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Tyler Perry defends how he portrays black people in TV shows

DEFENDING HIMSELF: Tyler Perry

AMERICAN ENTERTAINER Tyler Perry has hit back at critics who say his films and TV shows negatively portray black people.

In an interview with New York magazine, the filmmaker revealed that he was surprised by the backlash his films have received.

“Let me tell you what took me aback about that,” he said. “When people were like, ‘How dare you put fat black people on television, these are caricatures, these are stereotypes’ – I was so offended because my aunt’s fat. My mother’s fat. My cousins are fat.’ People who are like, ‘How dare you – these harken back to Mammy, Amos ‘n’ Andy.’ I would hear all these things, and I would go, hmmm.”

Perry also addressed the criticism from fellow director Spike Lee, who said that Perry’s films were setting the black community back, and who Perry later told to “shut the hell up.”

Perry said that Lee should not be so quick to make comments like that, since the backlash could hurt them both, according to The Grio.

“There’s a lot of my audience that likes what he does. And there’s a lot of his audience that likes what I do,” he said. “When you make those kind of broad, general strokes, and you paint your audiences in them, they go, ‘Wait a minute, are you talking about me? Are you talking about my mum?’ ”

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