Are We Too Hard on Tyler Perry? By Marlon McCaulsky
This post isn't a let's hate on Tyler Perry thing.
Let's be honest, he's billionaire. He did it. His accomplishments so far are simply amazing. He doesn't care what I think of his work. This just us having a conversation. This is just an observation of the unique position he's in as a Black man in "Hollywood" unlike any other before him. I think he has the potential to be even more impactful to Black filmmakers. What got me thinking like this?
Someone in a group posted this:
"𝘞𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘞𝘌 𝘨𝘰𝘯𝘯𝘢 𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘱 𝘣𝘦𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘴𝘰 𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘥 𝘰𝘯 𝘛𝘺𝘭𝘦𝘳 𝘗𝘦𝘳𝘳𝘺?
𝘐𝘴 𝘩𝘦 𝘚𝘵𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘯 𝘚𝘱𝘪𝘦𝘭𝘣𝘦𝘳𝘨? 𝘕𝘰.
𝘐𝘴 𝘩𝘦 𝘔𝘪𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘦𝘭 𝘉𝘢𝘺? 𝘕𝘰.
𝘋𝘪𝘥 𝘩𝘦 𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘢𝘭𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘣𝘭𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘦𝘥 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘶𝘪𝘭𝘥 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘦𝘮𝘱𝘪𝘳𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘴𝘲𝘶𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮? 𝘠𝘦𝘴.
𝘐𝘴 𝘩𝘦 𝘦𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘰𝘺𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘱𝘢𝘺𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘷𝘪𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘯𝘰𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘵𝘺 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘭𝘢𝘤𝘬 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘣𝘳𝘰𝘸𝘯 𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘵 𝘢 𝘮𝘶𝘤𝘩 𝘩𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘏𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘺𝘸𝘰𝘰𝘥?
𝘗𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘦 𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘱 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘩𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘤𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘪𝘴𝘮 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘨𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘮𝘢𝘯 𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘧𝘭𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘴
This made me think; have I been too harsh in my critiques of his work?
We can give Tyler Perry his flowers and also constructive criticism where it's due. For years Tyler Perry has made mediocre (Fall From Grace, Boo 1 & 2 and a bunch of Madea films) to okay films and at this stage (20+ years later) he should be making better quality films and shows consistently. Whether I like the storyline or not the quality of the filmmaking should be top notch and on the level of any Hollywood production. Tyler Perry can do this (when he wants too) But he chooses not too. That's my main issue with his work. He has all the resources and money to do it.
I heard that his new film A Jazzman's Blues is pretty good and that's the kind of quality he should be producing all of his movies with. Especially when he did some of his best work in The Family That Preys and Why Did I Get Married. After directing those films there was no excuse for the poorly produced films that followed. This post isn't to rag on his films, this is to talk about Tyler Perry's unfulfilled potential.
I feel like Tyler Perry is a brilliant businessman and there's no doubt that the Legacy that he is created is remarkable. I also feel that he could be even more successful as a film producer than any other person in Hollywood. He has the potential to be a more successful producer than Kevin Feige. Yes, Kevin Feige, the mastermind behind the MCU and the most successful producer in Hollywood History. Tyler Perry could be even more successful than him if he tired.
If he was to invite into his Production Studio other talented black writers and directors and give them the resources to make film starring black people on the same level that Hollywood does for everybody else.
Imagine for a second, if Tyler Perry decided to find all the talented black writers, directors, and producers and put them under his umbrella and have them producing films out of his Studio in Atlanta. It would be the new Black Hollywood operating almost completely independent of the Hollywood System.
There's no reason why he can't produce a film on the level of Black Panther, The Woman King, Get Out, and other widely successful films written directed and starring black professionals. That's the kind of potential he has that he hasn't demonstrated.
I feel like Tyler Perry doesn't realize how much power and potential he has. He could be Bob Iger and Kevin Feige rolled into one. Tyler Perry Studios could basically be on Disney's (film studios) level of success. He just has to hire the right people that know what they're doing and let them do their job. He can still do his own thing and still make his own films.
Imagine if he had Jordan Peele, Gina Prince-Bythewood, Spike Lee, Ava DuVernay, and other talented filmmakers working out of his Studio making classic films. He would be credited as the mastermind behind it all. Listen, this is not to undermind the tremendous success he has already had. Because what he has done is amazing. This is just me imagining how much more impactful he could be if he wanted.