Saw this over at AfterElton. Interesting stuff...
Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married Too? shocked absolutely no one by placing a strong #2 in last weekend's box office battle with a $30 million dollar take, but what was shocking and surprising to me was one very blatantly homophobic scene in the movie, as well as the history of stereotypically homophobic elements to Perry's movies that haven’t yet been thoroughly examined.
If you haven’t seen the movie and plan to, be warned there are heavy spoilers ahead.
The last third of the movie finds Janet Jackson’s Dr. Particia Agnew and her husband Gavin (Malik Yoba) engaged in a bitter divorce that gets increasingly ugly due to his battle for half of the royalties from her book sales.
In retaliation, she attempts to humiliate him by bringing an enormous birthday cake to his office and presenting it to him and all of his coworkers filled not with a stripper, but with a flamboyantly gay black man dressed in a miniskirt and neon-colored wig who pops out of the cake in a spray of glitter and gyrates suggestively while It’s Raining Men plays in the background.
I’m not making this up, Tyler Perry did. The point of contention here is not that the gay man in question is in drag or effeminate, but that he is used as an over the top spectacle to challenge the masculinity of a character perceived as acting outside of masculine norms by claiming entitlement to his wife’s earnings.
What makes a bad situation even worse is that during this man‘s “performance,“ Jackson’s character is screaming a litany of homophobic remarks toward her husband along the lines of (and I’m paraphrasing only slightly) “If you want to be a bitch, here you go!” and “Here’s your bitch!”
So, for all of us who are keeping score, gay men are: outrageously feminine, objects of scorn and ridicule for respectable heterosexuals, and freaks that can be used to make an embarrassing public spectacle out of one’s enemy. Yep, got it.
Due to a well-documented history of general awesomeness surrounding gay folks, I’m inclined to give Ms. Jackson a pass on this, but Mr. Perry gets no such luck. In fact, this is only the latest example of homophobia I’ve noticed in his movies.
The original Why Did I Get Married was a similar-sized box-office hit that also had its own share of questionable portrayals of gays. In a very brief scene near the beginning, a flamboyant older white gay couple (dressed in pink, no less) is seen giving attitude to Tasha Smith’s firecracker of a character Angela. Her reaction to the two, while not as blatantly homophobic as the treatment of the lone gay presence onscreen in the sequel, portrays yet another takedown of obviously gay characters for the desired approval of Tyler Perry’s predominantly African-American, churchgoing audience.
But Perry can be an equal opportunity offender. His movie Madea Goes to Jail featured - what else - a big, butch, tattooed lesbian hell bent on “claiming” the pretty young inmate and prostitute played by Cosby kid Keisha Knight Pulliam. I’ll leave the irony of a man who made his fortune by dressing in drag trading in offensive images of gays in his movies up to others comment on.
What I will say is that once is curious, twice is upsetting, but three times borders on pathological, and it leads one to wonder why Perry feels the need to include such deeply negative and stereotypical images of gays in his movies.
Of course, Perry’s movies are predominantly made for the aforementioned African-American, churchgoing audience, but believe me when I tell you that there is a sizable fan base of gays of all colors who are fans of his movies for their absurd melodramatic shock value alone. It's true that the films themselves are mostly badly written and stiffly-acted morality tales with lessons right out of Sunday School, plot twists telegraphed in strokes so broad a toddler could see them coming, and characters who lack the depth to be one-dimensional.
(rest at link...)
Why haven''t his audiences caught onto him yet? Why can''t they see the obvious?
[quote]The point of contention here is not that the gay man in question is in drag or effeminate, but that he is used as an over the top spectacle to challenge the masculinity of a character perceived as acting outside of masculine norms by claiming entitlement to his wife''s earnings.\
I watched the Tyler Perry produced television show, House of Payne, one time. The episode showed the high school male character all excited about the girl he met on the internet. She was on her way to his house. When he opened the door, there was a male pedophile who had been posing as a teenage girl. \
The stereotype was disgusting. I turned it off and have never watched it again.\
I actually enjoy Perry''s movies - but this side of him is indeed troubling.
I''m really dissapointed that Janet would take part in this scene given that she has played up to the gay audience all through her career
[quote] I''m really dissapointed that Janet would take part in this scene given that she has played up to the gay audience all through her career.\
Well not when she recorded a duet with the homophobic Dancehall artist Beenie Man, and then didn''t apologize for it for years. This isn''t the first time Janet has been mysteriously blind to homophobia, contrary to what the AfterElton writer claims.
What a pack of crybaby pansies you all are. Don''t you fools have lives. Back away from the computer once in a while how ''bout it.
[quote]and characters who lack the depth to be one-dimensional.\
That''s a Rex-Reed level of cuntiness that made me laugh!
Troll-dar reveals R7 to be the same unhinged loon attacking posters on the Rusty Joiner thread, for no discernible reason.
He needs to be outed
[quote]Why haven''t his audiences caught onto him yet? Why can''t they see the obvious?\
Everybody knows Tyler is gay. That is why he doesnt try to beard.
Ghost of Luther Vandross
Tyler is catering to straight black females and males, and newsflash they aren''t to fond of gay folks, and based on some comments I have read right here on DL some gays aint fond of black folks either. So why the hell are we acting all offended? We sure can dish out but we run for cover and act as victims at the slightest ''insult.'' UGH grow up. That is all.
They have the nerve to advertise this piece of shit gay-bashing movie on LOGO! Miss Tyler really does think we''re stupid doesn''t she?
I read the entire stoty on Afterelton and will say this. There is nothing more humiliating to a straight black man than being labelled as a gay guy and even worse a tranny loving one. So I get that Janet''s character was attempting to humiliate him in the most embarassing way possible in front of his work mates. It might be looked at as homophobia but in its context it is a dose of reality. Over-the-top gay black males exist, why is it homophobic for one to be portrayed on film?
Watch the scene in "The family that preys" when Sanaa Lathan get''s the shit smacked out of her boy her hubby. In the theater I was in people were actually clapping.
I''m sure Perry thinks he''s getting people off the scent when he pulls this shit.\
R12, the fact that a few trolls here play the racism game to stir the pot doesn''t mean you don''t need to develop a little self-respect. And grow up.
I hate him with a passion. I really do.
black, straight, female writer
"There is nothing more humiliating to a straight black man than being labelled as a gay guy and even worse a tranny loving one."\
Where do you get the idea that only straight Black men feel that way? My God, the dumb frat-boy comedies (THE HANGOVER, anyone?) show that straight white boys are no better.
His movies are also pretty racist, filled with negative stereotypes about African-American people. He''s probably the most racist film-maker in Hollywood today, yet no one tries to take him down because of the profits these bigotry porn movies make.
He came from an abusive household, so it''s odd how he is critical of selfish Black men but when they get violent, he tends to excuse it in some way. \
If only he could channel his issues of domestic violence in a more thoughtful way, but he''s too busy pandering to people who think only in terms of absolutes.
I''ve seen the first two Madea movies, but that was it. Has Tyler Perry ever portrayed a black gay or lesbian in a sympathetic or positive light in other movies? Doesn''t sound like it...guess that would be too dangerous to his audience.
He''s appeared on Pat Robertson''s show many times. I can''t believe this bastard hasn''t been outed. You know he''s the creepiest sleaze in the world- it''s time somebody outed this evil fucker.
If Perry had a positive portrayal of a gay or lesbian character in his films, his churchgoing audience would abandon him in droves.\
And let''s face it, THAT''s his audience. He started to cross over a little after DIARY OF A MAD BLACK WOMAN, but his films have done increasingly less boxoffice as time passes, even thought they open well.\
I looked at a review online for WHY...TOO, and there was one hilarious comment by someone complaining that there wasn''t enough about Church in the film, that it was Godless.\
Lord, I shudder to think what he''ll do with FOR COLORED GIRLS... since the more feminist content of that play is totally foreign to his sensibility.
"The Hangover" was one of the biggest movies of last year. And it was equally as offensive, if not worse than anything Perry has put out.\
I''m not the biggest Perry fan out there, but I''m tired of reading articles about how he is homophobic, about how his movies are harmful to the public, while his white counterparts can continue to gay bash and dumb down this culture all they want. When they start attacking Judd Apatow, Seth Rogen, and the rest of those clowns in the same manner, then I will agree.
Unless he is photographed with a dick in his mouth, outing him will only result in a giant Wall of Denial.\
He wants to be the male Oprah, and who knows? He might just manage it, closet and all.\
Wasn''t he "engaged" not too long ago, or at least show off some "girlfriend" to the press?
If The Hangover was made by a gay closet case then you have valid points. If not, then how does it apply to this thread about a gay guy making a gay bashing movie(s)???
R23, I don''t know that Tyler Perry is "evil" so much as he just knows what makes him money (e.g., primarily straight black female churchgoers). And going by R17''s post as one example, I think white people would be surprised just how many black people DO NOT like his movies. He has a VERY specific audience within the entire black community (which, interestingly enough, also includes some whites) that turns out in droves for his films while the rest of us stay home.
I agree with R18 and R25.\
Perry is certainly not unique, especially within the sub-genre he occupies.\
And I am absolutely no fan of Perry''s. I find his movies low-brow; base.
r11, Tyler does beard, claiming he may never marry because he''s not sure about monogamy.
"I''m tired of reading articles about how he is homophobic, about how his movies are harmful to the public, while his white counterparts can continue to gay bash"\
But the interesting twist with Perry: he may be gay. So he''s bashing or stereotyping gays in order to 1) please his black, conservative, church-going audience, and 2) as an added benefit, he helps dispel doubt about his own sexual orientation ("Sure he does drag, but he can''t be gay ''cause he''s so unsympathetic to those people.")\
Hollywood straight white guys bashing gays for money and laughs is bad, but one of our own doing the same? It feels like it''s in a different league of wrong.
R25, well said.\
[quote]Lord, I shudder to think what he''ll do with FOR COLORED GIRLS... since the more feminist content of that play is totally foreign to his sensibility.\
Does anyone know if he plans to direct the film and/or write the screen adaptation? Or maybe he''s just going to produce it/present it like he did "Precious"?
>>>What a pack of crybaby pansies you all are. Don''t you fools have lives.\
I have a life. What are you doing here? \
Well? What are you doing here?
So straight directors can get excused for gay bashing because they''re straight? \
And I think you''re forgetting that the breakout star of "The Hangover" is rumored to be gay.
[quote]If Perry had a positive portrayal of a gay or lesbian character in his films, his churchgoing audience would abandon him in droves.\
That might be right. But if that''s the reason, why not just drop the issue in his movies and not bring it up at all. The churchgoing audience isn''t asking him for a homophibic slant. They may like it, but it''s not that he is forced to have these jokes in the movie.
THIS is why I am tempted to believe in a meritocracy. He makes unimaginative movies with flimsy plots with even less impressive writing. That alone is not a big deal. The vast majority of mainstream film is just as low brow. The difference though?\
HE''S WORTH 500 MILLION DOLLARS!!!!!\
His movies constantly top the box office despite quality or even content for that matter. His audience is cult like. They go out in drones to see the new "Tyler Perry" film without question. That''s weird. Even Woody Allen had some sleepers. \
Enough can''t be said about his questionable sexuality. And though I think anyone who uses homophobia for cheap laughs is lame, for a person who not only made it big by dressing in drag but also is rumored to be gay himself, it is particularly disgusting.
black, straight, female writer
I think Spike Lee is posting over and over in this thread! \
r36, he says it here himself. He makes plays and movies about people who Hollywood tries to pretend don''t exist (Precious anyone?) That is why people will always come out to see whatever he has to offer. \
I think Tyler is gay gay gay. He puts a lot of gay men to work in plays and movies also, its quite obvious.
Well, I know he isn''t doing documentaries here - and he seems very likable on Oprah. But Perry doesn''t even want to depict a positive gay stereotype, it seems. No gay hairdresser, florist, cater/waiter, retail queen. Maybe with the success of "Precious" he will now consider more serious characters and stories within the black community.
OK, help me out here. Why do we think or know that he is gay? Been living under a rock and now want to know. Any gossip?
r39= Helen Keller
Do any of you concur with the AfterElton writer that the movies, aside from the homophobia, are a "so bad, they''re good" camp-fest goldmine? Which one do you like best? I''m kinda curious about the one with Kathy Bates since I always like her.
Who cares if his work is lowbrow, if he made serious art nobody would go and see it. \
He''s doing what every other rich white producer does in Hollywood but because he''s black people want to hold him to a different standard. Don''t hate the player hate the game.
Everything isn''t about race, r42. I don''t like anyone who cashes in on homophobia, regardless of race, creed or religion.
Clicked through the writer''s name and looked at his profile. He''s black, and probably gay which explains a lot I guess. \
Such an obviously gay black man including homophobia in his movies is probably a double insult to the guy.
I wrote a long post, that is somewhere on this board (in the wrong thread) because the site hiccuped or something. If anyone sees it let me know.\
Basically I said a large part of the "church-following" ARE gay. The Black church is chock full of women and gays (except the men tend to hold most of the high positions). The movies are further watered down because he wants to appeal to a broader (White) audience. The plays are very offensive to several demographics of people, but they''re funny and I like church jokes. The homophobia, the way he handles women domestic violence victims, and the way he demonizes working/White collar Black women is what turns me off the most. It''s barely tolerable. The movies are offensive, disjointed and not even funny, save a scene or two.
[quote]I''m tired of reading articles about how he is homophobic, about how his movies are harmful to the public, while his white counterparts can continue to gay bash.\
I don''t think anybody is getting a pass, at least around here. Homophobia in (e.g.) The Hangover was extensively discussed on DL.
R39, everything about him screams gay. He's 40ish, richer than God and still unmarried, which is always a big clue.
Furthermore, he makes what are essentially "women's pictures", which have historically always been the domain of gay men. If the movies have taught us anything it is that straight male filmmakers are just not particularly interested in female characters and their stories. He's so enamored with church lady culture that he actually makes movies that are anchored around him in "strong black lady" drag. It's deliciously twisted.
Even the homophobia in his movies smacks of self-loathing and internalization. The (unnecessary and unfunny) homophobia in movies like "The Hangover" is all predicated on abstracted homophobia that straight guys have - it's all fag jokes as a way of establishing dominance between straight male characters and gay panic scenarios. And even then, homophobic behavior is frat boy comedies tends to be indicative of a character's immaturity and arrested development (even if it used to elicit cheap laughs from the audience at the same time).
The homophobia in Perry's films reminds of me the homophobia on DL. It usually centers around Perry's revulsion to specific gay archetypes and a desire to distance himself from them. It's like the posters on here who troll about effeminacy, promiscuity, the "bitchiness of you kaweens", or fetishized straight men. It's the bigotry of someone who can't reconcile themselves to being who they actually are because of internalized homophobia.
Oh no someone said something mean about Rusty Joiner.
I was sure Tyler as Madea would emerge from the cake. It was shocked that cross dressing was played for scorn when it''s the foundation of his success. I made sure to leave the theater before the rest of the audience for fear of being gay bashed.
And yet it didn''t bother you one bit that at least one of the men so willing to participate in such homophobia is rumored to be gay himself R47? And going to even greater lengths than Perry to hide it? I find that every bit as disgusting.\
Especially since straight men have evolved quite a bit in their acceptance. You know, this tired and well worn out nonsense about homophobia reflecting the straight man''s deep insecurites is outdated, and has been for quite some time. Most twenty and thirty year olds don''t think like that anymore, and are quite comfortable with gay men. There''s going to have to be a new reason for putting such blatant homophobia in movies.
R50 does make a valid point: if we''re going to be disgusted with Tyler Perry (and even to a degree Janet Jackson), we should be every bit as disgusted by Bradley Cooper, who not only willfully participated in the homophobic nonsense in "The Hangover" but is actively bearding to protect the A-list career he now enjoys as a result of that POS film''s success.\
All of these motherfuckers should be held to account.
[quote]I watched the Tyler Perry produced television show, House of Payne, one time. The episode showed the high school male character all excited about the girl he met on the internet. She was on her way to his house. When he opened the door, there was a male pedophile who had been posing as a teenage girl.\
Funny. The one episode I ever watched of that show featured the missing girl''s (she is a crackwhore) uppity parents visiting the Paynes. The two sets of in-laws loathe each other until the Paynes catch them sneaking some fried chicken, collard greens, watermelon and sweet potato pie. Then they are able to be accepted into the family since they can now bond over watermelon.
Eek, R50. I thought I made it clear that the homophobia in "The Hangover" did bother me. I guess I didn''t call out Cooper specifically because, unlike Perry, he''s not responsible for the writing, and as I said, you can make the case that Cooper''s character''s homophobia is another example of what an asshole he is. \
But I agree, the unnecessary and unfunny (as per my previous post) homophobia in "The Hangover" was one of the many reasons I disliked the movie.\
I think most twenty and thirty year old straight guys are not categorically homophobic. I think many of them are comfortable around gay individuals and are probably even on board with things like gay marriage and anti-discrimination laws. What I think fag jokes and gay panic scenarios do is reenforce male power dynamics and support a collectively agreed upon concept of masculinity that American men are nervous to see challenged.
"If The Hangover was made by a gay closet case then you have valid points. If not, then how does it apply to this thread about a gay guy making a gay bashing movie(s)???"\
Because anytime a criticism is leveled at a black person the immediate response is to show that whites do it to, as if that makes it OK.
R50, the new open minded straight male group you describe excludes males over 39 and I assume all straight men not living at the east or west coast.
Well R54, since Bradley Cooper and other white closet cases are adored here on a daily basis, I don''t think there''s any harm in exposing hypocrisy.
In case you hadn''t noticed, R54, this thread has black people in it criticizing Perry just like white posters and has actually managed to steer clear of any racism until you came along with your ridiculous observation.\
Please take your wannabe shit-stirring ass someplace else.
Bradley Cooper is adored her by his fans, many of the rest of us had never heard of him before this thread (I hadn''t.) Naturally fanbois aren''t going to care that he was in a homophobic movie, they''re apolitical airheads. They wouldn''t care about this thread either. It doesn''t have anything to do with race. Those of us who do care about homophobia are disgusted by both. If there''s any greater disgust with Tyler, perhaps it has to do with him creating a string of movies with homophobic content. Bradley Cooper and the director of Hangover, have a way to go to make it as much of a pattern as Tyler has.
These scenes are homophobic, and it''s good to hear someone speak out it. But, I doubt the audience even gave it a second thought (well, most of the audience) (a) because they''re use to such homophobic gags that it didn''t even raise an eyebrow and/or (2) it really was a one-off scene, in which the gay guy was on and off screen pretty fast.\
These sorts of images appear everywhere in "straight" media, and even (in a non-meant-to-be-an-inside-joke mnannewr) in gay TV snows and movies.\
SO, though I don''t necessarily think Perry should be singled out, if your going to make an example out anyone, he''s a good place to start given how visible and successful he is.
Thank you r57.\
It''s not racist to criticize black folk when they are in the wrong. It''s racist to excuse them for it on the basis of them being black.
black, female blah blah blah blah
Oh and I''m a Black woman. I''m going to see his new one next month, not for me but because the tickets are a guest for a family member (who is taking me).
Tyler Perry is a good man.
R37, Perry contributed no creative input to Precious, hence the high quailty of the film. He only lent his name to get movie-goers in theatres. It was a shrewd business decision for him and the makers of the film, but please, don't confuse Tyler Perry to be artistically capable of anything wih as much heart, relevance, complexity, or integrity as Precious...Now come and finish momma off.