Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor may have been a hit at the box office, but there’s one group that wasn’t too about the film’s overall message.
The Positive Women’s Network of the United States of America recently penned an open letter to the filmmaker, stating that his project only serves as a tool “to perpetuate stigma.”
Temptation, which hit theaters in March, centered around the main character Judith who contracted HIV from an extramarital affair. HIV community argues that the film “depicts people with HIV as untouchable and unlovable, doomed to a lifetime of loneliness, and unable to tell their own stories.”
Read an expert form the letter below:
Dear Mr. Perry,
We write as people living with HIV and their allies to express our deep disappointment with your latest film, Temptation. This disappointment is made all the greater because you have done much that can be applauded. Audiences see your plays and films not simply as entertainment, but as opportunities for inspiration, spiritual healing, and unity.
As you may be aware, one of the greatest barriers to addressing the HIV epidemic is the high level of stigma and misinformation attached to this simple virus. Stigma prevents people from getting tested for HIV, from protecting themselves during sex, from accessing care when they test positive, and from disclosing their HIV status to family, friends, and sexual partners. Myths and outdated perceptions about how HIV is transmitted and the implications of an HIV diagnosis have resulted in discriminatory treatment towards, and violence against, people living with HIV.