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Rev. Al Sharpton Honors Tyler Perry, Calls His Critics "Proper Negroes"

by Vanessa Martinez
October 21, 2011 8:20 AM
46 Comments
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Tyler Perry was honored by Civil Rights Activist Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network this past Wednesday. According to The Washington Post, Sharpton lashed out at the critics of the highest-earning man in Hollywood, calling them "proper negroes" "who don't really understand regular black folk". Sharpton praised Perry for providing work to under appreciated actors in Hollywood and for creating his own empire.

Sharpton was quoted saying, "This man never apologized for who we were, the ultimate pride is where you don’t have to bend and adjust for others to accept you. ... He didn’t go mainstream, he brought mainstream to us.”

While accepting the honors, Perry had some words for those who argue his works reinforce stereotypes of the black community:

“When you start out and you’re doing things and you’re trying to do the right things, and you find these attacks happening, and you try and figure out, ‘How do you handle this? How do you deal with this? How do you go there?’ So to have someone like you who has done all that you have done and have inspired and encouraged and fought for so many people, to stand here and to give me this award, this is really, really awesome."

"I stayed with who we are, and what I wish I could get us to understand as a people is that instead of getting your education and running from us, you need to ground and root yourself in who we are. Every other culture in this country knows the value of us as black people but we don’t know it ourselves. Somebody said to me about the ‘House of Payne,’ ‘Why do you have fat black people on television?’ Because there are fat black people in the world. It’s not a stereotype. This is who we are, we need to stop running from our parents and our grandparents and our uncles, we need to stop running from them and embrace them.”

Perry acknowledged his character Madea was silly, but continued to emphasize his films carry important messages. He considers himself the "ear of the people" and his work a God given gift, which he refuses to walk away from "because somebody out there, a few people out there, have a problem with it.”

There you have it folks. Don't shoot the messenger. TGIF! :-)

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46 Comments

  • WTF IS ALL THIS ABOUT! | October 25, 2011 9:09 AMReply

    You all sound dumb as hell! I have been sitting here reading all of you all's messages and ya'll sound a hot mess.
    @Landlocked -What the hell u mean by "embarrasment to my race." Al Sharpton Marched for yo dumbass and you sitting there saying stupid stuff. STFU. (shut the f*** up) You sound dumb.
    ____________________________________________________________
    I aint fully representing TP, but the man is actually help African-Americans get jobs in this struggle of our economy right now. I am so sick of hearing about the criticizing to and from others on TP. Damn! I can't stand uneducated people. His movies are not to promote the loud mouth, ignorant, pot-smoking Madea, but the value of Family. I don't care if he is making a billion dollars or a penny a day. Even though he has a different way of expressing the message it is still there. I respect Lee, Singleton, and Toure. Even though Toure starting to hate on TP because he make more money than he does, but that is besides the point. We need to stop criticizing each other and start giving each other encouragement, not because you might like it, but to say 'Hey, brother/sista I respect that you are doing something with your life' and if you don't like his/her work or what they are doing don't make it public or bash on that person, be like 'Hey, man, I see what you are trying to do, but I think you should make some changes, and I would like to state OPINIONS...NOT CRITICISM!
    ____________________________________________________________
    I understand ya'll opinions but you all are stating them in a very wrong way and that's why people don't have respect for them! DIDN'T MEAN TO BASH ON YA'LL...JUST TRIED OF HEARING THIS! I REPEAT I AM NOT TAKING SIDES.

  • urbanauteur | October 24, 2011 6:53 AMReply

    Whatz the difference between Cognac & Cornbread,earl(hunchington) & Al? this mealy-mouth charlatan loves to placate petti-bougie platitudes, but behind close doors, he wax poetic like his boy(don king) while greasing his head and palms with blood money & pie-in-the-sky nirvana, he's a psedo-Ralph Bunche! with dookie braids!, its funny b/c TP gave his outfit $200,oo0! on his way out, makes one wonder if it was`nt already coming?.

  • Justin | October 24, 2011 5:02 AMReply

    So frustrating to hear one of our leaders dismissing criticism of Tyler Perry as the complaints of "proper negroes."

    The only thing worse then to see the same centuries old stereotypes garnering so much acclaim is to be shamed for not accepting them.

  • Jug | October 23, 2011 8:49 AMReply

    Misha, how is it problematic? When someone like Oprah at once considers herself Black and a citizen of the world, it would be kinda ridiculous to only give her time, energy & resources to for Black people. It was the same argument about her opening her school in Africa instead of the United States, someone is always going to see issue with someone's actions when they want it to benefit ONLY them. That upsets some folks, but to each their own...

    If that is problematic to you, well,...oops LOL

  • misha | October 23, 2011 3:35 AMReply

    "R U upset because Oprah chooses to help ALL people, which thereby helps Black people? Hmm, sounds reminiscent of those who say 'Obama ain’t doing enuff for BLACK people'".

    Well this statement is problematic but whatever...not really on topic so I won't even dare to expound. LOL

    Anyhow, U of I Alum, I'm glad you apologized because I was about ready to call you a troll. :D

  • U of I Alum | October 22, 2011 6:58 AMReply

    @ Darla & Mark once again:

    Ironically, I recall watching "Tora! Tora! Tora!" years ago with my father; I was bored stiff.

    Oh, I forgot:
    FATHER: A man in relation to his natural child or children.

  • U of I Alum | October 22, 2011 6:51 AMReply

    @ Darla & Mark again:

    I'm just surprised you didn't refer to the Robert Redford film as,
    "A River Be Running Through It."

  • U of I Alum | October 22, 2011 6:45 AMReply

    @ Darla & Mark: You asked, "Anything else you want to know about my movie habits?"

    Actually, yes, just one thing: What the hell is "Toro, Toro, Toro"?

    I'm familiar with the 1970 war film, directed by Richard Fleischer, about the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor -- it's called "Tora!, Tora!, Tora!" -- but I've never heard of "Toro, Toro, Toro."

    You sound as if you're trying to call your shiftless baby's daddy from across the back alley! "Toro, get yo' no good ass over here and take care yo' responsibility!"

    One would think you'd know how to correctly spell or pronounce one of your so-called "all time favorite movies."

    Lord, what a joke you uneducated T.P. fans are -- even when you put forth the effort, you still embarrass yourselves!

  • Darla & Mark | October 22, 2011 5:55 AMReply

    I doubt it 'Who Is Afraid of Virginia Woolf' is my all time favorite movie, one educated movie.

    Other educated movies I love

    Doctor Zhivago
    Toro, Toro Toro
    Three Days of The Condor
    Doubt
    Gaslight

    So many more, still planning to watch 'The King Speech' love Collins Firth acting since 'Pride & Prejudice'

    'A River Run Through It' was just boring.

    Anything else you want to know about my movie habits?

  • U of I Alum | October 22, 2011 5:51 AMReply

    @ Darla & Mark: Don't know who you are, but after sleeping on the offensive comments I made and directed at you, simply because you showed support for TP (which I still see as somewhat justifiable on my part), I realize the bite and sting of them were completely unnecessary and unjustified -- and I'm amazed at your refusal to stoop to my level -- which says so much about you, your dignity, and the points you initially attempted to make. Your self-esteem is admirable. And I do apologize for my foolishness/inappropriateness; TP discussions indeed tend to bring out the worst in me.

    I won't say it about the filmmaker in question, but in my book, you are clearly a credit to our race.

    Again, sorry -- and best to you and yours.

    And yes, I did consider "Midway" kind of dull.

  • Darla & Mark | October 22, 2011 5:16 AMReply

    @Alum

    Mother and Father got marry in 1952, grew up with both parent in the household.

    Had one pregnancy one live birth, daughter had both parent in the household until the father died of heart problems.

    I guess Midway is also boring to you...

  • U of I Alum | October 22, 2011 4:47 AMReply

    @Darla & Mark -- so, essentially, what you're saying is, one has to be uneducated to fully understand TP?

    Damn my "proper negro" parents for making sacrifices to ensure that my siblings and I were college educated!

    And, another thing, Darla & Mark: you sure Robert Redford's other film's simply weren't over your uneducated little ghetto-weaved head?!

  • Darla & Mark | October 22, 2011 4:34 AMReply

    A director can be a genius at directing but he or she better have a compelling story to tell with their directing, if not, that director will lose its audience.

    Robert Redford is an Academy Award winner Director; love his 'Ordinary People'.
    Like me and so many others, find the stories he has directed since then boring.

    Tyler is not the best director however to his audience his stories are compelling and that is what yall educated people don't seem to understand or don't want to.

  • U of I Alum | October 22, 2011 3:53 AMReply

    @Whatever, Man -- you "matriculated" at NYU, huh? Bless your heart. (And the English instructors didn't teach you to put a comma between the words nigga and bye? Obviously, you dropped out too soon!)

    @ Darla & Mark -- you didn't put the figurative firecracker up my ass; it was actually your ignorance and the alacrity with which you relish it.

    Oh, again, I forgot:
    Alacrity: cheerful, willing readiness.

    Again, you TP-loving coons!

  • Whatever, Man | October 22, 2011 3:34 AMReply

    @Alum:

    "...Tyler Perry fans who pride themselves on "keeping it real" and being uneducated and improper."

    Unlike you, TP knows his fan base and it's racially and socioeconomically diverse. I matriculated at NYU. Nigga bye.

  • TP Fan | October 22, 2011 3:00 AMReply

    @U of I Alum:

    This is the Jack & Jill shit Sharpton is talking about. It's a blog, not Composition 101. While you're trying to figure out a way to pay off all those student loans, TP is making multiple movies each year. 20 years from now he will be lauded by the same folks downing him. Just like Singleton, Hughes Bros, and at times even Lee.

    And S&A, take JMac's suggestion. 2 TP posts in one day is too much even for you. There must be other topics out there that can rile people up.

  • Darla & Mark | October 22, 2011 2:59 AMReply

    @Alum

    I know I am not the best writer but what I wrote sure put a fire cracker up your ass.

  • Zeus | October 22, 2011 2:51 AMReply

    @ U of I Alum -- LMAO!!!

  • U of I Alum | October 22, 2011 2:41 AMReply

    @ Darla & Mark & WTF! -- you two defenders of Tyler Perry's oeuvre have some of the worst writing skills I've encountered on the S&A site. But I guess that's typical for Tyler Perry fans who pride themselves on "keeping it real" and being uneducated and improper.

    Oh, I forget:

    OEUVRE: a substantial body of work constituting the lifework of a writer, artist, director or composer.

    Coon asses!

  • AccidentalVisitor | October 22, 2011 2:23 AMReply

    If being turned off by Perry's porous movie-making skills makes me a "Proper Negro" then I will wear that badge of honor with pride. Give me the damn t-shirt already.

    Besides a black man like Sharpton who has straightened his hair for most of his life is probably not in the best position to be judging the legitimacy of other black folks.


    Glad to see Rev Al still holding on to the view that black people who don't share the same views and likes of other blacks are somehow fraudulent. Keep it classy.

  • Darla & Mark | October 22, 2011 2:16 AMReply

    There were and still is excellent movies made by black people for black people but for some odd reason black people aren't and still ain't interest in those kind of movies,

    Tyler Perry is not the best director however his audience don't care about camera angle, lighting, position, etc they only care about the story being told.

    Out of forty three million black people in America, only four to five million go to Tyler movies, thirty eight million blacks are left, so why don't they go to non-Tyler movies.

    You can bet all the rice in China there are a lot of well education women in that four to five million in that bunch.

  • B.Young | October 22, 2011 2:11 AMReply

    I would advise Tyler Perry, to go watch Spike Lee's classic film "Bamboozled". I think he could learn a thing or two!

  • JMac | October 22, 2011 1:29 AMReply

    Don't know about Chris Rock but I think I read that TP gave Reverend Al six figures. Not surprised.

    I'd respect TP if he was more original and if he stopped acting as if his works are from God so no one should criticize them or him. That argument may hold sway for some people but the rest of the world has common sense. And yes - treat your workers right if you're a man of God, damn it!
    ------------------

    An aside:

    It'd be nice if we could suggest topics from time to time rather than have specific posts about the same cast of characters. [I know - not too many of our people doing anything on a large scale.]

    For example, a few weeks back Rita Morena did an interview on PBS about being the "utilitarian ethnic" and playing hispanic stereotypes in old Hollywood and Diahann Carroll said a few strong words at the MLK memorial. It would be interesting to take their remarks and apply it to recent issues/topics on S&A, particularly the Devious Maids and Shonda Rhimes posts and re-examine which arguments they would support and why there is such a clash between the older and younger generations on racial progress in entertainment. One usually hears discussion about remarks from Belafonte, Cosby, Glover, Poitier but no one pays as much attention to actresses of that era who are still around and have just as much relevance (if not more so) concerning these topics.

    Just a suggestion.
    ---------------
    Back to TP

  • Neziah | October 22, 2011 1:27 AMReply

    Damn, Orville got blasted. LOL!

  • Ghost | October 22, 2011 1:10 AMReply

    Perry is giving black actors work when NOBODY else is, he OWNS his OWN studio, this man is helping blacks.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    So did these people-
    The late Dwayne McDuffie who was doing it BEFORE anyone heard of Tyler Perry
    Brian Hooks
    Master P
    Ralph Farquahar
    Mara Brock Akil
    Jaleel White
    Kenny Blank
    The WAYANS family

    And many others who are not doing coonfest stuff.

  • Miles Ellison | October 21, 2011 12:44 PMReply

    Perry is giving black actors work when NOBODY else is, he OWNS his OWN studio, this man is helping blacks.

    Andrew Monroe Lincoln Perry (Stepin Fetchit) was one of the first black film actors to earn one million dollars. He directed his own scenes in movies. He got other black actors into Hollywood. He also created stereotypes that were so disgraceful, racist, and offensive that the films were eventually banned.

    The fact that rich black people are producing minstrel trash and hiring black actors doesn't justify its existence. This issue seems to be less about the offensiveness of the images and more about who's controlling them. The issue should be whether there is a need for this kind of imagery in entertainment at all. I see no need, but clearly a significant portion of the black audience does, and that is a shame, but it is what it is.

  • LandLocked | October 21, 2011 12:42 PMReply

    @ That Dude: What did Chris Rock say?
    Admittedly, I was too busy reading the comments of ignorant, obviously uneducated "improper" coon negroes like ORVILLE to concentrate on Rock's comments.

  • that dude | October 21, 2011 12:29 PMReply

    What's crazy about this article is that no one is reporting Chris Rock's comments when he spoke to the audience. I heard about what he said and that's a bigger story than what they are running now!

  • Jug | October 21, 2011 12:13 PMReply

    @Zeus- *sigh* LMAO

  • Zeus | October 21, 2011 12:00 PMReply

    Might be one of the dumbest comments I’ve seen in a while.

    Good luck Jug. I tried to give facts to Orville to support why that is a bullshit statement but facts don't matter when one insists to anoint TP the MLK of black cinema.

    Orville feels that TP underpaying black folk is cool and is better than nothing. Pimping black writers to the point where the WGA comes after you is better than nothing.

    Wow.

  • Jug | October 21, 2011 11:15 AMReply

    Orville, I was allllmost there with you till this statement:

    <<"Perry is giving black actors work when NOBODY else is, he OWNS his OWN studio, this man is helping blacks.

    I don’t see Shonda Rhimes or Oprah doing much for black people lately.">>

    Might be one of the dumbest comments I've seen in a while. First off, Tyler is "doing so much for black people", like when he was screwing his BLACK writers of their union benefits & wages because he is the only game in town in Georgia. Same thing with the actors from his first series. Don't believe me, go Google how the writers picketed the opening of his OWN STUDIO.

    Shonda Rhimes & Oprah..did you really have the gumption to say that?! Really??! C'mon Son, go head with that bullshit! LOL (Love Ed Lover). The writers, actors & directors of color & specifically FEMALE that Shonda & Oprah have put the hell on is sick. I can't even name them all. If you're feeling froggy, you can go to Imdb & look up writers & directors of Grey's Anatomy (especially Chondra Wilson, who wasn't even supposed to be on the damn show bcuz her role was written white, has directed MULTIPLE episodes).

    R U upset because Oprah chooses to help ALL people, which thereby helps Black people? Hmm, sounds reminiscent of those who say "Obama ain't doing enuff for BLACK people". Again, C'mon son...all of the Legends Balls she throws & gives honor to those that came before her? Really, Oprah?!? The millions she gives away annually to charity, for education, giving a Worldwide access to celebrities, professionals & dignitaries of color to speak thoughtfully on subjects where in other arenas they would just be asked "So, what's on your iPod right now?"

    I am actually sitting here laughing as I type this because I'm..rather shocked you could type that & hit "Submit".

    (cont'd)

  • Jug | October 21, 2011 11:14 AMReply

    (cont'd)

    Yes, I think folks should lay off Tyler as far as calling him chitlin' circuit & cooning & what not. It is devisive & ultimately elitist & it obscures that fact that he's not a very good filmmaker. So what that people like it, people like Adam Sandler and ya know what, he's horrible but he's a millionaire. They don't have to be mutually exclusive. I credit his business acumen all day long AND celebrate that he has succeeded in giving Hollywood the finger and having a nice segment of it bend to his will. VERY hard to do, for ANYONE. Will I give him a free pass on the CONSTRUCTION of his films? HELL NO! Not once he's $150 Million strong & can make a better quality product-not the content, but sheer construction of it-can be better because he can go to someone & learn a thing or two. But he won't, & do you know why? Because he knows his Brand & he knows his audience. The "simple, regular, non proper folk" above. See, the sickening part is the idea that people who crave a better story, with better acting & creative visuals are "proper folk". Hmm, guess these same "proper negroes" musta hated A RAISIN IN THE SUN, A SOLDIER'S PLAY, WOMEN OF BREWSTER'S PLACE, COLOR PURPLE, BEST MAN, LOVE JONES, SPARKLE, DREAMGIRLS, RAY, MALCOLM X, DO THE RIGHT THING, THE PIANO LESSON, COTTON COMES TO HARLEM, SHAFT, BLACK CAESAR, THE PREACHER'S WIFE, SWEET SWEETBACK'S BAADASSSSS SONG.....well you get the picture.

    I get you're mad bcuz Tyler is your hero. But please, for the sake of balance in the Universe, don't say stupid shit like that anymore. It makes it reeeal hard to give you any sort of credit....

  • Orville | October 21, 2011 10:50 AMReply

    Tyler needs to stop apologizing to the uppity black people out there. Yes, the black community is diverse BUT when will the uppity blacks respect the rest of US that LIKE Tyler's work. I don't like John Singleton nor do I like Spike Lee their movies are boring and don't interest me.

    Obviously, Perry is doing something right when Forbes Magazine named him as the top male entertainer in Hollywood and he made $130 million dollars. This is incredible because Perry's audience is mostly of black people and his movies are hardly released in international markets.

    Perry is giving black actors work when NOBODY else is, he OWNS his OWN studio, this man is helping blacks.

    I don't see Shonda Rhimes or Oprah doing much for black people lately.

  • voss | October 21, 2011 10:27 AMReply

    interesting... Tyler must be paying for Al's hair to stay fried... expensive perms are... smh.

  • LeonRaymond Mitchell | October 21, 2011 10:25 AMReply

    I don't think in all serious focus we as Black folk truly care, he is making his money and there is a large segment of us as people of color that really want to get on to making real quality films, with his help or with out it. And I think the large segment of true lovers of cinema feel that, that is is corner and scope and we want to create a process that will allow us to make films. I keep hearing that there is no BLACK HOLLYWOOD and it is wrong to state that it is, well we need to band together then and create a Black Hollywood and not get bent and slapped down to make our films of quality. He is free to make the projects he wants, and there is a large segment of us that want more on a higher level. This has nothing to do with him, it has more to do with moving forward. All these actresses who state when asked why do you do his films "Cause he was the only one who called" speaks to us as a roaming group of filmmakers who have not come together to create content, who need to push forth more projects and employ us and people of color .

  • Jug | October 21, 2011 10:17 AMReply

    WOW! Another comment "missing"...

    Startin' to get all X-FILES up in here LOL

  • Boycott | October 21, 2011 10:09 AMReply

    Selling our people down the river for a cheap laugh

  • tee | October 21, 2011 9:47 AMReply

    Aww Tyler you were okay with me until you decided to throw "This is who we are" in your speech, that's not who I am and neither where my parents. I didn't grow up around loud mouth fat people, so get your head out of the white man's azz and start writing something of substance, if that's even possible.

  • Tovah | October 21, 2011 9:37 AMReply

    So, "who we are" is antithetical to getting an education?

    ...Suddenly his work makes sense.

  • Jug | October 21, 2011 9:36 AMReply

    Hmm, I'm actually wondering what happened to the one Pro-Perry comment that came after mine, but has since disappeared....

  • Anwar | October 21, 2011 9:31 AMReply

    Tyler Perry makes money. He has success. I never will fault him for that. But he needs to stop dwelling on any kind of criticism he gets. Everyone won't like you. People think he's a poor filmmaker. I've never really truly had a problem with what he shows or depicts in his work, I have a problem with the craftsmanship. But that's just my opinion.

    I just want to say to him "Tyler, you are successful and no one has stopped you from doing what you want to do and how you want to do it, so...and I say this nicely...shut up." He irritates me with this constant whining as if every black person will appreciate him. If he thinks he's doing right by black people, then just do it and don't worry about what a bunch of other people think.

  • blah blah | October 21, 2011 9:21 AMReply

    Also, I wouldn't be surprised if Sharpton's comment was slyly directed at Toure, who recently got on television to bash TP.

  • blah blah | October 21, 2011 9:18 AMReply

    Class warfare within the black community. This should be interesting *grabs popcorn*

    Seriously though, I wish he stop talking about the criticism of his work. All filmmakers are criticized for one thing or another. And black folks are not monolithic people. Deal with it.

  • LandLocked | October 21, 2011 9:08 AMReply

    I'd rather be a Tyler Perry Movie-hating "Proper Negro" any day, before being an ignorant, clueless, shucking & jiving embarrassment to my race--and to mankind in general! And doesn’t pimp-perm wearing Al Sharpton have anything better to do? He’s all over the place; he needs a new cause. Hey, Al, I heard Tawana Brawley was attacked again!

    And to Tyler Perry: I don’t care how much money you’re allowed to earn for pandering to and promoting negative images of African Americans--(while still hiding in the closet, well aware that the same backwards-thinking demographic for whom you claim to make films would be just as vehemently critical of you if your gayness was confirmed)--I still wouldn’t want to be you!

    Embarrassments, both!

  • Jug | October 21, 2011 8:48 AMReply

    Shame of it all, is that to the tune of $150 Million, Sharpton might be right.

    "Who is more fool, the fool or the fool who follows the fool?..."

  • C. | October 21, 2011 8:37 AMReply

    **sigh...**

    i just can't with him right now...

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