Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Columnist Writes an Open Letter to Tyler Perry

test4Kim K. and Tyler Perry

This is an open letter to Tyler Perry written by Morris Kelly

Dear Tyler Perry,

I have never been concerned with gaining favor with celebrities or undeservedly denigrating one's work.  I have always prided myself on putting my community first, even when doing so has been   unpopular and frankly unappreciated by members of that same community.

So understand that my letter to you is on principle and premise...not personal animus.  This comes not from someone who is a fan of “this” or “that” person, but a fan of the community of African-Americans.  They comefirst in all I do.

The problem I personally have with your letter Mr. Perry which offered insight into your decision-making process of casting Kim Kardashian, is that it seeks to weave a disingenuous narrative. You seem to suggest that the sum total story of redemption to be told in Tyler Perry's The Marriage Counselor holds more weight than the combination of its components.

Untrue.

The issue isn't whether K.K. is appropriate or whether you Mr. Perry have the right to create as you see fit. Nobody is deluded here. Nothing is going to change from this letter, neither your mind nor your movie. Nevertheless, some things need to be said and placed on the record because the truth doesn't change and isn't subject to interpretation.  Meaning, the issue I have is that your letter to your fans was an attempt to spin the casting of Kim Kardashian into some higher calling.

That can not pass without a truth check. Again, this isn't personal, just a matter of principle.

Some people are angry with you because Kim Kardashian receives too much attention as a black man's pin up. Some are angry with you because she is not an actress by any stretch of the imagination. Others are displeased that given your high profile movies, an African-American actress in the role means more to your core fan base who made “Tyler Perry” a household name, than fans you may gain by crossing over and dipping into the Reality TV punch bowl.

And let's be honest, many are disturbed that given your kinda-sorta-Christian-themed-message-movies, you are further rewarding an individual whose original claim to fame was a sex tape.

For all who criticize you on this issue, it is some of that. For some, it is all of that.  Inevitably, the distaste for Kim Kardashian amongst many African-American women (your core fan base) is real, not imagined. Take considerable care in the underestimation of their angst and the strength of their collective memory.

A common theme in all of your movies is the story of redemption.  Even the worst of the worst are worthy of second chances.

Agreed.

But Mr. Perry, you can't really argue telling the STORY of redemption through use of a promotion vehicle (Kardashian) who presently lives and thrives on irredeemable REAL LIFE behavior. I'd rather see a sermon lived out than hear one, any day of the week.  I'd rather see a sermon than one acted out on the silver screen.  People who live their creed mean affect more lives than ones who act it out for a paycheck.  If you want to truly reach the followers of K.K., seek to change K.K., don't give her a movie role and then claim you are doing your fans (and her fans) a quasi-Christian favor by doing so.  I think we all understand the economics and business strategy here. There is no need to further convolute the issue.

Truth check: Spiritual discernment still trumps spin and specious argumentation.

K.K. wasn't an actress who “made a mistake” and who now is being granted a second chance. It's a “mistake” to even characterize her as an actress. Her claim to fame IS the mistake.

And here you are further rewarding it.  Truth check.

If your fans are angry with you (and they are); let's be truthful and honest about the realities of their anger. Let's not minimize, trivialize or bastardize the nature of their grievances. It's not that they didn't “hear you out” or “jumped to conclusions.” You've insulted their intelligence by suggesting their anger was misdirected or misinformed in the first place.

Your company is yours to run as you see fit, your brand to build as you choose. Your success thus far is inarguable. None of the aforementioned ensure though that your judgment is infallible. Don't glue chicken feathers on a chinchilla Saturday night and then try to sell it at KFC as part of a two-piece and biscuit Sunday morning. Don't insult the collective intelligence of the African-American film community.

You've now tied your brand to Kim Kardashian and must now carry all of the baggage that comes with her. The question is not and was not ever whether your loyal fans understood why you chose Kim Kardashian. The question is and continues to be whether you understood what it means to align yourself with Kim Kardashian.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Send a better message and boycott the movie !

The best way to get the attention of people like Tyler Perry is by affecting his money.

The best way to do that is by not going to see the movie featuring Miss K.K. I can't help but wonder if Kim has ever watch a play or a Tyler Perry movie in her entire life.

Since Tyler refuses to listen to the fans who have been supporting him all of these years,,,,Boycott his movie and make him feel it !

Tyler Perry is just like any other man,,, Affect his money and then he listens.

Anonymous said...

You sound so ignorant its ridiculous kill your self ASAP via @arizonacandid

Anonymous said...

As a fan of Mr. Perry's work ethic and business acumen I am extremely disappointed in his decision to use KK. I don't even want to give her respect by spelling out her whole name.
Organizations like FOX television and WC, in their fledgling days, used shows with strong African-American characters to launch their networks. After the networks were established, the predominantly African-American shows disappeared.
Mr. Perry seems to be on the precipice of taking that same route. I know he is Black, versus the white heads of the networks mentioned. The decision still hold the same odor as those made by the networks.
Don't get me wrong. Crossing over can be a good thing--business wise or culturally. The perception of his decision is what is important.
I, and most of the other African-American women I know, will not be handing over my hard earned money to see KK.

Anonymous said...

What did you expect from a man who insists on wearing a dress most of the time in his movies.

James-Braque said...

Everybody, wait a minute, maybe brother Tyler can redeem himself. Please show me anyone who would not love to see Madea pop up on Kim K. And tell Kim that she is mad about how she did Ray J. Got his momma mad with him, how Reggie Bush grand momma banned Reggie from marrying Kim and how Kris H. Black father was embarrassed she dump him in 72 day. Then Kim K. Playing the character in Marriage Counselor says I am not her and then Madea says well I am going to beat your ass anyway and whips her with her own purse. Even if it appeared in the out takes it would be hilarious!

Carl Matthews said...

I plan to boycott his movies. Any literary genius rant will not overcome Tyler's hard heart here.

Anonymous said...

Tyler's mistake is to try and justify his decision. He shouldn't have. He didn't have to. It's his movie and his money and he owes no one an explanation. If someone feels offended she or he should just skip watching the movie. The silly thing is for people to still believe that there should be some sort of accountability to the collective in order to be acceptable; it is one just BIG not so smart LIE. You can never please everybody. Do what you do best Tyler and forget the whiners. We LOVE YOU!

Anonymous said...

I have seen one of his movies.I wonder now,why do black people like to watch 21st century coonery?
Basically because of these ignorantt,slave type bama rappers,plus this tylery perry coonism act.This is why a vast % of black people get no respect at all.When you factor in the negative name calling,the high rate of black crime,murder,robbery and drug dealing.It can be traced to all these self hating images.I think a vast % of black's are really in denial.They claim anybody that says anything about his movies are hating on him,his money and his success.When I see the money,all I see is some dead white peckerwoods slave owners on paper.So all these black's who think him and his money are so great.Seem to me they have twisted value system which is stuck on a plantation in time.I can proudly say,I have not spent one thin dime on any of of his crazy madea movies.What a disgrace,a massive sell-out.

Anonymous said...

Amos n Andy n 2011 I wouldn't be caught watching such negative images of my race.

Anonymous said...

Who cares people claim to be good Christian, but are always trying to judge when they are suppose to forgive. She didn't kill no one. It's her life, we are on the outside looking in. It's Tyler's movie all you haters are going watch it anyway as soon as someone says it was good I couldn't stop laughing.

Anonymous said...

Negative images? The only negative image is for you to believe that a movie defines who you are. You truly need to find yourself because you are so lost. Let Tyler write his stories, and if you wont be caught watching them, why even bother posting your opinion here then? His success in the business speaks volumes, meaning, your negative opinion has no effect. Make peace with that...

Anonymous said...

Why does everyone hate on Kim so much? Let's be real she is an attract tive white girl that pulls good looking black guys and y'all don't like it.

Anonymous said...

I have to wonder as well! have KK ever watched any of TP's Plays or Movies.

Anonymous said...

Can people stop hating on Kim....she did what she had to do to get where she is...and she is VERY smart.....First of all she is not White.....second...everybody need to spread their wings and that is what she is doing.......

People hating on her because she was able to turn a bad situation into a good situation ...she is a BUsiness woman....and people should back off of her...and Yes I'm a Black woman and I have no problem seeing her in the movies....

Stop hating on her and see what she is doing and maybe you can learn something from her....

I will love to see her in this movie......

Anonymous said...

I hope Mr. Tyler does not apologize for making successful movies. He's a genius. You haters let it go and focus on things that really need not only your lip service but action such as GANG VIOLENCE. Blacks killing Blacks everyday and you're worried about a sucessful movie because YOU'RE not in. LOL SMH

corbin56 said...

Don't you all have a meal to fix or dishes to wash or homework to check? Ms. Kardashion and Mr. Perry could care less about all this bitching and moaning you all are doing. Who knows, Kim might have finally found her niche in life. Give the lady a chance.

Anonymous said...

@arizonacandid

You tell someone that they sound ignorant and then YOU say kill yourself??? WOW!

As far as KK...she doesn't bother me as much as Tyler Perry's unsensational and non-funny movies. Keep making that $ TP. You have the right to be as corny, Christian bating and gay-acting as anyone else out here.

Anonymous said...

Just curious the movie is based on his play and the part KK playing was by a white woman. If it was some other white woman would people act this way? Just asking