There aren’t many media moguls who have done more for black actors than Tyler Perry.
The soft-spoken creator is the driving force behind a series of movies and TV shows featuring predominantly black casts: The “Medea” franchise, which continues this fall with “Boo! A Madea Halloween”; TV’s “The Haves and the Have Nots”; “If Loving You Is Wrong,”; “Love Thy Neighbor”; and “For Better or Worse.”
Dozens of people of color can thank Perry for their livelihoods. And more will thank him soon enough. He’s a content machine who apparently has no plans of slowing down.
It isn’t enough for some social critics.
Perry’s new series, TLC’s “Too Close to Home,” features a predominantly white cast. That set off some of Perry’s fans on social media, who railed against him for hiring so many non-black stars for his latest TV showcase.
Did that cause him to reconsider? Reflect on what he might have done wrong?
No. He wasn’t having any of it.
Caught off guard by a TMZ reporter (what else is new?), the mogul didn’t mince words about his new show or the casting decisions behind it.
“Are you really asking me about that?” Perry laughed at first. Perhaps he doesn’t fully grasp how SJW culture operates in 2016.
He quickly gathered his righteous indignation and fired away.
“It’s so ridiculous. People are people … if you write a story about a woman and a man who is having pain and issues and they’re trying to get over things, it’s the same for a black person as a white person … people need to let all that go,” Perry told the reporter.
In short, he didn’t budge an inch.
Casting controversies are the norm these days. Matt Damon’s upcoming film set around the Great Wall of China similarly sparked outrage. So did hiring Christian Bale and other white actors in “Exodus: Gods and Kings.”
Criticism isn’t new for Perry, though.
Over the years, Perry has been targeted by cultural critics for other issues. Some, like Spike Lee, say Perry’s body of work is problematic. In a 2009 interview, Lee dubbed Perry comedies “troubling,” because its black characters stereotype real black Americans.
Perry isn’t in the fence-mending mood these days. He clearly knows what he has meant to black actors, particularly at a time when the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag is still fresh in mind.
He has nothing to apologize about.