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Have You Heard About The “Boycott Madea” Social Media Campaign? (Like Seriously?)

by Sergio
November 19, 2013 7:33 PM
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Needless to say, I find this all rather laughable and ridiculous, but in case you haven’t heard, there’s a social media movement that sprouted yesterday called theBoycott Madeacampaign.

The basic idea behind it, from those who created it, goes something like this: Tyler Perry has destroyed black cinema for an entire generation, so let's use social media to try to convince millions of people out there NOT to see A Madea Christmas when it opens on Dec. 13th. Then the Hollywood studios will see that audiences want better black films like 12 Years A Slave and The Best Man Holiday which are doing very well at the box office, and not TP’s films which are played out.

Simple logic, yes? Well, no.

First of all how many boycotts against a particular film have there been in history? Like, hundreds at least. And how many of them have actually been successful? That I can answer: None. Zero. Zip. The big goose egg.

You cannot convince people not to see a particular film via some mass movement against it, using whatever message in it you oppose. It’s their own hard earned money, and people, by their own choice, will go see a film because they want to, or won't because they don't.

It’s like when some black film supporters say that “Let’s all go out and support this film and send Hollywood a message”  nonsense. As I have said before, people go see a film because they want to, not because they have to. And anyone who says that they are going to see a film just because they want to support it is lying. Making that statement just makes them look good on the surface to other people. They know that no one is going to be following them 24 hours a day to see if they keep their promise.

People want to see those Madea films. Nobody wanted to see Perry’s For Colored Girls, and he did get the message all right: No more trying to be serious by reaching for something that requires more than his abilities and skill-set. Just stick to what you know.

Also how would boycotting Perry’s movies be sending a message to Hollywood? What does he care? He works outside the studio system. His films are distributed by Lionsgate, but he finances and produces all his films himself. If Lionsgate decided today to stop releasing his films, Perry would have no problem distributing them himself (and I’m surprised that he hasn’t decided to do that already).

Also, another thing that really irks me is something I’ve been hearing a lot lately: That there have never been so many black films released in the same year, as the year we're currently in; or that now is a great time for black movies.

It irks me because when people say those things, what they're really referring to are Hollywood studio released black movies, as if those are the only films that matter. The obvious fact is that there are many black films being made every year, and the vast majority of them are being produced and released independently.

The number of films that could be considered “black films” released by major studios or distributors are a pittance compared to the huge number of black films made every year completely outside the Hollywood system, without their support of any kind. For God's sake, we write about them every bloody day on this site.

Yet, to a lot of people, those black films are not as “important” because they don’t have any recognizable stars, or have a studio logo before the credits. And if they’re that closed minded, then they can’t be helped.

But for anyone who is actually thinking about boycotting A Madea Christmas, I suggest you forget about it; and if you’re so obsessed about sending Perry, or Hollywood for that matter, a message, go check out an independently made black film, such as Jono Oliver’s wonderful film Home, which opens this week in L.A. and N.Y. 

As I said earlier today in my article about the film (HERE), don’t worry, Madea and Best Man Holiday will still be there. There’s no rush. They’re not going away anytime soon. And if Jono Oliver's Home does do well then, no doubt, it will expand to other cities, allowing more of you to see the film. That would send a real message.

So let everyone go see what they want to see, and whatever makes them happy.

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  • Rosalyn | August 22, 2014 8:01 AMReply

    Tyler Perry movies are awesome all of them I seen every last one of them over and over again can't stop watching. The only one I'm waiting to see is A Madea's Christmas can't wait to see it. What the people need to do is stop hating on Tyler Perry and let him do his thing. Everyone likes his movies and plays if you don't like them that's your problem but we not going to stop watching cause some people don't like his movies who cares they need to stop hating and let him do his thing cause a lot of fans of his love his movies and plays so y'all need to leave him alone.

  • brit | June 25, 2014 3:46 PMReply

    Tyler Perry is a very blessed and talented man!! His movies are hilarious and inspirational. As of December 2013, Tyler Perry is the only filmmaker in history to have five films open #1 at the box office in the last five years. His net worth is over $400 million dollars and he wasn't born into stardom, he did it on his own. He must be doing something right!!! And he's proof that no matter what your back ground you get to choose your own destiny. Lighten the hell up and find something to do!!!!!!

  • fasfasf | March 12, 2014 5:58 PMReply

    Tyler Perry is an embarrassment to people of color, and part of the reason why racism still exists. It is clear that anyone who dislikes racism should boycott these films.

  • Brandon | February 8, 2014 10:50 PMReply

    Madea needs to do a hardcore pawn episode in Detroit. She'd rock that place.

  • ernest | November 21, 2013 4:25 PMReply

    Movie boycotts DO. NOT. WORK. They are waste of time and only promote commercial awareness, the exact opposite of the intention of a "boycott".

    Also, Tyler Perry is a well-paid clown and a buffoon.

  • Churchgirl | November 21, 2013 12:11 PMReply

    BOYCOTT all the other STUPID meaningless pictures being filmed !

    It's E N T E R T A I N M E N T !! Find something SERIOUS to BOYCOTT!!!

  • JMS | November 21, 2013 5:38 AMReply

    I like all his films WITHOUT the Madea character. I haven't been to those. I've been doing the Boycott Madea already. #LatePass

    Temptation, Colored Girls, Why Did I Get Married 1 & 2 are all good films. Keep making those Tyler!

  • El | November 21, 2013 4:28 PM

    Hollywood numbers dictate Tyler is more financially successful when he wears the dress.

    "Put on that dress, n****r!", they say as they count the money. Glad I'm not Tyler.

  • BLACKMAN | November 21, 2013 2:00 AMReply

    Twyler Perry is pandering to Fat White Housewives


    um, did you see the trailer? with white people? enough said.

  • Truth | November 21, 2013 2:29 AM

    They should boycott your dumb ass.

  • qstorm | November 20, 2013 12:45 PMReply

    The only film of TP's that I came close to liking was Why Did I Get Married...other than that, I really can't stand his film. Doesn't mean I think he should boycotted. When will we learn that it's better to ADD to the stew so we can ALL eat, instead of throwing the stew out altogether (if that metaphor makes sense). Let's focus on getting MORE films out there to provide balance, rather than focusing on getting rid of TP. When will we learn to choose our battles wisely??

  • Marie | November 20, 2013 2:29 PM

    Agreed. I'm a big critic of Perry's work but the answer isn't a boycott, it's to make more films with black leads in compelling roles. I'd rather expend the effort to convince Perry, Oprah, Jakes and others with money and power to produce more talented people's work before I support a boycott of Perry's work.

  • lilkunta | November 20, 2013 12:02 PMReply

    __People want to see those Madea films. Nobody wanted to see Perry’s For Colored Girls, and he did get the message all right: No more trying to be serious by reaching for something that requires more than his abilities and skill-set. Just stick to what you know.__

    Sergio : I feel you are wrong. Many DID see For colored Girls.
    and it would be easier to see indie films if they opened in cities aside from NY and LA, like those are the only 2 cities.

  • amh90 | November 20, 2013 11:03 AMReply

    I wouldn't say I'm apart of this "boycott" but I have never seen a Tyler Perry film. The trailers just don't interest me so I never watched. I think the "boycott" is silly though. Whats the point of a boycott. If you don't like his movies or find them entertaining don't watch them. It's just that simple.

  • JMS | November 21, 2013 5:40 AM

    Check out Temptation: Confession o fa Marriage Counselor - Good stuff! His best film IMO.

  • Jubilance | November 20, 2013 9:42 AMReply

    I've already been on a Tyler Perry boycott - it's called not buying tickets to any of his films, or buying/renting on DVD, and sharing what I find problematic about his work with others. No need for a social media boycott. Some people like his stuff, which is fine. I don't & I choose not to support his subpar work with my $.

  • Marie | November 20, 2013 2:30 PM

    I do the same but I do watch his work via Netflix so I can be confident in my criticism. :-)

  • Carl | November 20, 2013 5:14 AMReply

    I didn't even know this film was coming out until i read a campaign was going round on it. basically helped advertise the film. I wont see it regardless, not my sort of thing

  • MissM | November 26, 2013 10:50 AM

    I hit the wrong reply button. That comment was @Marie

  • MissM | November 26, 2013 10:49 AM

    Lol- same here...sometimes!

  • simone | November 20, 2013 1:17 AMReply

    We need to stop hypocrisy and let people choice want they want to see, Tyler Perry movies are awful regardless what and who? Hollywood call to boycott and follow them? It's hard to be a black in cinema and making popular successful movies. I have many movies at my home and every rime à buy something new but i have every Tyler Perry movies, because, he made some beautiful movies, he make black actors work, Hollywood not give them work.

  • MALCOLMX | November 20, 2013 12:45 AMReply

    There should be a social media campaign to boycott Shadow & Act.

  • Pitiful | November 20, 2013 6:41 AM

    What a pathetic, worthless troll you are...spending your time hating on something instead of focusing on something positive...I'm not mad at you cause I already know your life sucks...hope you get better

  • Dee | November 19, 2013 11:23 PMReply

    I like two of Tyler Perry's films and fully acknowledge their flaws. It is unfortunate that he doesn't try harder to improve his works with better scripts, better acting (on the part of certain actors), better scene blocking, decrease of melodrama, and overall better production quality. His foray outside of his usual comedy formula was hampered because he didn't improve his overall formula with material that is considered to be sacred. That is his own fault for being that way.

  • Donella | November 21, 2013 2:43 PM

    I actually watch Tyler Perry's films and stageplays. Madea's Witness Protection was absolute nonsense and a huge and amazing step backwards. I fear the same for A Madea Christmas.

    With the arrival of projects such as Think Like a Man, The Butler, Best Man Holiday, Black Nativity, etc., if Tyler Perry refuses to step up his game and improve the quality of his works, other filmmakers will satisfy his original audience with superior work and diminish his box office.

  • Marie | November 20, 2013 2:35 PM

    So true! You explained my single biggest complaint about Perry's movies--they're not getting any BETTER. There's a huge difference in quality between Spike Lee's first movie and his last. He got better at his craft. But that's Perry's problem, he's not a "filmmaker" in the traditional sense. He doesn't have a passion for storytelling, like Scorsese and Spielberg. Instead, film is simply a vehicle for him to disseminate his religion-infused world view. I read somewhere that he once got notes for one of his t.v. shows and he completely dismissed them. How can one dismiss ALL feedback? Does he really think his work is so perfect that he doesn't need any input? Perry's people are so busy enabling his mediocrity that they're preventing him from improving. Very sad and quite a waste.

  • Walter Harris Gavin | November 19, 2013 11:15 PMReply

    While "black" folks in America come in all colors, shapes, sizes, and political stripes, culturally here in America we are American. We respond to media product the way most Americans do. While we hunger for more diversity and breath in portrayals and stories of the "black" experience and point of view sometimes we just want escapist entertainment just like other Americans do. And while we get a sense of the "independent" scene for "black" movies here on S&A the majority of folks have to be marketed to with these films the same way you market soap or any other consumer product. The wider the distribution and marketing and publicity campaign the greater chance for success, profitability and replication. There will always be an audience for Tyler Perry-type films until there is not. As somebody once said, "Don't get mad, get even."

  • Michele | November 19, 2013 11:11 PMReply

    Sergio, thank you for your article. I’m going to presume that you write about film because you are an avid viewer of film and also because you know film history. Your statements about unsuccessful boycotts of film are untrue. The NAACP successfully boycotted “Birth of a Nation.” Likewise, your statement that people cannot be convinced to see a film is also untrue. Melvin Van Peeples convinced the local Black Panther’s Party in Detroit to view “Sweetback.” Once the Black Panther Party put the word out on the street that “Sweetback” was an important film (one of the first black produced films since the days of Oscar Micheaux), people flocked to the theatre. Just a bit of black cinema history for you to digest.

  • sergio | November 20, 2013 12:21 PM

    And exactly just what effect it had on the box office performance of Nation? As Miles said every white person in the country went to see the film. If white people had stay away then you could say the boycott had an effect

  • lilkunta | November 20, 2013 12:08 PM

    @ Sergio : Birth of a nation was successfully boycotted by Afr Am.
    Come on now.
    You over spoke/wrote whn you said boycotts dont work and people do what they want.

  • sergio | November 19, 2013 11:39 PM

    There was a boycott of Birth of a Nation, but it was a resounding failure. The film was a massive box office sucuess in 1915 when it was first released and grossed amost $20 million dollars which was an unheard of amount when it first came out. (the film was re-released a few more times after its first release) It was the biggest box office success for any film for over the next 20 years and in today dollars would be equal to $350 million dollars domestically. Some boycott.

  • Miles Ellison | November 19, 2013 11:27 PM

    I wouldn't call the boycott of Birth of a Nation a success. Every white racist who wanted to see it did, so what exactly did the NAACP achieve? You would have been hard pressed to find 10 white people who weren't racists in the early 20th century United States, let alone convince them to not support a blatantly anti-black film.

  • Miles Ellison | November 19, 2013 10:18 PMReply

    Tyler Perry's Madea films have made a ton of money. That indicates that there is a large audience that prefers to see these movies. It's considerably more people than this "boycott" contains. This would be a lot more effective if there was as large an audience for all of this outside the mainstream black cinema as there is for what Tyler Perry does. The fact is, there clearly isn't.

  • BUCK | November 19, 2013 10:15 PMReply

    What bothers me is that so many people will jump up and challenge any type of disapproval of Tyler Perry who KNOW the quality of his films is substantially lower than that of most African American independent films and that there are many independent filmmakers who deserve all of this hype Tyler gets from blacks and white media. Im not going to pretend like Tyler Perry is anything different from Jay-Z or 2 Chainz who are people that are benefiting from a formula that works. He's not trying to change anything or be too impressive hes just getting paid and should be treated that way unless his films get better.

  • Wow | November 19, 2013 9:58 PMReply

    Forgot to point out another way you are wrong:Tyler Perry does not finance his own films, Lionsgate pays for and distributes them, they just trust him and don't dictate how he makes the movies. You really should check your facts more carefully before presenting your opinion as fact.

  • JMM | January 25, 2014 6:31 PM

    Wrong! Tyler Perry finances his films out of his own pocket which is why he retains full ownership of his films and this is also how he makes so much money he gets a pretty large cut of the films profits. Lionsgate just distributes his films. Tyler usually makes low budget films with budgets under $10 million. He has around a $400 million net worth so he can just finance his cheap films himself.

  • Wow | November 19, 2013 9:55 PMReply

    You are wrong on so many levels I don't even have the space to address the all. But I will say:

    1. I do support Black movies and encourage others to do the same.
    2. "For Colored Girls" made $37 million at the box office, more than the average black movie
    3. Tyler Perry made "Good Deeds" and Temptation after "For Colored Girls" both of which aren't comedies.

    I will give you the fact that the thought that we are in a new renaissance is nonsense and we should all support more independent black film. If we all supported each other more and didn't waste our time with this boycott b.s. Or discouraging people from supporting more black films maybe they'd all do better so we'd see more of them. Trust me, if it makes money, it makes sense to Hollywood. Period.

  • Marie | November 20, 2013 2:39 PM

    I adamantly refuse to support mediocrity regardless of the ethnicity of the creator. If black filmmakers--or any filmmakers--want my support, they have to earn it with QUALITY. Otherwise they're wasting my time and money.

  • Sergio | November 20, 2013 12:28 AM

    At $37 million that still makes For Colored Girls one of his lowest grossing films when his film avaege around $55-60 million. Good Deeds grossed even less and Alex Cross just barely made over $25 million total. The message for Perry is that audiences doesn't buy you when you play normal, straight guys. Stay in a dress and they'll come

  • Nefarious | November 19, 2013 9:46 PMReply

    Because everybody know people show love them some Madea. Tyler Perry will keep making Madea movies gleefully and joyously despite how people feel about it and despite any type of harmful backlash or images it may have on the black community. I wish people would realize that Hollywood is about money, not art, not expression, not representation, not equality but money and people go see what they like which means as long as people like Madea there's no reason not to do it, financially at least. People need to realize there is NO reason for Hollywood to listen to you or care about you at all unless you reflect the overwhelming views and opinions of the majority or somehow affect their paper. Hollywood has no obligation to care about anyone and they will make anything thats harmful or offensive to anyone and it will be perfectly fine and gross millions of dollars.

  • Rocket | November 20, 2013 1:53 PM

    On point.

  • Ghost | November 19, 2013 9:37 PMReply

    Perry would have no problem distributing them himself (and I’m surprised that he hasn’t decided to do that already).

    The reason might be because places like Target & Wal-Mart wouldn't sell them or public libraries wouldn't buy them to check out-if Tyler did it himself. Also how much would those DVDs be if he did it himself? Would they be affordable? Could they be sold at a lower price (because some distribution deals will not allow you to sell at a lower price-ask comic book stores about that)

    Maybe Lionsgate gets his stuff into places that he can't.

    " The obvious fact is that there are many black films being made every year, and the vast majority of them are being produced and released independently."

    And who can find them? That has been an issue too. Even online it's hard to find them or any information on them outside of this site.

    One of the biggest gripes is why is it Tyler 24/7? Can we see or hear about others not named Tyler, Lee Daniels or TD Jakes by our sorry excuse of a black media. That is what folks are really getting tired of.

    I think that is what the boycott is about-acknowledge others-I mean what else does Tim Story have to do direct a 4th film to make over $90 million? Or Malcolm Lee? That is not a diss at Tyler but more of a call out to the media-EXPAND who you talk about.

  • Lynn Emery | November 19, 2013 9:20 PMReply

    Oh get over the "outside his skill set" nose in the air cause you know "quality" nonsense. Colored Girls was a fab movie. Your opinion. Many fine films don't do well commercially. That has nothing to do with quality. I find your snips at those you don't "bless" as quality amusing.

  • Marie | November 20, 2013 2:49 PM

    I don't think you understand film, Lynn. Just like you can judge a basketball player by certain objective criteria, the same is true with film. To quote Dee's post, "better scripts, better acting (on the part of certain actors), better scene blocking, decrease of melodrama, and overall better production quality." These are all basic, objective criteria expected of any film and that all of Perry's films fail to accomplish. I would add also the lack of subtext and irony in his scripts. Syd Field just died. It's doubtful if Perry owns any of Field's books or even heard of the guy. His chosen profession is storytelling. It's not a lot to ask that he know the basics. Would you be so supportive of a basketball player who couldn't shoot?

  • TheDoc | November 19, 2013 10:03 PM

    Tyler Perry is an actor who started making plays centered around a southern christian traditions, tragedy, and the antics of an old black woman. then began to adapt those plays into films after their commercial success. He is not a "filmmaker" he cannot say that he has all the skills the average filmmaker would have because hes had no training in it. Thus making a feature film is obviously "outside his skill set." and Four Colored Girls is not a bad story but Tyler did make it a bad movie and I attribute its lack of success due to people not being able to take Tyler Perry seriously

  • getthesenets | November 19, 2013 9:12 PMReply

    I remember after Django was released and somebody thought that action figures of enslaved characters was a good idea.

    Group of people out in Cali staged a protest/ press conference calling for the action figures/dolls to be pulled.

    not ONE single peep from S&A about ANY way

    Once Weinstein (or whomever) decided to axe the idea....THEN there was a greenlight for "independent sites" to cover the story.

    Social media campaign to boycott Madea materializes and S&A is all over it

    I'm just saying.

  • Sergio | November 20, 2013 5:17 PM

    DAMN! You caught us. You're too smart for us. We're complete and total frauds. Thanks to you the whole world is aware of us now

    Nothing left to do but to kill ourselves.

  • getthesenets | November 20, 2013 4:47 PM

    try explaining why S&A conspicuously avoided any mention of the protest against the action figures even as the story was picked up by major media outlets and a public protest outside the oscars(or some other televised awards show) was planned.

    then try explaining why this entry about protest against TP films was written BEFORE (m)any people were even aware of the social media campaign.

    do that with a straight face.

  • Sergio | November 19, 2013 11:52 PM

    You still have ahard on about those Django action firgures after all this time. What happened? You went to the store to buy some and they were all sold out and you've been bitter ever since?

  • Mr. Bungle | November 19, 2013 8:58 PMReply

    I have already been doing this my entire life.

  • D.A. | November 19, 2013 8:46 PMReply

    "It irks me because when people say those things, what they're really referring to are Hollywood studio released black movies, as if those are the only films that matter. The obvious fact is that there are many black films being made every year, and the vast majority of them are being produced and released independently."

    If there were none then you probably wouldn't have any black films to report. So I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiment.

  • SF | November 19, 2013 8:32 PMReply

    Those people need to get a life. If they don't like what Tyler is delivering to the big screen, then tell them to write, produce, direct, finance, distribute, promote their own projects. Until then, in the words of the eloquent Madea: "put the shut to the up, shut to the up."

  • randomthoughtsunsolicitedopinions | November 19, 2013 8:31 PMReply

    I disagree. The boycott of the Golden Compass worked.

  • D.A. | November 19, 2013 9:02 PM

    Yeah, but the film's main plot centered around anti-religious themes and your pointing out one film, and to be realistic, it still earned double it's budget at the box office. The film was not banned altogether.

  • sergio | November 19, 2013 8:42 PM

    Far from it. I remember the film doing extremely well overeas and I checked. The film grossed some $373 million worldwide. They could have made a sequel or two if they wanted to. It wasn't some so-called boycott that stopped them

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