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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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Tyler Perry: Spike Lee can “go straight to hell”

AP photo

AP photo

Tyler Perry went a little Madea at a Beverly Hills press conference promoting his latest movie, when the matter of Spike Lee came up.

“I’m so sick of hearing about damn Spike Lee,” Perry said during the press conference, according to Box Office Magazine.“Spike can go straight to hell! You can print that. I am sick of him talking about me.”

Perry’s remarks were referencing Lee’s criticism of Perry’s work.

“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!”

The Box Office Magazine account went on to say that Perry voiced frustration about other comments about his films.

“I’ve never seen Jewish people attack Seinfeld and say, ‘This is a stereotype,’” he said, according to the Box Office Magazine report. “I’ve never seen Italian people attack The Sopranos, I’ve never seen Jewish people complaining about Mrs. Doubtfire or Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie.”

The report also said Perry listed other prominent African American figures who have faced similar critiques.

“Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois went through the exact same thing,” he said.

To read the Box Office Magazine piece click here.

The Wall Street Journal report on the matter includes a Q&A with Perry  in which he says audiences, not critics, matter when it comes to assessing his work.

“The critics are the million and four people that have left messages on my message board saying how much they enjoy it, or the almost 5 million people on Facebook who are always talking about what this moment did for them, or how this lesson taught them,” he told the Journal. “So it would be foolish for me to spend time trying to understand what will make a critic happy, and lose my audience.

Perry’s latest Madea movie, “Madea’s Big Happy Family,” adapted from the play Perry wrote while grieving the death of his mother,  comes out Friday.

- Jennifer Brett/The Buzz/jbrett@ajc.com

372 comments Add your comment

Spike is just jealous

April 20th, 2011
4:18 pm

Spike has decreased and Tyler has increased so JEALOUSLY abounds with Lee.

middlechile

April 20th, 2011
4:20 pm

Oh, but Italian people HAVE come out against the Sopranos, girlfriend. The American Italian Anti-Defamation League came out in 2000 saying they didn’t appreciate the stereotypes. PLEASE, SPIKE LEE, FINISH THIS FOOL, then come out & make more movies. I’m so sick of the lowest common denominator dreck TP is pushing on us. I’m so over it.

JMS

April 20th, 2011
4:21 pm

Tyler!!!! I AGREE WITH YA MAN! Been thinking that way about Spike for awhile, but as a white i guy i cant say anything without it being called racist. Anyway, you keep on doing what you do, and we all appreciate it (especially those of us down here in Newnan…thx for EVERYTHING ;>)

NANA

April 20th, 2011
4:22 pm

AMEN! He needs to make his artistic films and let others make comedies. Maybe he needs to lighten up a little. Hey…Sometimes steriotypes are funny!!

Bob

April 20th, 2011
4:22 pm

Tyler Perry is a fine example of how afro americans should be. He does not blame the system or slum off of working people. Spike Lee on the other hand is a racist who spews hate and can’t get over the fact that his great grandma had to pick cotton.

John

April 20th, 2011
4:23 pm

Yeah, I would put Tyler Perry in the same group as Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois. For sure.

NANA

April 20th, 2011
4:23 pm

Oh, and I want to add….you can’t please everyone!

Cynthia

April 20th, 2011
4:24 pm

Well Tyler Perry I hope you read this because I do not have FaceBook: Thank you for keeping new and old (not meaning age) actors and actresses with jobs. Without you we would very seldom see Blacks in the movies. Stay focus on God and do not let anything or anyone corrupt the blessings God has given you.

Angela

April 20th, 2011
4:24 pm

I really think they could learn A LOT from each other. I actually understand where they both are coming from. I feel that Tyler really needs to work on his characters. And give them more depth. Besides making everybody completely good and completely bad. And Spike needs to learn that all black people aren’t looking for a message. And life isn’t one big “different world” episode or “do the right thing’ riot. Respect them both as directors. but they both have a ton of work to do

vvjones

April 20th, 2011
4:25 pm

Ha! Ha! I agree with Tyler Perry. It is about time he told SPIKE LEE and the rest of the haters to go to hell. I guess it is alright for SPIKE and his “boushey friends” to make money, but Tyler Perry is not supposed to be a part of his ” ELITE NEGROES” club. I

GO TO HELL SPIKE LEE!

mylastnerve

April 20th, 2011
4:26 pm

unfortunately tyler perry fell right into the trap that was set for him. the media loves it when black people are publicly against each other and they can create a “feud” over what is simply creative differences. tyler could’ve better handled this just by refusing to respond to any questions about spike lee.

Alatsea

April 20th, 2011
4:28 pm

Who the hell is Spike Lee?

soccermom

April 20th, 2011
4:28 pm

I agree with Spike.. Coonery and bafoonery.. There just happens to be a market out there that likes it..

AJM

April 20th, 2011
4:28 pm

You tell ‘em Tyler! I personally love ya and am behind you 100% See you May 13th at the Cobb Energy PAC. Looking forward to it!

truebrotha

April 20th, 2011
4:31 pm

It about time Tyler decided to fire back at Spike. Even though Tyler said a few curse words, it still was done in a tactful manner. I appreciate Tyler and his many talents. Continue to shine and hold your head up brother. Awesome job!

Chess

April 20th, 2011
4:31 pm

Hold on a minute Tyler. Spike Lee did Malcolm X. No one had the guts to touch such a controversial topic in the 90’s. Relationship movies are you know……..

Reggie

April 20th, 2011
4:33 pm

Tyler Perry may God continue to bless you to be a great writer, director, producer or whatever he has in store for you. I love all your movies and have bought them all from Walmart so that you can get full royalty. Your Madea character is straight from my Aunt Daisy! Keep on doing your thing! By the way, I didn’t care for Spike’s movies when they WERE coming OUT! But, I didn’t complain then, just didn’t buy them. Keep doing your thing!!!! Comrade in the ATL!

Chess

April 20th, 2011
4:34 pm

V Jones – What is your point?

Tyler Perry

April 20th, 2011
4:34 pm

Thank you so much all my black women supporters who love my coonery. Oh wait black women are all my supporters. Thanks anyway.

Bill Maher

April 20th, 2011
4:34 pm

Tyler Perry needs to go ahead and get the reasingment surgery. The guy spends more time in women’s clothing than Rosie O’Donnel.

Face it, you prefer life a s a woman. Nothing wrong with that. If you get the surgery, maybe you will spare us from further sterotyping.

After Dark

April 20th, 2011
4:36 pm

Oh SNAP! Cat fight tonight!!! But seriously Tyler, you need to bring your big black ass out of the closet. You’re not fooling anybody and I’ve seen you around gay midtown ATL. I know what goes on at Piedmont Park after dark.

Bo Diddley

April 20th, 2011
4:37 pm

Tyler’s work is the 21st century version of Mantan Moreland and Stepin Fetchit. As Bill Cosby said, if all Hollywood will provide is a drive-by viewing of us as a people, we are obligated to make sure it is the best view possible. But hey, Tyler’s getting paid, right? That’s all that matters, right?

Ven

April 20th, 2011
4:38 pm

Only y’all in ATL would be sticking up for Madea – he and his movies are embarrassing

Doris M

April 20th, 2011
4:38 pm

I think it’s sour grapes coming from Spike Lee. I think Tyler Perry has the right attitude when it comes to the work he is doing. Just keep on pleasing us, your movie and play attendees, and forget all the others. When we stop attending, then it will be time to look at something else. For me, the movies have always been funny and always leave you feeling a little better. And, truth be told, there is a Madea is all our families.

lolita

April 20th, 2011
4:38 pm

Spike Lee needs to take his little SHORT AZZ somewhere and sit down STOP HATING BUG!!!

Take the Criticism and Improve

April 20th, 2011
4:40 pm

I don’t believe there is any malice or ill will in the criticism of Tyler Perry’s work. I believe his critics are constructively suggesting that he diversify his cast — cast some women whose BMI and cholesterol levels aren’t off the chart; cast some men who aren’t shirtless and muscled-up. We live in an era where the black male image is either femanized or animalized, where the portrayal of the black female is often oversized and raucous. So we, the audience, look to cinema not for verification of these stereotypes. We are looking on-screen for strong black male figures, but so often they are dressed in fat suits, in drag, playing the role of women. Even though Perry has good messages in his films, the messenger does, in fact, get in the way of the message for many of his viewers. Why does Perry have to don a dress and wig to deliver his gems of wisdom? We don’t have to go to the theaters to see that. We see that all too often in daily life. What’s next? Do we have to resort to having a woman play the role of a strong black man because they are apparently so lacking in real and cinematic life?

Bill Maher

April 20th, 2011
4:40 pm

“Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois went through the exact same thing,” he said.

What? Does he really believe that?

Swaga1

April 20th, 2011
4:40 pm

Madea is obviously Tyler’s Alter Ego. why am i imagining Tyler snapping his fingers in Z formation and rolling his neck after he said that?…LOL….i think he just should have ignored the question but the media lured him into talking about it and he fell for it.

Short Bald Straight White Man

April 20th, 2011
4:40 pm

Give him hell Tyler…ur an Atlantan, he aint. Tell him I said GTH too.

Sharrif

April 20th, 2011
4:40 pm

Tyler, Keep on doing your thing man. We all adore all the work you have been doing over the years. Lee is nothing buy jealousy because of your creativity and what you have accomplished individually in cutting your own line in the industry without involving him. He thinks he should be involved in all the movies made by black people. Sorry, he will bark and bark but he will never bite. He will never have the guts to tell you man-to-man what he is saying out there.

weena

April 20th, 2011
4:42 pm

You can run, but you can’t hide from you true self, Ms. Perry

Spud Webb

April 20th, 2011
4:43 pm

Spike Lee is still alive?

Short Bald Straight White Man

April 20th, 2011
4:44 pm

Oh…and write this down…..Madea will be an icon of comedy for this generation as Mork(Robin Williams), Mudbone (Richard Pryor), and Missa Wiggins (Carol Burnett) were for thiers, respectively.

Up all Nite

April 20th, 2011
4:45 pm

Wow, you really worked hard on this blog. It’s almost a word for word copy of the article you linked. Can you get any lazier?

Keith

April 20th, 2011
4:46 pm

Spike Lee? Please, he is so irrelevant now it is pathetic. By the way, anyone who made that movie “Bamboozled” shouldn’t have the right to ever criticize anyone’s movie content. That movie was hot garbage!

red ryder

April 20th, 2011
4:48 pm

interesting that Tyler Perry can use all these sterotypes about blacks being buffoons in his movies, yet know one will touch Amos N Andy cause it was made by white people

Reggie Miller

April 20th, 2011
4:48 pm

Spike does his best work as the Knicks mascot……..

Swaga1

April 20th, 2011
4:51 pm

why is it when someone gives constructive criticism it’s “hating” on someone?….be a man and take it for what it is Spike has made his money as well maybe it was just to offer some suggestions. The “Go to hell” comment was unwarranted. just like a raging queen.smh @Take the criticism and Improve: I agree 100%.

White girl

April 20th, 2011
4:53 pm

To Bill and After Dark.. What does that have to do with the issue at hand? I am a WHITE WOMAN in support of Tyler Perry and I don’t care if he is straight, gay or hanging on the fence. He is STILL a child of God! and still one of the BEST writers, actor, and human I know. Go on with yourself Tyler.. and May God bless you in anything and everything YOU DO! Spike will find his place.. and it could be hot!

Michael

April 20th, 2011
4:53 pm

At some point Spike’s got to realize that he’s too old to pull of the angry young man bit. Instead he comes across like a crotchety Bill Cosby. And yes, I can see how that could be a redundent statement.

sethook

April 20th, 2011
4:55 pm

Spike has got to be kidding. The dude has really nothing to hang his hat on for the last 10 years. Aside from being a roundball cheerleader, he has no claim to fame.

middleoftheroader

April 20th, 2011
4:55 pm

This isn’t a black thing. The media likes it when anyone prominent bashes and/or disagrees with another prominent person. White, black, male, female, straight, gay, etc. In any field of endeavor. It’s ok for Lee not to like Perry’s work. Not everyone is going to like everything out there. That said, I appreciate and enjoy Perry’s movies and books. I am a white, middle class southern woman. I got in line for “Diary of a Mad Black Woman” its opening day in Auburn, AL. The theater manager came up to me to suggest I might be in the wrong line, you know, with his black patrons going to see a black movie. I thanked him for his concern and said perhaps he ought to watch the movie.

Everyone knows Perry’s characters; they go to church with us. Live down the street. Work in the same companies. Get hit by the same problems. They are like the old movies and allegorical plays with a very entertaining message that doesn’t preach but finds its mark in our minds and heart. It may be that some of his issues and messages are directed more pointedly at his black audience members but really, we can all identify with them. Bad things are righted and bad people get their medicine in Perry’s movies and how nice to see it. His work comes straight at us and doesn’t required interpretation by some highbrow critic who doesn’t like anything except those works none of the rest of us get. The critic probably doesn’t either but acts like he does. I hope Perry never tires of giving us his entertainment. Whether Madea or the more in depth characters like in his “Married” movies. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt, that he has some of the most beautiful men and women acting today in his casts.

Human Race

April 20th, 2011
4:58 pm

I agree with Tyler Perry. Maybe Spike Lee is a tad bit jaded because the light no longer shines on him. But we still respect him as a great film maker. I think Tyler Perry is a great film maker as well, but enough with this corny, “slap-stick” comedy situations. It is a misguided depiction of what most african americans, I know, can relate to. I understand that laughter is good for the soul but c’mon now? What about making some action movies, or horror movies. Or collaborating with other film makers with that vision(ex. Spike Lee or M. Night Shaymalan). We don’t have to always portray a donkey for entertainment to gain an audience. Think outside the box

amith35

April 20th, 2011
4:59 pm

IN MY RODNEY KING VOICE….”CAN WE ALL JUST GET ALONE!”:)

Sweetie

April 20th, 2011
5:02 pm

Mr Perry,
Way to go!! I have never cared for lee and his bloody movies. I love your movies and keep laughing all the way to the bank. Forget lee and the Horse he rode in on…….Continue to be Blessed and God speed.

great bald eagle

April 20th, 2011
5:02 pm

Tyler just doesn’t get it! Italians and Jews are far ahead of blacks in terms of overall image. We simply don’t need anymore Madea movies to bury us any further than we already are. Maybe if conditions improve over the next century, we can go that route. But I challenge Perry to produce a blockbuster hit with prominent black actors all in the same movie. Why don’t we see Will Smith, Denzel Washington, Halle Berry, and Jamie Foxx all in the same movie like we do with prominet white actors? Produce a movie that is thought provoking and not stereotypical. How about a suspense thriller or a drama? How about a new black superhero since Blade is no longer going to be an option? Madea needs to retire.

orginal diva

April 20th, 2011
5:07 pm

i appreciate your frustration with Spike Lee. Both of you have done well in their own right. Spike Lee did that School Dayz thing with the light skins and the darks skin and that could be classified as buffonery. Yes, he did Malcom X, but Tyler did “For Colored Girls” which I felt was unparelled, yet no one thought anything about that cast of breautiful, talented and celebrated black actresses were not up for an Oscar. Each individual is a hero in my book, and their work is individual and awesome.

Vivelena

April 20th, 2011
5:07 pm

I’m surprised at Spike — considering all the obstacles he had to overcome while trying to make a name for himself back in the day. I remember — he used to always be an “angry Black man” on TV interviews … !!! I was so glad when he learned how to smile — all the way to bank!!

Why is he famous?

April 20th, 2011
5:07 pm

This guy is seriously NOT funny. His television shows are extremely unfunny, and the exagerated, automated laughing auidence is proof enough.

As for his movies…their representation of Atlanta (although not entirely inaccurate based on the behavior of most of the residents that seems to be in the newspaper everyday) is sickening and make me embarrassed to call Atlanta home (I’m basing this comment on the first 20 minutes of the original. I have refused to watch one of his movies since then, so I don’t know if they are all in Atl).

Jesse Jackson has a scheme for you....

April 20th, 2011
5:08 pm

Spike Lee still has a career? Serious?