Well another Tyler Perry movie is out and there will be, of course, his usual supporters and naysayers arguing over the merits or lack thereof of his movies (And for the record let me say that I think he’s a bad filmmaker. But I think Michael Bay is too, but no one will jump on me for saying that.) Yet I can’t think of another filmmaker who creates more talk or controversy than TP.
Not Lars Von Trier. Not Eli Roth. And not even Tom Six. Nobody gets people more riled up than Tyler.
Then again he has his die hard supporters who get equally riled up when someone dares to even say even the slightest negative syllable about him. For those people Tyler can literally walk on water. But exactly two and half years ago on S & A (time flies doesn’t it?) I posed the question about why his supporters were so do-or-die for him.
Spike Lee makes a bad movie, very few will rush to his defense. But say Perry’s latest film isn’t good and they want to burn your house down.
As I said in that earlier article, many people have a very intense devotion to Perry. They “love him firecely no matter what and are blind to his faults. Yeah I know he hires black people and makes a lot of money…)
Well practically every black filmmaker hires black people, in front of and behind the camera, too. I don’t know of single one who doesn’t. But they don’t get any praise for it like Perry. Why does he get all the credit?
And as for making a lot of money, so does Aliko Dangote, but I’ve never heard anyone even once praising him. Who’s Dangote you ask? He’s the currently richest black person on the planet worth somewhere close to $15 billion and you think that people would be talking all the time about him and all the money he’s making. But nope.
But as I stated in my earlier piece I suspect that there’s something else going on here. And it’s not just about his movies and that’s because he’s “one of us”.
As I elaborated: “by that I mean he’s just regular folks. He’s not particulary artistic or gifted in any way, but he’s a success inspite of himself and his background. Everybody knows his story. Grew up poor, abused as a kid, lived in car for while, started off doing plays, worked hard and hustled despite everyone telling him he couldn’t do it. You know “one of us’.
I have a feeling that a lot of people look at him and say to themsleves that maybe if I had better parents, maybe if my father was around, maybe if if I had just a little bit of luck, maybe if I hadn’t hung around those losers for so long, maybe if I had stayed away from drugs, maybe if I had studied instead of spending most of the time staying out of school, maybe if I didn’t believe those people when they told me that I wouldn’t amount to anything, maybe if I had just believed in myself, then maybe I would be where Perry is right now.
So in effect when people get defensive about him and get upset with his critics when they go after him they are, in effect, saying that they are attacking them and their hopes and dreams. But that doesn’t mean that the criticisms against him will stop anytime.
However I also said that I suspected “that if he was a brillant director from the outset, a star film student at NYU or UCLA, winning acclaim at the Cannes Film Festival or Sundance for his first film, on the cover of Sight and Sound, Film Comment and Empire, someone who just razzled and dazzled you with every new film like Quentin Taratnino or Martin Scorsese, I suspect that a lot of black people would respect him, but not necessarily love him. And there wouldn’t be such an intense defense of him every time somebody critized him. In other words, he wouldn’t be one of us anymore. Instead he’s somebody special, extraordinary and brilliant and that we couldn’t relate to.“
Well that’s the only theory I could come up with. But if you’ve got a better one, let’s hear it.