

        • Friday Foster

          Perhaps the black women that you have met are angry because of their interaction with you? If I had to put up with your ignorant, uninformed stereotypes of black women for any amount of time, I would be quite miffed also. I wish men like you would just find the white women of your dreams, ride off into the sunset and stop defaming black women.

          • Stefanie Ritual


        • Beautiful2

          You’re spot on in your assessment.

  • Anonymous

    (cont) which in fact makes all the black
    Women what? Angry. Y’all were angry at Kim. Tyler responded. Now you are angry at him. That is the point I am trying to make. Black women have NO reason to be mad at Tyler for casting Kim. It’s very obvious why he would do it, and any1 with a business mind can see that. But not our black women. Here they come mad as shit…for what? No one knows. And when Tyler calls them exactly WHAT they are…well then he has a problem with black women. It’s sad. Tyler doesn’t have a problem with black women. Black women have problems.

    P.S. my name came from the song American Boy by Estelle and Kanye West.

    • Bushwick

      Whether or not black women have a right to be mad at TP for casting Kim K is really not the issue. TP is a businessman whose primary market is black women. The first two paragraphs of his public response to them on his website were totally out of line. Point blank, period.

      And the writer contends that TP has always had a problem with black women – a point I don’t disagree with. The reaction to the Kardashian boycott (which I admit, is completely useless – I can think of 100 other reasons to boycott TP films entirely) is what spawned all of this. The fact that you focus on trying to prove this trope/stereotype to be a valid representation of black women speaks a lot to your character. Black men aren’t monolithic, neither are black women.

      I can go so far to say that most black people are considered “ANGRY”. If you are black… and you express your outrage at say, police brutality, are you not cast as the “ANGRY BLACK (WO)MAN”? For someone who seems to passionately defend TP’s position, I’d expect a more 3 dimensional argument.


      Oke  calm down already, it is clear you are on TP payroll.Black women have problems & so do you by the way you go on a rant in your comment!.Yes i get what you say about he is casting kim .k for business reasons, but that should not matter in this case, she ain’t the most qualified actress around, i think that should be TP main concern if anything else.

      • Anonymous

        Actually I’m not a big fan of his work. I go see some of his movies (if Madea isn’t in it) but I do understand what people mean when they say it’s coonish, poorly written, and predictable. I could agree. But this specific situation was so ridiculous its embarrassing. And I’m a fan on Bene’s work, I come to her blog regularly…and for her to take THAT from his letter…is what sparked my comment. And no Kim K is not the best actress. She’s not an actress at all. But she’s one of the current and relevent TV personalities out right now. She draws viewers. Obviously other viewers then what he is already getting. It was for business. CLEARLY. But again…the mad black women are so mad they totally disregard that and threaten to boycott and send hate mail. It’s pathetic.

    • Stefanie Ritual

      &… you obviously have problems w/black women, ones that would better be served on a therapist’s couch than on this board.

  • What?

    This comment is more of haterism than anything, especially when your life consists of  poverty, abuse and homelessness. I cannot speak on your molestation. TP’s movies are for entertainment! If you don’t like his movies then don’t see them.

    Your post is from a bitter, envious and impoverished place. He seems to have struck a nerve because you are an insecure, angry, black, emasculating woman without a career. The only way for you to see his movies would be for a man to purchase a ticket for you.

    Your views stem from the ignorant Black women in our community who think they know everything and don’t know Jack. You can recognize them by their tattoos, blonde or multi-colored hair, weaves and multiple body piercings.

    • Stefanie Ritual

      ahhh you’re a toxic troll.

  • JustSayin

    I love and agree with, what I feel to be, the crux of your argument: only for you to condescendingly show no regard for their [Black women’s] valid concerns
    I know that ultimately, there are hurt feelings toward his lack of acknowledgement of our feelings, that’s clear. What I dislike is your strong language. ‘Disdain’ ?? Really?? I don’t know the man, but I imagine that that is the furthest thing from the truth. Now, ‘disregard,’ ‘inconsiderate,’ or ‘clumsy’ may have been more appropriate terms, in my opinion. It’s also interesting to note how his one ‘joke’ completely made up your mind about him, as if there is no redeeming him. I’m also so sure he received critiques which were in fact angry. Keeping this in mind, and Perry’s strong Christian background, it saddens me that he couldn’t read between angry lines and hear the hurt and feelings of being ignored. His letter/response WAS flippant. 

    Alas, I contend that he’s an executive/producer first and a Black person second. Money talks and bullshit walks and Kim K. is the star of the hour… I can’t say, as you affirm, that I will not support Perry’s films. His larger overarching messages of faith, forgiveness and Black culture will ultimately prevail.

    My prediction: the movie will gross million$$$$$

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for reading my post. My respoonse will be succicnt because I find much of the conversation to be futile. And a couple of the comments are disrespectful. I will say that it is obvious a few people did not read the entire letter or aren’t comprehending what they’ve read. In plain English I stated: “For the record, I could not care less about Perry casting Kim Kardashianfor the role.” The crux of my letter had very little to do w/Kim or the backlash he’s received because of it. Specifically my letter was about holding him accountable for his portrayal of black women and the condescending way he spoke to them in his letter. If you don’t believe he has issues w/black women, evident by his portrayal of us time and time again, then we disagree. Those commenting that black women are the stereotypes he portrays, I’d suggest you broaden your circle. It says more about you than black women if that’s all you think we are. Lastly, this one incident is not why I choose not to support TP. Again, I don’t care about Kim K. I don’t support him because his work is crap. I’ve never been a fan, The storylines are formulaic, cliched and all the same. He has no sense of character development. All of his works display tropes about black people. And the plot is simplistic. Most of his works I’ve seen have not been me paying money at the theater to support this coonery. His artistry needs work. Yes, there are bigger issues in the world we can fight. And I write, organize and volunteer in regards to those issues. My question is, why do you think black people can only fight one cause at a time? I can speak about police brutality and critique the images the media feeds the world about black people. The two aren’t mutually exclusive. As consumers, we have a right and should question those things that affect out image and how we’re viewed worldwide. Have a great weekend! Oh, y’all ride hard for Perry huh? LOL. I guess.

    • JustSayin

      LOL to that last point! Fair Enough. Much Respect! And KEEP WRITING!!! Discourse/discussion is always great to have. Happy Friday 🙂

    • Sankofa

      This is an interesting take on TP and the very same thing folks have been saying for a while.  I thought his controversy with Aaron McGruder must have rung true, hence his postion to not comment.   

    • Jacklag

      The irony in all of this is your letter did not have an angry tone but, “u sho is getting flack from some angry black women.”  Wise words were written, but like life in general very few people get it.

  • Guest

    This post has just been brought to my attention, and Ms. Viera, let me say this:  I am proud to call you sister and soror; You have said EXACTLY what I have been trying to say about this but did not possess the literary wherewithal to express in musings with various friends on Facebook, or verbally with those who have said I’m “hating,” or that I need to “get off my ‘educated high-horse’ and just support a brother.”  I found myself shouting “AMEN!” repeatedly, paragraph after paragraph.   Thank you, and I hope that Mr. Perry reads this and takes heed. 

  • Guest

    Ya’ll could be doing something more productive with your lives than dissing Perry, I’ve read all of yall’s comments and all I heard is blah blah blah, stop blowing all of this hot air and make something for yourself. Gosh! That’s why I hate haters all they do is critisize people who are doing something because they’re too lazy, afraid or uncreative to do something

    • Stefanie Ritual

      …then why waste your time on this board?
      you’re not reading the comments & you hate all the ‘haters’, so don’t you have something better to do?



  • Carol

    I really can’t add any more to waht the sister has said other than to say that Mr Tyler had been my hero but now that my eyes have been opened he is a zero in my book.  Not another dollar of mine will go into his pocket…maybe Kim can help him, she did RJ so maybe it’s his turn oh by the way   he is into women isn’t he.

  • Your analysis is so on the money! Thanks for putting the truth out!

  • C Solomon

    Ain’t I a woman?  Well, no I am not, however, as long as we are piling on, here is what I am mad about.  I wrote to the Tyler Perry Foundation, on two separate occasions, in behalves of H.O.P. The Outdoor Citizen’s Coalition of America, that is located in Silicon Valley California.  And neither time, did the organization receive the courtesy of a reply.  Why is that?  I constantly receive emails from him.  Hmm,  On behalves of all female outdoor citizens (homeless women),30% of outdoor citizens in our region in Northern California are female.  I am angry too!  

  • AD

    If Tyler Perry Tore The Doors Off His Closet And Stepped Out Honest And Truthful He Would Be A Much Happier Person……. Many Men Including Myself Have Had A Traumatic  Experience At The Hand Of A Man Or Woman…… However, This Does Not Give You The Right To Cluster All Black Women Into Your Stories And Paint Them As Negative Beings Because Of Your Terrible Experience You Endured As A Child……

    Lastly, This Is What Happens When Someone Like Oprah Winfrey Endorses Someone Like Tyler Perry…….. Make No Mistake About It…. I Love Oprah Winfrey And I Think Tyler Perry Is Very Gifted….. Just Disconnected From What He’s Doing Cause It Makes Him A Lot Of Money…….. At The Expense Of Our Beautiful Strong Diversely Different Women Of Color……..

    • Felicia

      Thank you for being honest and setting the record Straight!!!!!

  • Jessicawest79

    Wow I don’t see eye to eye w/ this at all. Instead of focusing on the negative, how about look at the positive. What about the mom in Madeas big happy family she was inspiring, I would only dream of being as strong and loving as the SINGLE mother in the family that preys. There’s quite a few amazing black women in what’s done in the dark. What’s wrong with having a lil faith that there r still good guys out there that r willing to break down the walls a lot of us woman have put up from past hurt. I am a single white mother and Tyler Perry’s movies and plays have inspired me so much to the point they helped me thru my own addiction. I love the comedy he brings in and feel it reaches a lot of the younger crowd too. I feel Tyler Perry is an amazing man and I love the power behind his words. The message I get is that men need to step up and be there for their children. What the times Madea helps these woman out of horrible relationships. Maybe it’s everything I’ve been thru in my life, that he really reaches me. And hellerrr we all know he’s kinda a smart a**. To be a Christian doesn’t mean you have to be what everyone thinks u should be, that’s why so many ppl turned away from it was the legalism, it matters where your heart is and a persons relationship with God is between them and God no one else. I feel really strong about this and hope Tyler Perry continues his ministry. He has my love and support. Sincerely a keepin it real colorblind single mother.

  • Guest

    If you all what to send a real message to Mr. TP use the mighty dollar, using this forum is pointless… we’ve become a society where money speaks more powerful than the “pen”.  Gone are the days where the pen is mightier then the sword…

  • “…People are specifically concerned about Kim’s role because many believe she lacks talent, therefore is undeserving of the role. ”

    Give me a break…

    BLACK WOMEN are UPSET because Kim Kardashian IS NOT “BLACK”, and that’s just the BOTTOM LINE.  There are PLENTY of people in Tyler Perry’s movies in both lead and supporting roles that lack talent (which, in addition to poor story lines, is why I don’t support his films).  But nobody says anything because THEY’RE BLACK.

    In any event, none of this matters anyway because Black women will forget all about this when the movie comes out.  They’ll be right up front with their popcorn and texting on their cell phones.

    • OMG

      I doubt that because majority of his cast is this movie are none-black.  KK out of all people.  Paris Hilton would have been a better selection.

  • Jaselena

    AMAZING! Good for you Happily concerned, I pray that the right people read this and boycott until we are portrayed accurately! God Bless you!

  • Sharonproducer

    Give me a break.. Writer you have made too much of this.   Tyler has a right to hire whomever he wants… I work in Hollywood and one good thing to know about Hollywood is it doesn’t work on talent.  So it doesn’t matter if Kim has talent or not.   There are many talentless people who are movie stars, models, managers and agents.  Hollywood works on fanbase…. and who you know.   Fanbase is brand and how many people know you.  And who you know is how connected you know.  Kim has a great fan base and she knows a lot of people.   Therefore that’s what got her the part bottom line.   I don’t think Tyler put women down by doing it or his letter.   I think we as black women need to be very thankful for what Tyler has done for black women.  He has hired many many women when others werent.   Even his directoring and producing for Colored Women was a coup…  So give him a break.   He is not the Champion of black women.  He has done his best but he is a film maker and a business man.

    • Leslie B.

      “I think we as black women need to be very thankful for what Tyler has done for black women.” 
      You’re delusional.  

      • Stefanie Ritual

        hey!  a bright spot of sanity on this board!

  • Lucindaealy

    Hit him with our pocketbooks! Thank you for the critique. It is long overdue and one of many.  Sisters, let’s support those films that tell stories that dignify the subject and audience. 

  • Sign the No More Kardashian petition at gopetition.com.

  • I don’t have the time to read all of the comments, but I am surprised by the anger and criticism leveled at TP. Since Bené expressed some disappointment at some commentators for not having read the original letter, I went for a read. Perhaps I’m biased, or maybe because I’m an African-American male I’m less sensitive, but I read his first paragraph as tongue-in-cheek. I mean, he clearly put several “LOLs” to indicate levity.

    So, I just stopped myself and read several more comments below, because it’s not my intention to anger anyone here or fuel the anger. The root issue seems to be that there were many upset about this movie’s casting, and it’s as if TP is responding in a way that isn’t taking his core audience’s concerns seriously–that’d he rather make a dumb stereotypical joke than listen. I can understand how someone would be offended when someone is joking and I’m upset. It’s like saying, “quit acting so white” or “don’t be so gay” at the expense of someone’s identity.

    Having said that, there’s something else going on even deeper here. There’s seems to be a  fundamentally philosophical premise that upsets Bené: that it’s unacceptable even to joke about black women in this way. She clearly expresses displeasure. It’s not about the Kim K issue. I ask everyone, here, and Bené, though…isn’t the whole history/tradition of black humor to make fun of ourselves? Our comedians make fun of all different groups, and stereotype people of all walks and colors all the time. I don’t know all of TP’s works, but most are rooted in black comedy, and black comedy has the particular characteristics of rehashing the same old tropes over and over. We here comedians throwing around the N word and making fun of “ig’nant” people, which is code for the poor or uneducated, and we laugh at these tropes. I think black humor has a tradition of mixing stereotype with humor because that’s what we’ve always fought against. We had to re-appropriate these words and images and laugh at them ourselves to move forward. Anyway, I don’t want to sound like an apologist for TP, but as a director/writer of comedic dramas, maybe he just thought he was being cute, and you know what, it wasn’t that cute. So, it’s a timing issue. There’s a right time and a wrong time, and I guess you just have to know when it’s the wrong time and keep your mouth shut. This was clearly the wrong time for Bené.

    So, my last question to everyone: I’ve not watched a single Ma’dea movie. The “stereotype” of a large black woman running around and beatin’ on people and screamin’ was never appealing to me. But, I’ve watched the one where they go up to the ski cabin with Janet, I’ve watched The Family that Preys with Kathy Bates and enjoyed both. I didn’t think the black women were negatively portrayed. All of them were professionals in the first one. Damn, who wouldn’t be angry if there husband was cheating on them? If the disgust is how she gets angry in the same ‘ol way, well, that again, in my mind, the way our black culture has historically told stories. We basically love hearing the same thing told slightly differently over and over again. It has been a source of unity for us culturally even though we really aren’t all the same. Are we supposed to stop making fun of ourselves?

    Lastly, no one here expects his films to be appealing to EVERY black person in America. To do so would be making us one big monolithic same-thinking black community–hook, line and sinker–that is exactly what the author is upset about above in the first place with this angry black women stereotype.

    Lastly, I just wanted to add that I think black women have an extremely positive image in the media in the USA–from Oprah to Michelle, to several women in Congress and leading business women. I think black women enjoy a far higher status in terms of representation than black men; and that gap is sadly widening.

    I guess I just thought I’d share some thoughts.

    • Stefanie Ritual

      the whole ‘make fun of yourself’ position might fly if he… say, made a mockery of black men.
      but he’s making fun of women – the people that black men are supposed to protect. 

      it’s nauseating.

  • I think this letter is good but misses some key points:

    1. TP has cast less than talented actor/actresses before. (I personally dont think Janet Jackson or Malik Yoba were good choices but thats my opinion) Hollywood movies are filled with talentless actors/actresses or people who act like they are talentless because there is $$$ to be made. (Paris Hilton is not as stupid as she seems)

    2. His demographic is primarily black women but he is beginning to draw a young multiethnic audience. As with any black entertainer, the goal is more money which means crossover.

    3. We seem to constantly to make the mistake of thinking that every Black artist holds his ethnic heritage first above the constraints of Hollywood. 

    Besides the writers offense at what she perceives as a slight on black women from TP, she is really making a moral argument about KK’s image and abilities.But the question becomes what is talent? There are actors/actresses who graduated from Yale drama school and some who were found working in a cafe. I get the impression that her critique is more about the culture of celebrity today. Put yourself on youtube long enough and you instantly can become a star. Get a reality show and you can become a star. But this does not mean you have talent.

    As stated above, TP has cast less than talented people before who are black. So my question is, was this always an issue for the writer or is it an issue now? If the latter is true, why now? It has always been an issue for me. Although I have seen a few TP movies, it is not a part of my regular diet. I support him in hiring black people and all but he does not receive my blind allegiance. 

    • Leslie B.

      “Besides the writers offense at what she perceives as a slight on black women from TP, she is really making a moral argument about KK’s image and abilities.” 
      No, that’s not what she’s saying. She said exactly what she meant. You don’t get to tell her what she’s making an argument about when it is spelled out for you in the letter. For some black women this is not about KK. It’s about the image he feeds the public about black women. 

  • Ashleycausey

    Interesting. It started off good, but lost itself around the 3rd paragraph. *sigh* If only people would have been boycotting and writing letters to white Hollywood years ago we wouldn’t be writing letters to Mr. perry. He’s damn if he do and damn if he don’t!

  • Chocoloate

    Bene…Brilliant.  THANK YOU!!!!  

  • Chocolate

    Bene…Brilliant.  THANK YOU!!!!

  • Stefanie Ritual

    i am not a fan of TP.  & never have denigrated his fans b/c i sympathized w/them:  we all want to see our lovely black faces onscreen.  however, i just spent time on another thread defending my right to my opinion/debating a TP fan who blanketed TP’s non-fans w/the statement:  “love all these people who think boys in tha hood is fine film…”  now that plays right along w/is the inverse of the fact that 1 year ago, his non-fans were by definition stuck-up. 

    i don’t blame TP’s fans for the fact that he needs to just go suck it.  i blame TP.  but i have always said this:  the fact that we do not allow one another real critique is going to bite us in the ass.

    & now, TP has borne this prophesy out for me:  he has no respect for his fans…

    & never did. 

    that, i blame his fans for:  for taking what they have been given as opposed to what they demand;  for letting this charlatan insult their intelligence; for refusing to critique their own – they made this bed.  let them lie in it.

  • “In countless interviews you claim your critics miss the message in your
    films. I’d argue the message is very clear. Forgiveness, love, trust and
    family are great stories of morality. The other half of the message in
    your films is that black women need a man to save them from themselves.
    Black women are incapable of being happy. Black women
    are angry. Black
    women are downtrodden. Black women are many things, but positive they
    are not. ”

    The above quote was a mouthful.

  • I will also add, that the black media (the mike baisdens, Steve Harvey’s and the latest Richards Banks, have found that black women are a market to be profited from.  Unfortunately, too many black women flock to these mens for answers to questions they help create with the images they promote of black women.

    • Hjkkf

      You are so right, i have listen to mike baisdens, steve harvey and i don’t know why women listen to them and/or buy their books,etc. Because all they are doing is glamorizing their womanizing ways that they have treated black women in their lives. I refuse to listen to their shows, buy there books, my silly co-worker listen to it every day. 

    • I don’t Know about this Tyler

      And then they’ll leave your a$$ for a white girl…

  • GK

    I was one of those black people who looked down on TP’s brand of theater. Being a struggling black actor, I wanted ‘white’ show business – meaning for me, high quality roles in high quality productions. I am much older now. I realize high quality anything is rare for anyone. Show business caters to the least common denominator. And that is where I began to change my opinion on TP. Years ago my mom went to one of his “Broadway plays”. She came home with a souvenir program that was quite impressive. I thought it would be some xeroxed copy crap. It wasn’t. It may have been a small thing, but it left an impression.

    I’ve seen his plays on video. They are a bit much. I do not like them. I saw Diary of A Mad Black Woman, his first feature film. I saw it mostly because of Kimberly Elise. She is known for giving amazing performances is subpar films. She delivered. She is an actress. Why should she pay for Hollywood’s lack of good roles? I feel if it were not for Madea, Diary would have been a good film. I would say that is my main complaint about Perry. He mixes genres. But the fact that he was able to make that film was and is a big deal.

    He has issues with Black women. Fine. I would say Black women have issues with Black men. I sat through The Color Purple, Women of Brewster Place, Monster’s Ball, What’s Love Got To Do With It. Movies are about conflict. I don’t know how you are going to sit through a movie where Black men and women are being nice to each other. There has to be a hero, villain and some obstacle that has to be overcome. And I think TP has far more respect for Black women than the rap community – which for some reason Black women ALWAYS defend.

    I don’t think the messages of his movies is that Black women need to be saved by a Black man. People want to see a romance. They want to see good looking people coming together. The television show, Girlfriends constantly dealt with women finding a mate. So did Sex and the City. Nobody needs a man. But I’m a man who’s is secure – I need a mate. I won’t die if I don’t have one. But when I don’t have one – it’s all I think about. It’s called being human.

    I’ve seen my fair share of TP films. I think I’m a pretty good judge quality. I keep waiting to see something bad or cringe-worthy and I don’t. I can live without Madea. But the Why Did I Get Married movies weren’t bad. The Family That Preys had great performances. I thought I was going to hate For Colored Girls..And I didn’t. I see good looking actors, great performances, great sets. I see the quality. And furthermore as an actor, I see Black people playing parts Whites are NEVER going to let us play.

    But the thing that solidified everything for me was his movie studio in Atlanta. In a hundred years of films, NO ONE has ever been able to build a Black movie studio the size of TP’s. Now, he is either an exceptional artist and businessman or there is something very wrong with us as a race of people.

    No artist is above being critiqued but I just think until things are equal we have to look at the big picture. It has to be visibility at any cost. You don’t need him to tell your story? Fine. If TP is able to tell his story today, you will be able to tell yours tomorrow. It takes money to tell a story. I put up with rap and hip/hop because in the end, it put Blacks on the screen. And for the record, Spike Lee AINT gonna tell a Black woman’s story.

    TP is not a deity. He cannot be all things to everyone. When it comes to TP, everyone acts as if they are reading Shakespeare in their spare time. You want to boycott his films? That is your choice. However, you are a journalist. You should cover his work objectively. Tyler Perry is not Idi Amin or Pol Pot. And I just find it fascinating what we as Blacks will boycott and what we will put up with.

    • Beautiful2

      “No artist is above being critiqued but I just think until things are equal we have to look at the big picture. It has to be visibility at any cost. You don’t need him to tell your story? Fine. If TP is able to tell his story today, you will be able to tell yours tomorrow. It takes money to tell a story. I put up with rap and hip/hop because in the end, it put Blacks on the screen. And for the record, Spike Lee AINT gonna tell a Black woman’s story.”

      Great Post.

      The paragraph above says it all.

    • Sylvia Alston

      Great post….you gave me so many additional things to consider…..

  • Pennipadgett

    I would like to address Tyler Perry and all so called actress in television and cinema across the nation please start your portrayals of black women with more class. I get physically sick when I watch BLACK women with weaves, fake nails and hair. Start loving the person god made you into not your ideas of what white women look like. The show basketball wives are sickening and degrading to black women everywhere. I have plenty of friends who’s husbands were professional players and there wives had far more class.

  • Trisha

    Excellent, pure Excellence, very well written.  And I thought I was the only one that saw the films this way. 

  • Ladybleu1920

    A to the MEN!  Well Said Bené!

  • Bittaloki300Ann

    Some people like it and others don’t. Show us something different. Make us laugh, make us cry. It’s entertainment. I love Spike Lee’s work; however I love Tyler Perry as well. Wouldn’t it be great if they collaborated? We could get the better of two worlds and they both would still get paid. That’s the (bottom line)… getting paid. Who are they marketing too? See I used that word marketing… they are selling something. Tyler has made millions selling something; Spike has made millions selling something, Oprah, Ellen, Steven S. and Steven K. … all selling something. I love Gone with the Wind… the romance. Yes am a black woman. When my children were younger they wanted to listen to rap music and R&B but I was and am a gospel type of mom… most of the time. Until they were old enough to understand what the rappers were selling … they couldn’t listen. I hope they learned to distinguish between things that elevate and inspire as opposed to things that degrade and tear down. I tried to teach them it’s not so much about what’s being sold … but if you are dumb enough to buy into it. Let’s educate our people. Putting it and keeping it all in perspective. I am buying TP’s next movie and if Spike comes out with something I will be there as well. Give us a new perspective.

  • Ann

    Some people like it and others don’t. Show us something different. Make us laugh, make us cry. It’s entertainment. I love Spike Lee’s work; however I love Tyler Perry as well. Wouldn’t it be great if they collaborated? We could get the better of two worlds and they both would still get paid. That’s the (bottom line)… getting paid. Who are they marketing too? See I used that word marketing… they are selling something. Tyler has made millions selling something; Spike has made millions selling something, Oprah, Ellen, Steven S. and Steven K. … all selling something. I love Gone with the Wind… the romance. Yes am a black woman. When my children were younger they wanted to listen to rap music and R&B but I was and am a gospel type of mom… most of the time. Until they were old enough to understand what the rappers were selling … they couldn’t listen. I hope they learned to distinguish between things that elevate and inspire as opposed to things that degrade and tear down. I tried to teach them it’s not so much about what’s being sold … but if you are dumb enough to buy into it. Let’s educate our people. Putting it and keeping it all in perspective. I am buying TP’s next movie and if Spike comes out with something I will be there as well. Give us a new perspective.

  • Phae44

    What I don’t understand is why everyone is making such a big deal out of all of this. First of all he can cast anyone he wants PERIOD. It’s his money and his film point blank! As for Kim she hasn’t done anything to anyone. She opened up her life to the world for the world to see if you don’t like it don’t watch. As for her being a role model for young girls well she has done a lot of good things, but everyone is so focused on her mistakes. I must say I am a mother of 3 girls and Kim is not one of the women they look up to. They look up to me, my mother and the women that affect their lives. Everyone is so wrapped up with being so negative about other people. That’s what is wrong with this world Tyler Perry has a job to do and money to make and he is doing it leave him alone and quit trying to knock a brother down. As for Kim leave her alone too. Their are so many other things people can be talking about. My 7yr old daughter is in the hospital as we speak recieving chemo and getting ready to have a bone marrow now go talk about that! Kim helped a girl make a wish that had cancer talk about that. Tyler Perry has donated to cancer patients and hospitals talk about that! Wow people don’t realize how un-important some things are. Your worried about Tyler and Kim and I am worried about my child. God be with you

    • Beautiful2

      Well stated.

      Praying for your daughter. God Bless.

    • Baby_nurse

      I think she stated pretty clearly that she has no issue with Tyler casting Kim K (and whomever else he wants) in his films. The issue is this man’s stereotypical portrayal of black women in his films. And I couldn’t agree more. I rejoice at all of Tyler Perry’s success and whole-hearted applaud his charitable contributions, but that’s about the extent of my support. It’s unfortunate that your child is going through chemo and I pray for a full, expedient recovery, but you missed the point of this letter.

    • I don’t know about this Tyler

      In all honesty, you are worried about Tyler Perry, as well because you took the time to respond and defend a position that no one disagrees with. It is his money and it is his choice; however, his fans have money and choices as well–and expressing her opinion is one of them. After I read the email from Tyler, I deleted it. I didn’t spend much time analyzing it. It was funny, but in my mind I had already made up that I wouldn’t rush out to see any more of his movies after the last Madea movie–a bunch of screaming and Madea running into buildings and the infamous Byrrrraaaaaaaaaannnn (really?). I can’t even remember the real point of the movie–you?

      I’ll wait…

      Anyway, best wishes to your daughter, because you being there for her is much bigger than Tyler Perry. God be with you.

  • Help those of us that are trying to write, produce and direct “different” stories of our ppl…I am an African American woman in my 30s who is trying to get to the top as a playwright, actress and vocalist, but when you try to show another side of life; it’s hard to go up against the “big dogs” like Perry…who’s willing to support the underdogs like myself?  

    IF YOU WANT TO SEE “US” IN A DIFFERENT LIGHT, reply to this message! ;0)

  • beautiful2

    Bene Viera doesn’t speak for me NOR m illions of other black women. 
    I for one, will be seated at a theater near me to see The Marriage Counselor.  Yes, Kim Kardashian’s CAMEO will attract possibly m illions of new Tyler Perry fans.
    Let’s be honest, this isn’t just about HOW Ms. Viera believes Perry portrays black women.  I’d be willing to bet she would not have written this “open” letter had Perry chosen a more qualified actress for Kardashian’s role. 
    Ms. Viera, has to learn movies are movies, they are primarily made to be e ntertaining and to make m oney, sometimes it is NOT about talent but all about appearances.

    CAMEOS sometimes draw more audiences than seasoned talent.  Tyler Perry is well aware of this. 
    Case Closed.

  • Vfrobinsonii


  • Pcorneliabland

    I too am very confused as to why he would invite Kim K. to star in one of his movies.  Black men seem to flock to her and she uses them and moves on to the next one.  When will they learn?  I guess Tyler is no different.

  • Well as a Black Woman I am not a fan of any of the chittlin’ circuit plays…nor do I care whom he has cast in his film, however, I have always had an issue with how he has portrayed sistahs! IMO, it has always looked like a man with his foot on a sistashs neck, which is very disturbing to me…that is why I was pretty much done with him & his movies 6 films ago…oh and for the record I cannot even stomach House of Payne or Meet The Browns…

  • carmenj

    Bene, this is very well written. It’s not so much the issue with casting Kim, but to disrespect his main audience, black women, in his letter was uneccessary. Thanks for the great read! 🙂

  • Scarlett

    I am MORE offended by shows like Basketball wives, because those are real people, acting a damn fool!  What Tyler does is fiction.  Now that’s some stereotypical MESS! THAT is embarrassing, THAT is degrading. And a Black woman (Hello former Mrs. Shaq) is producing that crap!

  • Keeping It Real

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU Bene, truth is always hard to take when it regards a family member. You are correct in that this is not a roll model we need to up hold to our girls. I love Tyler’s work and he has made some tremendous strides, until this latest fiasco. This was a betryal to all women not just black women. What Mother Black, White, Brown or Yellow sees this woman as a role model, or some one that needs to be placed on the silver screen “so she can be forgiven by God”. Give me a break. Talk about black wome being bitch slapped again, this is truly that bitch slap into next week.

  • Keisha

    Reluctatlly, AMEN!!!!!!

  • Sirready

    Tyler Perry’s letter was written to the females who wrote letters to him regarding his decision to cast Kim Kardashian.  And I guarantee you the majority of those letters werent as eloquent as yours and did display the “attitudinal, loud, angry and violent” undertones you consider only to be stereotypes.  While you may disagree with how Kim came to be famous, the fact remains she is famous and casting her is, as you stated, “a great business move.”  I dont follow Kim, but from what I have seen of her, she projects nothing but positivity.  Its also amazing to me that out of all the movies you listed, you only noticed the “angry black women” as if there werent positive black females.  In my eyes, some of the “angry black women” were actually strong black women who were going thru a tough situation and came out even stronger.  While you may not be able to see yourself in any of his films, I truly believe a large majority of black women either see themselves or situations they have been in…. and after watching the movie feel better about themselves and what they may be going thru.  And that is the main reason women of all races, upbringings, and backgrounds will continue to flock to theatres upon release of his movies.  While I disagree with you, i do appreciate the topic of discussion.  Thanks…

  • Speak! Tyler Perry is a joke whose only concern is lining his own pockets. I applauded the fact that he is hiring black actors but look at the roles they must play. What we need are MORE BLACK WOMEN behind the cameras and writing the scripts. Black women from all walks of life and not some black man who puts on a dress and fake boobs and touting a gun.

  • Anonymous

    I have never been a Tyler Perry fan and wouldn’t spend another dime to see his movies.  She hit the nail “dead on”.

  • CocoaDiva

    I blogged about this topic awhile back. I could care less about Kim K. I whole heatedly agree with the author. Tyler Perry is the only black film producer consistently making films in the game. I highly take personal offense to what he shows our daughters. That all black women are incapable of love, are attitudinal, emasculators, negative, don’t care about family, loud talking, finger snapping, non church going, need a man to save us women. He is showing my unborn child and siblings that we are incapable of raising a happy health and loving black family. we aren’t all prostitutes, drug addicts, or successful ( read evil) black women.

    Where are the negative male images? I can’t with him. Do better Tyler Perry or witness the full extinction of the black family.

  • You sound angry to me… dang… SMH

  • Miss B

    Bene, As a college educated BS & MS, 47 year old mother of three.  I agree with your letter 100%. I to will not be seeing the Marriage Counselor, it has nothing to do with hate it is about pride.  I am tired of the AWB (angry black woman) stereotype. I am proud of Tyler’s success, I would have thought by now he would have started to make movies with more substance.  It is sad that is is taking our intelligence for granted, I am sorry he is no Spike Lee by any means.  Yes there is room for them both but Tyler enough is enough.

  • truthgirl

    Im so tired of people having a “Dear Tyler Perry” moment. Listen. let me say this for EVERYBODY!!! Tyler Perry can do what the HELL HE WANTS TO DO. At the end of the day you go to your front door lock it and do WHAT THE HELL YOU WANT TO DO? Everybody has to see GOD FOR THEMSELVES, You can blame Tyler Perry  all you want, but at the end of the day, WHATEVER GOD SAYS OFFENDED HIM, IS THE ONLY THING THAT MATTER. This world and the BS in it is only here TEMPORARY. Focus your eyes on things YOU CAN CHANGE, other than someone WHO YOU CANT. Im so sick of us black women allllllllllways having something to say about something they have no control over. But its a nation wide story about kids being bullied and then killing themselves ( help with that) Leave all this Tyler Perry stuff to God…. this/he is NOT your battle. Then people say…. Tyler Perry sets us back, MF YOU SET YOURSELF BACK, YOUR HANDS AND YOUR THOUGHTS!!! LET ME ASK YOU THIS….. is your aunt being beat, or your best friend having too any kids without a husband, did you finish college yet, are youre nieces on fb half necked, what are you tweeting that hurst others. There are tooo many things to do than to “DEAR TYLER PERRY”….

  • Ajames217

    Tyler Perry is the latest incarnation of the white men who wrote the minstrel shows in the early 20th century. Bene thank you for writing this letter. You stated the truth about Mr. Perry and those who don’t like it are wearing blinders.

  • Child, Please!

    @Bene:twitter Thank you for this posting.  Dead-on.  SO true!

  • guesthere

    About your thoughts about black women being loud, attitudinal , angry and violent. I work at subway in Alabama. 90% of our customers are black. And 95% of the women that come in there hv all those traits. They are LOUD. they are ATTITUDINAL . The are ANGRY . AND SUPER RUDE. Working there has made me realize if someone says anything negative about black women , it s probably because its true.

  • If you don’t like what’s being served, don’t eat it- learn how to cook.

  • Scarlet


  • Loved this. You nailed it.

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