Aaron McGruder Skewers Tyler Perry & I Wish I’d Done It First!

I admit while much of The Boondocks makes me squirm and I really don’t like any variation of the N Word being used – even by (cartoon) kids – I do find the series amusing. There’s a complexity and underlying critique that’s often missing in our discourse that I find refreshing with this show.  

Now, I’m not endorsing this latest Boondocks episode “Pause”, but if I had to choose my top five favorites they would be (in no particular order)

1. The episode about a musician, who closely resembles R Kelly & the critique of the foolish people who acquitted him for child rape (shades of Roman Polanski)

2. The episode where MLK woke from a coma to see the black community in such disarray he disavowed himself and moved to Canada

3. & 4 The infamously “banned” episodes about BET that some say accurately portrayed executive Debra Lee

5. This one! ding ding ding

“Pause” rightfully offers a satirical look at someone who closely resembles Tyler Perry.

Regular readers of AOFB know that while I certainly admire Perry’s business acumen and career ascent I absolutely do not agree with his stereotypical and damaging portrayal of black women as one-note banshees, castigators, holier-than-thou, criminals and broke-down messes. Nor do I care for the drag attire and the overweight, uncouth, gun-toting former stripper grandmother he plays for LAUGHS while claiming Madea is based on women he knows. It. Is. Not. Funny.

NOR, do I care about the behind-the-scenes maschinations that resulting in his hijacking the For Colored Girls project from director/writer Nzingha Stewart. I’ve previously written why I think he will botch the screen adaptation. Yes, I still think it’s going to be absolute CRAP.

This is what we get for not taking a stand for anything and letting other people (esp the black male cross-dressing or otherwise black woman bashing comedians) tell our stories.

P.S. It’s not too late for some of you to step up!!!!

Watch the full episode of the Boondocks Season 3 Episode 8 courtesy of Soul Culture UK.

My previous entry: http://actsoffaithblog.com/tyler-perry-will-botch-for-colored-girls-no-matter-how-hard-he-tries

20 Replies to “Aaron McGruder Skewers Tyler Perry & I Wish I’d Done It First!”

  1. It makes me ill to think that Tyler Perry has the rights to produce a film based on Ntozake Shange's book For Colored Girls. What the heck happened to Spike Lee? Or somebody! Is Spike to busy and wrapped up these days (he could be)?

    I remember reading in a magazine back in early 2008 that Whoopi Goldberg had the rights to produce the play For Colored Girls on Broadway and that India.Arie would be in the play also which was scheduled for September 2008. Then come to read on the internet in early 2009 that Whoopi Goldberg couldn't put the play out because all of the play's backers had dropped out. Why? Because the word 'colored' was in the title. Even Whoopi according to the article couldn't believe it and said 'Did they not know this play?' *shakes head*

    I have read about how Shange was criticized mainly by black men in the 70s when the play first came out even though it was critically acclaimed. Black men shouted their typical 'You make all black men sound bad' blah, blah, blah.

    In the 80s black men shouted down Alice Walker in the exact same way when The Color Purple film came out. Now they're letting a black man who mostly shows all educated, professional black women in a bad light as scheming, immoral, selfish, and evil in his media do his talking for the black women AGAIN?!

    Lord take the case! Where's Spike? Or Steven Spielberg again? Or even George Lucas!

    1. ak: Thanks for your comments. Spike Lee has nearly as many issues with his protrayal and attitudes toward black women as well though. He clearly has similar racio-misogynistic tendancies, color favoritism for light-skin black women and preferences for white women (in particular Italians). He may have been able to dress it up better (sans the black church references and no male drag) but he still writes three-dimensional male characters but one-note females. Not to mention the black males who've been featured are not really that high caliber. Look to his own personal life at marrying a light-skinned, well-connected lawyer where he clearly married above his station for further proof.

      1. You're right! Well then DO we need Steven Spielberg to pull 'For Colored Girls…' out of the fire like he did for 'The Color Purple' movie then after all!!

  2. I don't known why all you are targeting tyler perry. What black film doesn't have some things in it that will offend black forks. I have seen all his films some I like some I didn't. All his films at the end has some ending, that makes you think. Did why did I get married have all the women in high position careers who in life deal in life normal issue as white people as well. please let the black man do what he want it getting hollywood to take note that black forks have power and sending at the box office, and in time his films will grow and get better as he do more and more films.

    1. David: I don't know why you'd bother to come to a blog that discusses subject matters unappealing to you. It's my blog and I write what I want. You should spend your time elsewhere. Tyler Perry has actively engaged in class and education warfare against black women since day one. If you don't like what McGruder wrote take it up with him!

      1. Just like you can say what you like, I can it to. If you have a issue with that. Then you must be thin skin as well.

        1. Daivd: I could care less what you think. You are visiting my blog. I am not required to allow your comments to go through at my site either. That is a privilege I've granted you -- not your right. You have no long-standing relationship as a participant who's added any value at my forum and seem to think because you've commented that you are owed carte blanche here. So let's clarify that now. You are not. Male approval or understanding of any topic I write about is not deired or required. If you have something to offer the blog audience in terms of discourse then you may proceed. Otherwise be on your way.

  3. well, supposedly Aaron McGruder is going to have an episode making jokes about men being raped in prison -- THAT'S funny too? I dont think anyone who's actually been raped will agree! What's next, laughing about the genocide in Rwanda?

    1. Ray -- Chill out dude! Tyler Perry is getting a lot of attention, sympathy and a much needed lesson in humility. He'll be fine depending on how he reacts. He's still bastardizing the image of professional black women the last time I checked. I've heard he wants to sue McGruder which shows how thin-skinned he is. It's part of being a celebrity.

  4. I've never understood why people (family, friends) expected me to be upset at black female caricatures in films produced by white directors/producers, but embrace black directors/producers who use the same exact caricatures. I refuse to financially (or otherwise) support any projects that are a continuation of the negative stereotyping of black women. I don't believed that being black and a woman requires me to just settle for anything less than what I deserved: respect. I'm eager to see this episode of Boondocks; it's right up my alley.

  5. I dont have a problem with anyone viewing Tyler Perry's movies with a critical eye (I see plenty of flaws in them too) but Aaron McGruder went over the line, attacking him PERSONALLY -- that's cruel and meanspirited and unnecessary!

    Yes, Tyler Perry has issues with educated black people, and Madea is a ridiculous character, but those are ARTISTIC judgements, not personal ones!

    1. You are free to take your grievances about Mcgruder to him personally as that was his take on Tyler Perry and other analysis on the behavior of certain blacks.

  6. I love this post. I really enjoyed the "Pause" episode of The Boondocks about Tyler Perry. Of course McGruder does everything over the top with tho homoerotic evangelical cult, but the things he says about African Americans using their intimate conversations with "Jesus" simply to make money. I agree with all your points about Perry & fully intend to read your article about "For Colored Girls" -- I was truly horrified when I heard he was producing it. There aren't enough places in Hollywood for Black producers and actors -- unfortunately, our wealthy Blacks do not use their money to finance more African American projects. It's funny how money & position work.

    1. Well wealthy blacks aren't under any obligation to "do" anything. Besides if their wealth is derived from other people supporting them and their projects they can simply stop! With the advent of technology, social media and other tools at people's disposal there's no reason why more people can't take initiative to fill voids, combat negative images and create projects that uplift (and entertain even). Where are they?

  7. Oh, Chris. You are so right. I am confused by the Tyler Perry/Oprah friendship bc if Ms. Winfrey were one of Perry's characters he would have her married off to some scrub so fast she'd spin. I cringed in that last movie (don't know which one bc they are all the same) when the blue collar working stiff husband punched Sanaa Lathan in the face, but black folks around me were cheering. I was looking around and thinking, "are all these black folks crazy?" That was my last time spending money on that crap and trying to be down and support his work. It's crap. We're so hard up to see black folks on screen that we'll shell out $11 for junk filled with gendered racist controlling images of mammies, sapphires and jezebels. Screw that guy.

    1. I'm with you, E. I keep giving Tyler another chance, but after being sooo disappointed with "Why Did I Get Married Too?", I've decided to save my money next time.

      As for "For Colored Girls.." I recall seeing that 20+ years ago and enjoying it. Oh God, Tyler is going to murder it!!

      Come to think of it, he ain't a bit 'mo qualified to tell BWs stories than a man in the moon. I can't believe I've given that guy my money.

      My head hurts right now.

  8. I there! It’s not my first time reading but it’s my first post. You just had to throw out that Tyler Perry red meat, didn’t you?

    Another problem that I have with Tyler Perry is his not-so-subtle push for black women to lower their standards by portraying the blue collar working stiff or the former gangster with a heart of gold that we sisters need to set our sights on, because successful men in his movies are always a-holes.

    1. I've come to the conclusion that Tyler has a problem with black women, especially those who don't accept being broke as being a virtue. In his movies, they're all cheating, manipulative, stuck-up, lying, abusive, angry and bitter. I've seen that and STILL continued to support him, hoping that his movies will improve. I'm sad to say that they haven't.

      That's it, I'm done.

      1. I'm sorry but if you keep handing over your dollars to Perry for his movies each time they come out then you are rewarding him, NOT 'giving him an incentive to improve' his movies. Are you mad??!

        Each time black epople go to his movies to spend their money, Tyler Perry must obviously be thinking' Oh you LOVE my caricatures don't you? You love me portraying the black woman lawyer as Cruella DeVil every time don't you all? OK I'll keep doing that then!' What other message are people driving home to him when they keep lining his pockets?

        It's like with soccer going on with World Cup around the world (outside of the US obviously) right now. The England team left the game early after a bad battering which ticked everybody in England off and I heard people saying 'These athletes are too well-paid and spoiled. Give them a pay cut and see if they don't play a lot better in games to make them really earn all of that money!' Ding, ding, ding, ding!

        You want Perry to get the message, then stop supporting his so-called media empire he has there. And if you just MUST watch his 'work' then at least get the pirated one on the corner!

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