“I WILL NOT BE NICE…”
Black Women Need to Stop Giving Black Men Carte Blanche to Tell OUR Stories!!!
I admit I was absolutely LIVID when I read this in the entertainment industry trade paper Variety yesterday:
Lionsgate has tapped Tyler Perry to write, direct and produce an adaptation of the 1975 play “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf”. (It’s a play written by Ntozake Shange)
Lionsgate noted the project’s the 10th title in its ongoing franchise with Perry, and Perry’s first film to be based on non-original source material. “Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All by Myself” opens Sept. 11, and “Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married Too?” is set to open April 2.
Perry is also a co-presenter and exec producer of Lee Daniels’ Sundance winner “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire,” which Lionsgate is releasing in November.
Lionsgate announced in March that it had acquired the feature rights to the stage play and signed music video director Nzingha Stewart to helm from her screenplay adaptation.
I included that extra little blurb that many will have missed from seeing red. There was a black woman writer/director who’d originally been attached to the project and was subsequently DUMPED in favor of a man whose films range from Mammy to Sapphire and Back as the only image of black women.
I don’t care that he’s friends with Oprah either. Oprah has been VERY suspect lately with her endorsements anyway. Now that she’s interviewed Jay-Z for her magazine and Chris Brown has been complaining about the “hard time” he’s received from her I’m almost ready to bring out the DUNCE CAP.
How in the heck is HE supposed to be able to tap into the nuances of these characters? He’ll do about as well as Steve Harvey has done with his watered down hack version of that relationship book he’s claiming as his sole invention. Yeah right. I’m still waiting for “Madea Goes Away Never to Return” but I fear I’m asking for too much.
What’s the solution? Writing to Lion’s Gate and telling them we’re going to BOYCOTT this film? Well it’s already been cast apparently. Not to support it when it’s released? That’s a possibility. There’s always this catch-22 with Perry because he hires out of work black actresses but we don’t use our power properly to demand the entertainment industry respect us. The majority audience for his films lack a certain amount of discernment and critical thinking skills. Not enough of us are seeing our reflection on screen (and are desperate to) while the focus on fake religiosity (being some variation of a holy-roller) and race over gender (thinking in terms of our blackness instead of our womanhood and individuality) means very little criticism for Perry. It also means we’re cheating ourselves by settling. Some of us still fight.
Before everyone gets totally depressed from reading this post I’m including some of the jokes and comments a few people made via Twitter last night to lighten our distress:
- Tyler Perry Is Why the Cage Birds Drinks..Heavily
- Is Tyler Perry seriously adapting For Colored Girls? I thought it was a joke.
- He’s going to play the rainbow since there are no male roles.
- Am I the only one who thinks TP should stop making movies?
- Dear Tyler Perry: Please stop making TV shows, movies, books, scripts, doodles, etc. Just to be safe, please cease all creative endeavors.
Here’s an PBS segment featuring Shange.
Supplemental Reading at Jezebel