City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Tyler Perry, responding to Spike Lee’s critique, to be profiled on ‘60 Minutes’ this Sunday


Atlanta’s Tyler Perry responds to attacks by Morehouse grad Spike Lee about Perry’s TV sitcoms in an interview with “60 Minutes” this Sunday at 7 p.m. (Often, NFL football games go past 7 p.m. so the profile may run late.)

In an interview earlier this year, Lee attacked Perry’s two cable television sitcoms about black families, saying “I think there’s a lot of stuff out today that is coonery and buffoonery,” referring directly to Perry’s TBS programs “Meet the Browns” and “House of Payne.” “I’m scratching my head. We’ve got a black president. Are we going back?” asks Lee.

Who's right? Tyler Perry or Spike Lee?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Says Perry, “You know, that pisses me off. It really does. Because it’s so insulting. It’s attitudes like that that make Hollywood think that these people do not exist and that’s why there’s no material speaking to them,” he tells Pitts. “I would love to read that to my fan base.”

Spike Lee

It’s been a debate among Perry fans and foes for the past couple of years. Do his shows affirm God, love, faith and forgiveness or simply perpetuate stereotypes. (Or both?) And then there’s a more mundane debate: are the shows actually funny?

Check out a video preview here.

41 comments Add your comment


October 22nd, 2009
7:44 pm

Tyler Perry shows are embarrassing. Nuff said.


October 22nd, 2009
9:51 pm

now i’m gonna respectfully disagree with Buzz here – and keep in mind that Tyler Perry is NOT really my cup of tea, but i like the theme of his shows and movies – that ‘i am not a victim’ — clearly at the center of his movie ‘Madea Goes To Jail’. yes his characters can be silly, but as far as his sitcoms go, i mean — normal characters would be boring. sitcoms have made fools of regular folk, black AND white since TV began. I respect him because he saw an underappreciated audience, good christian black folks who go to church on sunday and — guess what? they go to movies as well. good job, tyler perry

Maroon '05

October 23rd, 2009
8:46 am

I have the utmost respect for T. Perry. I think he’s incredibly talented and I love how he marches to the beat of his own drum, but I also feel the same way about Spike Lee.

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t really like ‘Meet the Browns’ or ‘House of Payne,’ but as a Christian I LOVE how he unabashedly affirms God, love, faith and forgiveness in his projects. I also love how he portrays WHOLE black families that actually love one another. Outside of ‘Everybody Hates Chris,’ I can’t think of anyone else in Hollywood that’s doing that.

However, I must admit that ‘Meet the Browns’ does come off as slapstick at times and that’s a big reason why I’ve never been able to get into it. And also, not all black parents (mothers in particular) are short and overweight. There isn’t anything wrong with portraying that, but I’ve seen that far too often (not just in Mr. Perry’s shows).


October 23rd, 2009
10:00 am

God!!!!!! I get so tired of people trying to find fault with this guy. First of all, crap is crap, regardless if it’s done by a black man, a white man, Hispanic man, Asian man, or Middle Eastern man. Did I leave anyone out? Why is it that everything that a black person does has to represent the entire race? Robin Williams put on a dress in “Mrs. Doubtfire” and no one complained about how he represented white people. Milton Berle performed in drag and no one complained about how he represented his race. Yeah, “Madea” can be silly at times, but there is a message in all of Tyler Perry’s work. Sacha Baron Cohen makes movies–”Borat” and “Bruno”–that are vulgar, silly, shocking, and sometimes funny, but no one complains. I know many blacks who love his work, but hate Perry’s. Cohen’s movies do not have the messages of friendship, family, overcoming odds, etc. that Perry’s work has.
Again, crap is crap, but I have not seen the same backlash from blacks that have been targeted at Perry thrown on Cohen, Williams, and others. Why are most blacks more critical of their own race? It’s sad that in 2009 we still view people based on their race.
Personally, I think Perry is a much better writer, producer, actor, and director than Spike Lee. As with Lee, Perry’s work is getting better as the years progress. I’ve never seen any of Perry’s plays, but I’ve went to see all of his movies. I sometimes watch “House of Pyne”—only when there’s nothing else on t.v.—and I’ve never watched “Meet the Browns.” Lee should ask himself, “Do I feel jealous of this man because he has gained more fame and fortune than I?”
I remember when Lee use to encourage blacks to skip work and school to go see his movies. He should also ask himself, “Are we going back?” in that regard. You want black folks to risk losing their jobs and miss a day from school to support your movies. Perry has never issued such a suggestion to blacks.


October 23rd, 2009
10:17 am

Although I am glad that Tyler Perry has achieved much success with his movies and his sitcoms, I gotta say his sitcoms are not funny. I hope that they succeed but they need better everything:writing, actors, etc.


October 23rd, 2009
10:42 am

Even though I hate Tyler Perry’s movies and find his shows painfully unfunny, I do feel they have a right to be on television. Just because they represent and appeal to a certain segment of a minority population that mainstream society generally craps on doesn’t mean they deserve such treatment. As a Black man that doesn’t like his work, I simply don’t watch it. But I definitely know more Black folks that love and connect with it than not. At the end of the day, it does more harm to our community to consider ourselves “above” what other members of our community like. My issue is with the acting and the jokes. I feel Spike Lee was out of line in making those comments. I wouldn’t compare those two directors because, generally, their work is very different. What’s wrong with having different representations of black people on the screen, offered by different types of black directors? At times it does feel like movie companies are very willing to produce T.Perry-style work that feeds into unflattering stereotypes, though. In the same way, record companies and commercial radio are constantly pumping out stereotypically-driven “black” music, especially within hip hop, while other, artistic forms remain underground and largely ignored.


October 23rd, 2009
10:46 am

I think Robin Williams gets a free pass because his stuff is funny. TP’s is not.
Also, you think Borat etc. got a free pass? um dude, you need to check your sources because Sacha Baron-Cohen has been sued and boycotted more times than I can remember.


October 23rd, 2009
11:09 am

J.J., if your comments are true, then I proudly stand corrected. Yes, I’m aware of people suing Sacha Baron Cohen because they felt victimized, but I have not heard about anyone staging boycotts–specifically blacks–against his movies based on it’s content. Anyway, the point I was trying to make is that blacks are more critical of their own race, compared to being critical of other races. I know this because I’m black and have experienced the criticism first hand. It could be the same with other races, but since I’m black, I can only speak on my race.


October 23rd, 2009
11:12 am

Tyler does need to prove that he can write a script that is more mainstream. Every script he writes has the same sort of characters who can be called stereotypical. Change up a little bit Tyler and people may not criticize you so much.


October 23rd, 2009
11:24 am

Blacks are more critical of our race because we know and feel our own race. We are critical of Tyler because we go and see his movies. Sacha Baron Cohen was boycotted a lot but not by blacks because we don’t really relate to him or his movies so we don’t feel the effects as much. I agree that Tyler needs to step up his game. When it comes to making money I can’t fault him at all but when it comes to movies and sitcoms with substance I have a problem with him.


October 23rd, 2009
11:32 am

I kno Tyler Perry has done well for himself, and I respect any man, or woman that came from nothing to being a multi-millionaire. However, I think most (not all) of his works are reflective of black stereotypes. He would have fit right in in the 70s too.
Black people generally find some of the stereotypes funny, and entertaining and that’s why he has been successful. His works are rarely progressive; and since success is measured in terms of MONEY, he is the man!


October 23rd, 2009
11:53 am

Spike. Get over it. Leave the man alone. He writes his movies/shows. You write your own moveis/shows. Would it be too much to ask if you would work with Tyler instead of criticizing him. We love to criticize each other instead of praying for each other.


October 23rd, 2009
12:47 pm

I agree with Spike Lee. Tyler Perry’s earlier work including his plays were, at best, chitlin circuit productions. I understand that he needed that persona as Madea, to launch his career and that he has a large fan base. But Tyler Perry should feel responsible to grow his fans intellectually just as he has grown as an artist. To Tyler Perry’s credit, his artistry has grown and I actually enjoy and wait with anticipation for his movies. I can’t understand why he persists with the lack luster tv showsp–predictable story lines and stereographical portrayals of black families. Lincoln Perry aka Stepin Fetchit also had a huge fan base…but was it worth it to him in the end.

Love TP, but

October 23rd, 2009
3:11 pm

I love Tyler Perry’s movies & plays. I feel that they definitely have a good message and reach an audience that has been long forgotten. However, I cannot say that I have the same zeal for his sitcoms. Sorry, TP.

lilly a tyler perry fan and supporter

October 23rd, 2009
11:16 pm

First of all its always gonna be haters everywhere u go anything u do right or wrong u can always count on a hater being there…..on that note I’m gonna say please stop hating on tyler perry…everybody has the right to watch what they thinks is good or bad happy or sad..that’s why u have a tv and a remote if u don’t like it change the channel…..and hell yeah spike lee is hating because the plays and movies and everything that tyler perry is doing is more sucessful than the work he did…..was he accused of sterotyping. When all his work is putting people down he doesn’t have good messages in his work tyler does that’s why he mad….all of tylers movies speak to me either I know someone or heard about it they all touch me cause everybody white or black can walk away with a message its not for just black people so don’t sit her on this forum talkin mess I’m glad to see tyler perry overcame all his obstacles to be a strong black man to show us we can overcome too…..take the message and u wouldn’t be so hipocritical saying u want our men to be strong black men and get outta the ghetto and be rich not sellinng drugs but doing something good then when one does u wanna talk about him like he ain’t s@#$ so with that being said….don’t worry spike lee we not being bamboozled by watching this haha!!


October 24th, 2009
10:18 am

Spike Lee is a racist, and Tyler Perry is not funny. You have to wonder about 2 filmmakers who make millions off of playing the race card and dressing like a woman. I will be glad when Barack Oprompter attacks these 2 idiots and takes 90% of their money like he is doing to the hardworking CEOs. Maybe Spike Lee could get a show on TLC and call it “Little Biggot Big World” then he would have his name on TV as much as Tyler Crossdresser.

Big Papi

October 24th, 2009
2:41 pm

Love Spike………TP,not so much. TP, commercially successful but plays to the lowest common denominator. Employs lots of people at miserly wages. Spike has had lots of clunkers but when he’s on he’s really ON. Most African Americans don’t want to work that hard so they don’t get his work. Thats why most find Chris Tucker funnier than Chris Rock, although Chris Rock is way deeper and FUNNIER.

Soul Man Jones

October 24th, 2009
9:57 pm

Enter your comments here


October 25th, 2009
12:37 am

My idea of a great time is stay at home, eat my favorite foods and watch Spike Lee movies all day. His films star the best actors and are timeless. Tyler Perry movies? Ummm no!


October 25th, 2009
6:18 pm

Has Spike made a movie in the last 5 years? Just kidding, but it has been a while since a Spike Lee Joint was in the news. The Spike versus Tyler question is just the latest version of that which has plagued for decades: does every performance by a black person need to be an uplifting August Wilson play or a Sidney Poitier movie? Can a character simply be funny, without someone bringing out the “coon” label and comparisons to Stepin Fetchit? Perry’s TV efforts could use some work, but after a few viewings, I really can’t think of the characters as negative images. Besides, it’s not as if someone couldn’t make a case for Mars Blackmon or Mookie being a buffoon, or the lead characters in “Mo’ Better Blues” (playing two women), “Jungle Fever” (leaves his Sista wife for a ‘white girl’), or “She Hate Me” (the title is embarrassing enough – the plot is worse) as negative images.


October 25th, 2009
8:08 pm

Alright! Both are out of bounds…Spike, please, your movies, from “She’s Gotta Have It” to “School Daze”…you depicted women as SEX OBJECTS and men as horny, sex-starved animals. The exception is that YOUR LEAD CHARACTERS are men. Tyler, you profess Christ and you are in violation for dressing in women’s clothes: See Scriptures Deut and Paul’s Epistle(s)…Let’s agree that this is non-essential. My issue with Perry’s and Lee’s films are the “black experience”. This is not a real concept to stand up to in this day and age. We need to grab a hold of Christ and His Kingdom…are we saved from the depths of Hell – Black or White?

Rectal Bleeding

October 25th, 2009
9:59 pm

I am so tired of reading about Tyler Perry in this publication. He does not warrant all this praise.


October 25th, 2009
10:04 pm

I like Tyler Perry and I am proud of his accomplishments but he is not a Spike Lee. I recently attended the 20th Anniversary of Do The Right Thing and it was wonderful. I wonder if we would ever celebrate Madea Goes to Jail in 20 years. I don’t think so. Love me some Spike Lee. His movies are just timeless!!!

The Truth

October 25th, 2009
10:13 pm

Hardly anyone outside Atlanta even knows who Tyler Perry is, but everyone knows Spike Lee. I think that speaks for itself. Atlanta is delusional about a lot of things, if you step beyond the borders you realize that Atlanta is barely on the map and half of the country thinks it’s in New Jersey.


October 26th, 2009
3:13 am

It is interesting that we seem to tear each other down instead of lifting each other up. There is nothing wrong with healthy criticism for it only helps us grow. I know that there will be some that will be more accepting of Tyler Perry films or Spike Lee films. Then there are some like myself that like both Tyler and Spike movies. The world is a HUGE place and there is room for productions by Tyler and Spike. There should not be an either/or option. I am curious to know how many of those that are so bent on Tyler changing if they took the time to support Spikes last movie. Do many even know the title of his last feature film? Would I like to see movies that make me laugh…Yes. Do I think that there should be movies that note a social consciousness….Yes. There is totally room for everyone at the table. Tyler has some very poignant points believed through the Madea character. While many are looking at the man in drag they are missing the overall message of encouragement and support for us as a race of people.

I think that Spike has a little lapse of memory. When he first started making films he received major criticism for some of his bodies of work. Now he seems to sit on his thrown of judgment. He would be best served to do something more productive with all that energy as well as remember his difficulties not so many years ago.

In closing, I would like to say to “The Truth” you are incorrect that hardly anyone outside of Atlanta knows who Tyler Perry is. If you think that I suggest you take a look at his popularity and his box office popularity. You do not get to his status by simple Atlanta appeal. The city is not that large.


October 26th, 2009
9:39 am

The shows definitely have a message. Wheather it’s about forgiveness or love or families sticking together the message is clear. However, I don’t think the shows are funny at all. If it was a white family with the same message and humor (or lack their of), I would feel the same way. It’s definitely a waste of air time.


October 26th, 2009
9:50 am

THE TRUTH IS DELUSIONAL. Everyone knows what state Atlanta is in. Atlanta is where a lot of high profile athletes and musical celebrities live and they keep moving here on the regular. The only people who don’t know Tyler Perry are people who are not black. Whether you are from the north or south, east or west if you are black and an adult you know who Tyler Perry is. I agree that a lot of white people may not know who Tyler is but to say that he is not known outside of Atlanta is idiotic (look at his play,movie and book sales) and that Atlanta is barely on the map is even more idiotic.


October 26th, 2009
9:51 am

Bravo “lilly a tyler perry fan and supporter” & “rhanw4560″


October 26th, 2009
11:46 am




October 26th, 2009
6:20 pm

Spike Lee’s movies have over the top sex scenes, stereotypes Light Skinned Blacks, Italians. And truth be told he needs to keep his little pint sized ass out of his own movies. Tyler Perry’s movies are spiritual, uplifting and have a good happy ending with some real funny humour. BOTTOM LINE he’s a HATER! Tyler May GOD continue to Bless you and what you do. I did like Malcolm X, Summer of Sam and Inside Man. Also Miracle at ST. Anna that’s it. Loved all of Tyler Perry’s movies.


October 26th, 2009
7:37 pm

I would have to agree that Atlanta is not really known, but I grew up in Los Angeles. Folks know places like New York, and Dallas, and even Miami but unfortunately Atlanta just really doesn’t have that much of a know factor. From personal experience I have told many people that I relocated to Atlanta and it seems all too often they ask how are the casinos compared to Vegas. (They are thinking Atlantic City) The other people know Atlanta by name, but are kind of unsure about it being in GA or even that GA is right above Florida. The country kind of just ignores the south like it’s a plague. It’s not that big of deal though, Atlanta is kind of similar to like Kansas City, or St. Louis. It’s a smaller town with not too much happening. As for Tyler Perry, I wasn’t really familiar with him until I got here. It’s amazing seeing 40-50 dvd’s of his in blockbuster where on the west coast there’s maybe 1 or 2 of each of his movies hidden on the back wall somewhere. Just a different style.


October 26th, 2009
8:41 pm

I believe Spike’s comment to be somewhat hypocritical of what he seemingly stands for in some of the movie he has written. If that’s the way he feels. . .fine, but don’t shoot another down because their avenues are different.

I’ve seen movies by both & have been entertained in different ways. Spike, keep DOing what you think to be “the Right Thing” & Tyler keep representing that there is hope in the toughest & most trying situations.

Encourage each another let’s not make this ugly. . .which by the way is very sterotypical of the race. Think about it!


October 26th, 2009
8:45 pm



October 26th, 2009
8:58 pm

Why do we assume that black people want to see shows on “God”? Are we all bible thumpers that reject logic and science? Thanks had to get that off my chest. Yes Perry’s films and tv shows are buffoonery, however, he is trying to make certain points by “dumbing down” the product in order to get a certain segment to the movie theater. It’s sad he feels that he has to dumb down his product to reach an audience but its true. My problem is what points are trying to be made? Forgiveness, family, etc all well and good but who isn’t supportive of that? Do we really need Madea to make these points?
I agree with Spike in that we should be raising the bar in the black community. We have to embrace excellence at all levels and sorry Meet the Browns isn’t cutting it. Spike has made films that entertain but many that also educate. Malcolm X is obvious but Bamboozled was a classic, it was just to deep for many to get. She’s Gotta Have It, Girl 6, etc were not great films but nobody has a 100% success rate. Criticism of characters in these films is not valid in that in each character I can see someone who represents some sort of mentality within our society. Yet, not done in a demeaning way. It may be generalized but thats the point of Do The Right Thing for example. There is also balance. Yes there was a racist Italian on Do The Right Thing but his brother wasn’t. Notice the complexity of the father played by Danny Aiello, he has pride in that he has been successful with black customers, is attracted to Mookie’s sister, but also uses the N-word. Tyler Perry’s films lack this type of character development or complexity. Also, none of the characters in Lee’s films are minstrels unlike Brown or Madea.
Perry has done well in not ignoring a potential audience. You got them hooked Mr. Perry congrats. Now I challenge you to lift them up. Let’s not dumb down the product and see what happens. If you can change the movie going habits of black audiences, you will have truly changed the game.


October 27th, 2009
8:30 am

Tyler Perry shows are NOT embarrassing! If a person says that is only because their entire family is probably exactly like Mr. Brown! Get over it!

I love Tyler Perry. I always have. Spike Lee is a HAS BEEN!!! Spike Lee a.k.a. Crickett Man…YOUR TIME IS OVER!!!! STOP HATING ON TYLER PERRY! Spike Lee…HOW MANY STUDIOS DO YOU HAVE???? I’M STILL WAITING FOR YOU TO ANSWER ME!!! Yeah…just like I thought…NONE!!! Tyler Perry is the man! He is in and you are out! GET OVER IT!!!

Cheryl Lynn

October 27th, 2009
1:20 pm

Here we go again, is it me or is Spike just vying for attention? Didn’t he make similar comments back in May? Let’s be real for a second….Spike should really get over himself, I enjoy his work but they haven’t been the most uplifting works of genius! Clockers, really???!!! There was a good post on about Spike Lee’s “crab in a barrel” esque behavior and i agree..


October 27th, 2009
3:09 pm


I am from San Diego and I am 35 years old. I don’t know of anyone that I grew up with (with intelligence) that does not know about Atlanta.


October 27th, 2009
5:02 pm

Black New Yorkers are the biggest haters in the world…Face up..
Atl outclass u in everything..Thats why so many of u move here.


October 28th, 2009
11:34 am

Spike Lee shouldn’t be jealous of Tyler Perry. Spike helped open the door for Tyler. He should be proud of Tyler and glad that Tyler has become so successful.Every Tyler Perry movie I’ve gone to see the theater is packed. Spike stop being like the crabs in a barrel.


November 1st, 2009
11:18 am

This really does not have to be an either/or competition; we are allowed to like the films of both (which I do). I will be the first to say that Perry would benefit from film school, or a few creative writing classes, but he does have some great ideas and his producing capabilities cannot be demeaned. Spike is a great filmmaker, from whose efforts someone like Perry certainly benefits. If only he could keep his mouth closed sometimes. Perhaps he wishes he could self-mount his “joints”, the way Perry can, or maybe he still can’t understand why a film like “Miracle at St. Ana” will never get the viewership of a “Madea Goes to Jail”. Imagine if the two of them worked together on something; instead, the “spike” is jabbed into one of the few black people actually succeeding in producing nationwide, outside of the mainstream establishment.

Black Exodus

November 2nd, 2009
5:01 pm

Thanks Spike for telling the truth. I don’t know why my people fall for anything. Tyler Perry is an embarrassment. His chitlin circuit plays were somewhat funny, but putting the same story lines in the movie theaters and now the television over and over is irresponsible. Then you have the ignorant sheep that follow behind this buffoonery (Spike Lee must have read my mind) like it is an accurate representation of the “black community”.

My suggestion to Tyler is to find better material or quit before your followers wake up.