UPDATE: Lee Bailey at EURWeb was also present for the below press conference, with his tape recorder in tow, thankfully; so you can actually hear it all instead of just reading the words:
Box Office Magazine reports that in a recent interview, Tyler Perry, who has commented on the subject a few times before, was prompted to share a few more words about Spike Lee and his “coonery” comments. And he wants us to know, it’s not off the record:
“I’m so sick of hearing about damn Spike Lee,” Perry said during a press conference Tuesday in Beverly Hills, Calif. “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.”
And Perry is not just sticking up for himself, but for others in the business that, according to Perry, has gotten unfair admonishment from Lee:
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!
He goes on to express his disappointment in the black-on-black criticism:
“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.”
Read the entire interview here.
So we’ve talked about Tyler Perry Vs. Spike Lee feud a couple times before, but in light of these recent comments from Perry; does he have a point? Should black filmmakers refrain from criticizing other black filmmakers? Is Spike Lee right to make his criticisms of Perry public in order to distance himself from what he feels are negative portrayals of black people? Or is it okay for a filmmaker to criticize another filmmaker publicly, as long as one doesn’t implicate the filmmaker’s race or culture? Weigh in.