Madea’s Big Unhappy Beef With Spike Lee.

Should a good Christian crossdresser be telling someone to "go to hell?"

Filed under the category of “Why you bringin’ up old stuff?”  Tyler Perry took advantage of a press conference for his latest magnum opus, Madea’s Big Happy Family to resurrect a two-year-old beef with Spike Lee over comments Lee had made about Perry’s films being full of  “coonery and buffoonery.”  Which they are, but that’s beside the point.  Here’s what Tyler’s point was in response to a question about his least favorite tormentor:

“I’m so sick of hearing about damn Spike Lee. 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 talking about black people going to see movies. This is what he said: ‘you vote by what you see,’ as if black people don’t know what they want to see.” 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!”

“I’ve never seen Jewish people attack Seinfeld and say ‘this is a stereotype,’ I’ve never seen Italian people attack The Sopranos, I’ve never seen Jewish people complaining about Mrs. Doubtfire or Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie. I never saw it. It’s always black people, and this is something that I cannot undo. Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois went through the exact same thing; Langston Hughes said that Zora Neale Hurston, the woman who wrote Their Eyes Were Watching God, was a new version of the ‘darkie’ because she spoke in a southern dialect and a Southern tone. And I’m sick of it from us; we don’t have to worry about anybody else trying to destroy us and take shots because we do it to ourselves.”

What, this mess again?   Tyler, didn’t you get this out of your system when you went on 60 Minutes and tried to tear Spike a new one?   Let it go, bro!   If he needs to shut the hell up, you need to get over yourself. 

Isn’t  it bad enough the guy who dresses up as a 300-lb drag queen just equated himself with Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. DuBois, Langston Huges and Zora Neale Hurston, (never mind Tony Soprano, Robin Williams and Dustin Hoffman)?

It’s an established fact I do not like Tyler Perry movies. I don’t like Adam Sandler and Twilight movies either, but I would never think of imposing my tastes upon anyone that does. 

I do like Spike Lee movies, but not every Spike Lee joint is a good one.  Malcolm X, Jungle Fever, Get On the Bus, Do the Right Thing and School Daze are.  Girl 6, Crooklyn, ‘Mo Better Blues, Miracle at St. Anna and Summer of Sam are not.  Bamboozled is mostly bad slightly redeemed by moments of piercing insight.  Clockers is underrated.  Inside Man proved Lee could make a solid, if routine, bit of Hollywood entertainment.  Some of his documentaries like 4 Little Girls are brilliant.  She Hate Me is one of the worst films a critically acclaimed director has ever made.

Spike has made his share of lousy movies.  Has Tyler made any that wasn’t? 

Spike should be confident enough to know his body of work blows away everything in catalog of Tyler’s eye-rolling, Negro foolishness.   Tyler should be swaggering in the fact he’s the only Black director in the business with enough juice he doesn’t have to go begging to the studios for a buck before he can make a movie.  Spike hasn’t made a good movie in years, but Tyler’s still looking to make his first one.

Spike needs to get his groove back.  Tyler has the bigger problem. He needs to find one.

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9 thoughts on “Madea’s Big Unhappy Beef With Spike Lee.

  1. Jeff, just out of curiosity, why didn’t you like Crooklyn? Also, I didn’t mention his two films on Katrina, which were great. Those proved he has his ‘groove’ in check.

    @datGurl! Is Spike jealous? Possibly but more than anything I think he’s disappointed and deeply frustrated that Black people goes to see what many people think are poorly made films in droves. Perry is heavy handed and a lot of his characters lack development. The plot lines in his films are predictable and stereotypical. I can go on but I won’t.

    One thing I noticed about Perry is that he doesn’t know how handle criticism. He needs to change that. Quick!

    • Oh, I don’t know Michelle. I guess I found Crooklyn a little too sit-com in its premise. I know Spike was trying to make a small and intimate movie about his childhood, but I just wasn’t drawn into his world. Plus, the character played by Alfre Woodard was so angry and impatient she was hard to warm up to.

      It’s just a second-rate Spike Lee joint like Girl 6 or Bamboozled. Even Spike can succumb to the gravity of mediocrity.

  2. Personally I would like to see more from both of them.

    Jeff, I enjoy Madea, she reminds me of woman I knew as a child. It’s mostly jokes… Why can’t we laugh at ourselves without it being “coonery”.

    BOTH of these men work hard and give back.

    Spike and Perry need to concentrate on their crafts and quit outwardly battling over dumb shit, it’s as if we’re always on some slum shit.

    I go to Perry for laughs and Spike for more dramatic flicks. Why does one of them have to be clearly better than the other? They both have something to offer.

    I do not keep up with celebrity news and so this conflict is new news to me. It’s sad in a way … I prefer when we, the Black community, are showing more visible signs of unity and empowerment rather than negative judgments.

    What happen to “If you ain’t got sumthin’ nice to say, don’t say shit at all”?

    I’m juz sayin’ 😉

    • Ms. Adams, glad to have your input.

      I’m of two minds here. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask for Tyler Perry to do something more ambitious than wallowing in broad stereotypes about pistol packin’, Bible thumpin’, droppin’ your “G’s” big mamas. Someone said. “Tyler Perry is a license to print money minus any quality control.” I think that’s true and we sometimes get the “art” we deserve when we don’t demand our artists aim higher than the cheapest and easiest laughs. Perry has shown he knows his market, cater to his niche and be successful at doing so. But is that all he’s got to bring to the party?

      I really don’t think he should be beefing with Spike over something he said two years ago. You’re already the taller man, Tyler. Be the bigger man and get over it already. If he wants to start a beef he should go after Aaron McGruder of The Boondocks who all but called him out as not just a Uncle Tom, but a closeted homosexual. Now there’s something to get irate about!

      I believe in the unity of the Black community, Alisha, but unity doesn’t mean groupthink. We should be free to criticize each other without feeling we are hanging out the dirty laundry of the entire race for the world to see. Not to mention, what’s wrong with Tyler or Spike picking up the phone and saying privately, “Hey man, can’t we find a way to work all this out without all the drama?”

      What happened to “if you ain’t got sumthin’ nice to say, don’t say shit at all?” Nothing. It just usually trails behind, “You talkin’ to me?” 😡

      • I hear you loud and clear Jeff. You make excellent points. Yes give us better, I agree! As well you are correct in calling it out that “We should be free to criticize each other without feeling we are hanging out the dirty laundry of the entire race” … Indeed, I am over-protective. 😉

  3. Wha is wrong with u jeff….tyler perry is hilarious…but I don’t like his shows on tbs….just his movies…lmao
    Spike lee movies are not so good….I only like crooklyn and love of basketabll…I stop watching his movies after “miracle at st. Anna.” I had high expectations from previews but left toward the middle of movie out of theater….boooooo

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