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.