‘It’s about telling a story’ – Tyler Perry denies exploiting pain of black women to make money

Francis Akhalbey January 22, 2020
Tyler Perry has denied he exploits the pain of black women to make money in his films -- Photo via @tylerperry on Instagram

Tyler Perry has made a name for himself as a seasoned producer, writer and actor whose movies usually appeal to his African American audience. With a career spanning over three decades, one criticism he can’t seem to shake off is his alleged exploitation of the pain of black women to make money in most of his films.

Those accusations once again resurfaced after the premiere of his latest movie, A Fall From Grace, whose plot focuses on a black woman, who is indicted for the murder of her husband.

Speaking to the New York Post during the movie premiere, the Diary of a Mad Black Woman producer debunked those allegations, claiming his emphasis on the pain of black women in his movies is as a result of the abuse meted out to his mother by his father, which he witnessed while growing up.

“I’m always trying to send a message that you don’t have to deal with this s–t,” he said. “It’s not about making money off of a woman’s pain — it is about telling a story. And I wish that people, especially black women, would get off the fact of saying, ‘Oh, he’s making money off of black women.’”

The 50-year-old’s attempt at setting the records straight comes in the wake of a recent criticism. Perry was called out for not having a writers room after he shared scripts on Twitter with his name on all of them and then went ahead to brag that he was the sole writer for all his projects.

“So, I don’t know if you know this, but all shows on television have a writers room,” he said in the video. “Most of the time, there are 10 people or 12 or whatever that write on these television shows. Well, I have no writers room. Nobody writes any of my work. I write it all. Why am I telling you this? I wrote all of these scripts by myself in 2019. Work ethic!”

With his non-preference of a writers room not sitting down well with a section of people, he subsequently explained why he doesn’t have one in an interview with Level.

“At the time, I had a bunch of writers who were nonunion, and I was unhappy with every single script they wrote. They were not speaking to the voice. They just didn’t get it. There was a Black woman lawyer I was negotiating with to get WGA [Writers Guild of America] writers on my show. I told her, ‘I can’t afford to pay those rates that every other studio pays. I need to structure differently.’ It looked like the deal was going to go through so I fired the four writers and prepared to hire new writers through the WGA,” he said.

“Now we’re a WGA show and I’m paying WGA rates. Scripts they’re turning in? Ratings are going down. So now I have to go in and give notes on how to rewrite them. And if I still don’t like it, I have to pay them again for another rewrite. At one point, I thought they were submitting scripts that would need rewrites in order to get paid multiple times. And these are Black people,” he added.

Last Edited by:Kent Mensah Updated: January 22, 2020


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