Tyler Perry directly addressed Spike Lee’s frequent criticism of the content of Perry’s films during a recent interview, dismissing Lee’s critique that his films pander to the lowest common denominator in audiences.
Perry complained about Lee’s attacks on other celebrities in the lengthy rant, basically labeling Lee an across the board hater:
“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 – he talked about Whoopi, he talked about Oprah, he talked about me, he talked about Clint Eastwood. Spike needs to shut the hell up!”
Perry continued, grandiose in his comparisons even if his point is understandable:
“This is where the whole Spike Lee [thing] comes from – the negativity, this is Stepin Fetchit, this is coonery, this is buffoonery, and they try to get people to get on this bandwagon with them, to get this mob mentality to come against what I’m doing. 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.”
Uh, actually, even Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito complained about the stereotypes on The Sopranos, Tyler. Lee wasn’t the entire focus of the interview, and you can read it in its entirety over at the Wall Street Journal. Are you a fan of Tyler Perry’s work, or is Spike Lee’s assessment closer to your opinion on Perry’s films?