Tyler Perry is no stranger to criticism, and not just from industry critics. Hollywood powerhouses including Spike Lee and Dave Chapelle have blasted Perry for his films and television shows, alleging he perpetuates negative images and stereotypes of Black people. The latest criticism of Perry is that he does not have a writer’s room, and Perry is speaking out against those who have a problem.
Tyler Perry admits he is the sole writer on his films and shows; has no writer’s room
Perry has multiple shows and films on a variety of platforms, including OWN, BET+, Netflix, and TBS. In January 2020, Perry shared a video to his social media accounts of scripts for his shows that were airing, including House of Payne, The Haves and the Have Nots, The Oval, and Sistas.
In the clip, Perry says that he’s the sole writer on all of his projects.
“So I don’t know if you know this, but all shows on television have a writer’s room,” he says. “And, most of the time, there are ten people or 12 or whatever that write on these television shows. Well, I have no writer’s room. Nobody writes any of my work. I write it all. Why am I telling you this? I wrote all of these scripts by myself in 2019. Work ethic!”
Many were upset with Perry. Critics of his attribute what they call lackluster storylines and character development in his shows and films to Perry as the only writer.
In an interview with ESSENCE Magazine, Perry explains why he works without the help of others.
“What people don’t know is that I had a writer’s room early on and it was a nightmare for me,” Perry explains. “I had writers writing shows and turning in scripts that really, really didn’t speak to my audience and my ratings took a dip.”
Tyler Perry on critics who are upset that he does not have help writing his own content
Perry is paying critics no mind. In fact, he says most of his critics cannot relate to his content as they are not part of his core audience. Basically, he’s not writing for critics – but instead for his longtime and loyal fan base.
“When I hear that kind of stuff, I’m thinking, ‘Are y’all looking at the ratings? Do you understand that the audience is in love with this?’” he says in a new interview with Vulture.
He continues: “Because if you’re complaining about my writing, you’re not the audience. My audience loves the way that it’s done and the way the stories are told. And from the beginning, it’s always been about being true to them.”
In the interview, he further explains that his life experiences have helped mold him into being strong and having the ability to ignore the chatter. He notes growing up in an abusive household under the rage of his father, who he later discovered was not his biological parent.
“I grew up with a man who criticized me and said all kinds of horrible things to me every day of my life. And if that 2-, 3-, 4-, 5-year-old, beautiful kid can endure that and find a way, what kind of man would I be to be hurt or bothered by some other criticism?” he said. “I never see a lot of it, but if it does get to me, I look for truth in it. There’s a lot of it that’s just vitriolic; that’s just ‘I’m going to hate on him because he’s Tyler Perry.’ I get that. But when there’s truth in the criticism, like, ‘Why did he do this, this and this?’ I go, ‘Hmm, let me think about that.’”
Perry’s work registers with enough people as he is now a billionaire. Ignoring the critics has paid off for him.
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