In an exchange on CNN regarding Tyler Perry’s new status as Hollywood’s highest paid man in entertainment, social commentator Touré went in on the actor/writer/producer/director/entrepreneur – calling his work “malt liquor for the masses.”
One of the main debates has been whether or not Perry’s work, produced for and consumed mainly by black audiences, is actually destructive for the African American community, notes Mediate.com. Spike Lee famously called his broad comedy and melodrama “coonery and buffoonery” and, now that Perry has reached the very top of Forbes‘ annual list, social commentator Touré was invited to offer his take.
Touré began by knocking Perry’s actual talents as a filmmaker. Comparing his films to “cinematic malt liquor,” he said they taught black women to embrace feelings of “victimhood.” However, they were popular just because no one else is talking to those women.
“Tyler Perry is definitely serving an audience that is underserved by Hollywood. Especially black southern women do not see themselves at all in Hollywood fare. So, when he’s serving them movies where they appear to be in situations that are naturalistic and recognizable to them and definitely have that Christian message, I absolutely understand why my grandmother, my mother, and my aunts love this stuff, and my family down south, they love this stuff. I just can’t watch it without cringing because I’ve seen good movies and I know these are poorly made films.”
Defending Perry was Dr. Boyce Watkins who pointed out that, while he wasn’t thrilled about a black man becoming successful for wearing a dress, you can’t argue that Perry has done something that Hollywood hasn’t done for years; give black entertainers jobs. Touré countered that drug dealers create jobs too but it doesn’t make them “good jobs.”