African American director Tyler Perry has the same problems ‘blaxploitation’ had in the ’70’s. Stereotypes abound in his films, especially of women, just like black movies in the ’70’s, but at least they are not super women but real women with real problems and heavy women as human beings. Have you noticed when black actors do a romantic comedy or comedy in general, they play characters who are successful, middle class or upper middle class, but as soon as they do a drama they are poor as hell!! Message delivered—“real” blacks are always poor.
The critics of his movies are not the people who go to see his movies. Critics of blaxploitation said the same thing about those films, yet they made money. But Tyler Perry can mature, unlike blaxplotiation. He directed “For Colored Girls” and he was attacked for showing black men in the worst light. He is just one man but he is very influential, but still he is one person. He isn’t trying to have a social, political conscious but to entertain. Spike Lee and Tyler Perry are at odds with each other. Lee is tired of blacks being lowered to silly stereotypes while Lee thinks Perry is making a mint off the images he hates.
In the ’70’s black audiences loved blaxploitation, to see people who looked like them attacking The Man and sleeping with his women, and being the hero. But every movie was like that and soon the public got tired of it. It has been said blaxploitation was so huge at one point that NAACP wanted to monitor the medium. Maybe they should have, the images of blacks might have gotten better. Black films even saved one studio—MGM!!
Black people long to see better images of them than what they see in movies and TV. The cable audience has three channels, BET, Centric and TV One, and yet there has not been an original drama on any of the networks. African Americans are the best consumers advertisers can have, and yet they don’t use them to full potential to launch shows they will support. Blacks need to complain, but shouldn’t go to the presidents of this network, but to the mega company that pays their checks. The major companies who own these networks have money for other channels, so why not these?
At one time NAACP was going to boycott movies and television, for they were tired of the stereotypes being seen. They didn’t do it then, but soon I believe they will. The public may still laugh at and enjoy some stereotypes, but there is so much more to African Americans than what they see.
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