Friday, September 4, 2009

Tyler Perry Will Botch For Colored Girls No Matter How Hard He Tries!


"I WILL NOT BE NICE..."

Black Women Need to Stop Giving Black Men Carte Blanche to Tell OUR Stories!!!

I admit I was absolutely LIVID when I read this in the entertainment industry trade paper Variety yesterday:
Lionsgate has tapped Tyler Perry to write, direct and produce an adaptation of the 1975 play "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf". (It's a play written by Ntozake Shange)

Lionsgate noted the project's the 10th title in its ongoing franchise with Perry, and Perry's first film to be based on non-original source material. "Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All by Myself" opens Sept. 11, and "Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too?" is set to open April 2.

Perry is also a co-presenter and exec producer of Lee Daniels' Sundance winner "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire," which Lionsgate is releasing in November.

Lionsgate announced in March that it had acquired the feature rights to the stage play and signed music video director Nzingha Stewart to helm from her screenplay adaptation.

I included that extra little blurb that many will have missed from seeing red. There was a black woman writer/director who'd originally been attached to the project and was subsequently DUMPED in favor of a man whose films range from Mammy to Sapphire and Back as the only image of black women.

I don't care that he's friends with Oprah either. Oprah has been VERY suspect lately with her endorsements anyway. Now that she's interviewed Jay-Z for her magazine and Chris Brown has been complaining about the "hard time" he's received from her I'm almost ready to bring out the DUNCE CAP.

How in the heck is HE supposed to be able to tap into the nuances of these characters? He'll do about as well as Steve Harvey has done with his watered down hack version of that relationship book he's claiming as his sole invention. Yeah right. I'm still waiting for "Madea Goes Away Never to Return" but I fear I'm asking for too much.

What's the solution? Writing to Lion's Gate and telling them we're going to BOYCOTT this film? Well it's already been cast apparently. Not to support it when it's released? That's a possibility. There's always this catch-22 with Perry because he hires out of work black actresses but we don't use our power properly to demand the entertainment industry respect us. The majority audience for his films lack a certain amount of discernment and critical thinking skills. Not enough of us are seeing our reflection on screen (and are desperate to) while the focus on fake religiosity (being some variation of a holy-roller) and race over gender (thinking in terms of our blackness instead of our womanhood and individuality) means very little criticism for Perry. It also means we're cheating ourselves by settling. Some of us still fight.

Before everyone gets totally depressed from reading this post I'm including some of the jokes and comments a few people made in Twitter last night to lighten our distress:
  • Tyler Perry Is Why the Cage Birds Drinks..Heavily
  • Is Tyler Perry seriously adapted For Colored Girls? I thought it was a joke.
  • He's going to play the rainbow since there are no male roles.
  • Am I the only one who thinks TP should stop making movies?
  • Dear Tyler Perry: Please stop making TV shows, movies, books, scripts, doodles, etc. Just to be safe, please cease all creative endeavors.
Here's an PBS segment featuring Shange.
Supplemental Reading at Jezebel
Bookmark and Share
TwitThis

18 comments:

Khadija said...

"Tyler Perry Is Why the Cage Birds Drinks..Heavily"

{loud gales of laughter}

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Evia said...

Ntozake Shange! Whew!

Faith, this sista's situation ticks me off to the max!

I saw a performance of her play: For Colored Girls . . . in NYC years ago. It was so POWERFUL! I can still remember the visceral impact it had on me sitting in that dark theater. I left the theater stumbling with rage.

AA women have always told me their life stories, so I had encountered every single one of the female characters depicted in that play in my real life. I had heard versions of ALL of those sad sob stories regarding AA men about their being "sorry" for the beatdowns, rapes, molestations, cheating, abandonment . . . and the whole nine perpetrated against AA women by these males from the 'black love' crew. And a LOT of these males CONTINUE to perpetrate these horrors against AA women who stupidly continue to be racially loyal towards them.

So I can just imagine that vitriol she received that she talks about in the video. It's similar to what happened to Alice Walker for writing about AA male violence in "The Color Purple." It's similar to what happened to C. Dolores Tucker for criticizing the misogyny in rap.

I also heard a few years ago that the vitriol that she talks about in the video caused her to have some sort of mental collapse. I can well imagine that the vitriol was intense in her case because she was REAL in that play. These atrocities are however a FACT, just like it's a FACT that Rihanna was beaten by Chris Brown. I know plenty of AA women are trying to give him a pass, but it will be whites who will give him what he deserves.

It is just appalling and so COWARDLY for AA women to secretly applaud women like Ntozake and Alice Walker privately as most of them do, but won't come out PUBLICLY, swinging to support them. This is why I don't think AA women in general are STRONG at all. I always chuckle when I hear that term applied to the typical AA woman. It's weird.

This is one of the reasons why there are very few AAs who I pay any attention to or respect. So it would be virtually impossible for any typical AA person to sway me from doing anything that I think is best for me and mine. This is why it's so hard for me to understand why so many other AA women are afraid of folks in the bc. LOL! These folks only have the power that bw give them over their lives.

But guess what? Karma is a sho nuff b%$Ch. AA women are now reaping what they sowed. Their silence and non-support of those who did speak out for them, has now created plenty of monsters in these black residential areas and these monsters are having big fun. We only hear just a little sliver of all the fun they're having, violating women and children. Yep. Bw are now paying a high price for that cowardly behavior because DBR-AA males are now eating their behinds up--devouring them and their daughters. Like I said, karma is a b%$#h and it's going to keep on being one because AA women are STILL so silent. But, until the lesson is learned, AA women will keep on repeating it.

And I don't blame Oprah because I can just imagine that to a woman in her position--or even from my position, or anyone else on the outside, it appears that AA women don't really mind what's happening to them and their daughters.

Nia said...

Oh no! The only solution is for us to start writing, producing and directing our own movies. That's a long-term solution I know and won't help in this case.
I don't know - perhaps start an online campaign showing why we are opposed to him doing this movie? The movie is going to be made unfortunately. But there have been cases where people created online buzz about a movie BEFORE it came out. Sometimes the buzz was so great that by time the movie came out, people were turned off and didn't bother to watch it, or they at least understood why the movie was going to be a lot of nonsense and not worthy of respect.If I can find the exact examples I will return and mention them here.

ActsofFaithBlog said...

Khadija: I woke up this morning completely understanding why the urge.

Evia: I hadn't thought about Shange's mental state being affected by the vitriol but it wouldn't surprise me at all. That PBS segment talked about how glad she was to be around black people (thinking it would be a sanctuary) after enduring the open hostility from whites. Jeez!! I'm on the fence with Oprah. The lack of discernment by promoting Steve Harvey has me concerned. I expect more from her considering what she's been through. It would be different if this Tyra Banks for example. Those of us telling the truth ALL OF IT are required to be brave and there's a definite LACK of that going around!

Nia: It's too late. The film has been cast and shooting starts in November. I want to know why Lion's Gate pulled Stewart from the project. I'd also like to know how Shange feels about Perry and the hatchet job he's going to do to her work! There's NO WAY he of all people has the ability to understand our pain and our survival. It's going to be a shell of what it should have been.

Evia said...

I'm on the fence with Oprah. The lack of discernment by promoting Steve Harvey has me concerned.

I hear you, Faith, but here's another perspective on all of this. Why would ANY high-profile person put their head on the chopping block to stand up for SILENT, ***complacent?*** AA women?? I'm telling you that from the outside, it doesn't appear that anything is off or wrong much at all. I mean, it doesn't seem that AAs themselves are unhappy about much of the situation they're in.

A lot about many of the issues that we discuss on these blogs has to do with an individual socioeconomic position in this country. Before I started blogging 3 years,and before I started going to the black church in this area, I did NOT know that the PLIGHT of AA women was as bad as it is--though I'd heard and noticed a few things strange things or things that were not right. I wasn't able to connect enough of the dots though. This is why I couldn't figure out why some AA women seemed to be envious of my marriages and/or my life with my husband. My attitude was that if AA women wanted to get married, or wanted to marry interracially or interculturally, then why didn't they just go and do it? That really puzzled me.

From the outside, there is SILENCE from the bc. MOST people on the outside where I live my life don't have ANY inkling about any of this.

In connection with the publishing of my essays in book form, I was talking to 2 of my white sister in laws about the "plight" of upwardly mobile AA women. They were shocked. These 2 women are both professional women who have worked with AA women for years. They found it unbelievable what I was saying. They both said they never get any inkling that professional AA women are needy in any kind of way. They both feel that AA women can just go out there and get what they want! LOL!

I mean, if the victims themselves are not screaming about their pain, then can it be ***assumed*** that they're in pain or can feel it? Honestly, from the outside, MOST AA women seem to be perfectly satisfied with their unmarried and/or babymama or childless lives.

I'm actually beginning to wonder how many of those among the 70% unmarried AA women are as unhappy about their situation as WE are about their situation. LOL!

For ex., even Oprah herself is not married. Obviously she doesn't see anything wrong or abnormal about that. And she is childless. That means that she would not consider it to be so bad that well-educated, successul AA women are also childless.

And I am CERTAIN that if Oprah were to try to chop down any high profile DBR-AA male, furious lapdog bw would come out of the woodwork from all directions and go beserk. The best that Oprah can do is to ignore many of those males, as she has done with some of them. And she pals around with others of them because AA women seem to be just fine with Harvey and Perry.

As for Harvey's book and Perry's movies, etc.--those are not harmful to bw who are not inside the Matrix, just like Hip Hop music does not harm my sons. I allow my sons to listen to rap/HopHop because they KNOW that it's just one form of music. Nothing more. I expose them to all kinds of music and art because there is balance in their lives.

Also, when I talk with AA women offline, I NEVER hear any of the angst nearly to the extent that we frame their situation in online. To them, it's as if this is not actually happening because when I talk about it, they look at me, SURPRISED.

Could it be that you, I, Khadija and other BW-IR and BWE bloggers are simply all having a mass nightmare?! LOL!!

ActsofFaithBlog said...

Evia: I'm glad we're having this discussion. If we're having the nightmare then why even bother! Don't answer that. I know I've learned so much from reading your essays and other women that I know has helped me so it does serve a great purpose.

It's important for black women to know and see with their own two eyes that other women are thriving. I hadn't considered the perspective that many women don't think their low quality lives are ok or normal.

If they're that indoctrinated then revealing that would be quite shocking. Also if these women don't feel in their core that something is wrong even if they could never pinpoint what it was then I guess the sense of urgency is missplaced. I don't believe that it is however.

If hardly anyone listened to Shange, Pearl Cleage, Walker, Tucker or hooks then who's going to listen now? Well...it's a different generation and things are much worse. I think the time for sounding the alarm is ending soon though.

Khadija said...

Evia,

You said, "For ex., even Oprah herself is not married. Obviously she doesn't see anything wrong or abnormal about that. And she is childless. That means that she would not consider it to be so bad that well-educated, successul AA women are also childless."

T'aint necessarily so from the local rumors I've heard over the years. [There were whispers of attempted and failed fertility treatments.] It might be more of a case of making lemons out of lemonade.
________________

Faith,

You said, "If hardly anyone listened to Shange, Pearl Cleage, Walker, Tucker or hooks then who's going to listen now? Well...it's a different generation and things are much worse. I think the time for sounding the alarm is ending soon though."(emphasis added)

All of this is the reason why I have a deadline for my blog. I'm halfway through the time I've alloted for it. Part of the reason why I'm doing my part to sound the alarm now is so that my conscience will be totally clear when the final demise of the AA collective arrives.

Because once I finish my part of sounding the alarm, I'm NOT going to give any further thought to any of this. I'm currently upgrading MY "ark" into a luxury cruise ship---"Splendor of the Seas--LOL!

I plan to sip sparkling apple cider on the deck of my cruise-ark while the hardheaded AA female masses (who failed to take heed of various warnings) drown in the flood waters.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Patricia Kayden said...

Why woud TP stop making movies when they do so well at the box office and he has become a multi-millionaire because of them? Just wondering.

Sassy J said...

Oh goodness...this has gotten my hackles up. If I wasn't so darned tired, I'd be able to stomach and process this, but I can't. Lionsgate will be receiving a letter from me.

Is there word on who's been casted?

ActsofFaithBlog said...

Khadija: Splendor of the Seas I love it!

Patricia: Welcome. I don't expect Perry would want to give up his career. He could however improve his skill set and not use male privilege to presume HE can speak of our struggles and triumphs with ANY authority.

SassyJ: Halle Berry, Jill Scott, Angela Basset and some others have been cast. Hepburn and Garbo could've been cast - Perry is still going to ruin it.

rainebeaux said...

Faith, I...I can't even articulate my disgust.
What do you think is the length of time between the unveiling of this butchery and the bc imploding on itself? (I'll be gone before the latter ensues, but I'm just curious.)

Jazine said...

This problem has gone beyond the remedy of bw writing their own scripts and getting their films produced. We fell asleep too long at the wheel for that alone to be effective. Faith reported a bw was initially involved in this project and was dropped kicked when Perry jumped on board. This is about bw not having substantial political and financial clout in Hollywood to ensure they won't get dumped on a project they have cultivated by a larger Hollywood name. Thanks to bw, Perry is now a multi-millionaire. BW have steadily funded their own demise by giving bm and other outsiders cart blanche on their images and stories. Wasn't that book Steve Harvey wrote became a New York Times bestseller? Which demographic helped Harvey's coffers and the push for this garbage to be adapted into a Hollywood film? Black women!

I think it's very wise for all this empowerment and knowledge dropping to have an expiration date. Khadija, enjoy your luxurious ark when your done with the blog! I'm with Evia, bw are suffering in silence, or are they really suffering? I think it's the former, but since they have been silent and complacent by sacrificing themselves as well as their daughters to black men's interest, all of this has come back to haunt them, and the effects have repercussions for generations to come.

I'm tired for negative reporting about bw. We can't get married because we're too educated, make too much money, we're biologically wired to only be attracted to bm, etc. BS! I tune it out because they're not reporting my life. BW have to stop looking for outside approval. They don’t have our best interests, we have to take responsibility for it.

I suggest to anyone who really wants to see Shange's brilliant play to watch the 1982 NY Shakespeare Festival production on video. I watched it several years after the original release and I was blown away.

cool_splash1 said...

Sorry I accidently posted this in another article.

Anyways what I said is that this is why I encourage bw to go the independent route of Hollywood and create a film industry run or at least predominately run by bw. This is basically what my blog is about. We need movies that are made by us or even can be made by others, but we need to be in control of our image. And it would have to be people that have our best interest at heart.

I also noted that it's not an inssue of bw not having control or even bp in projects. If she was a director the director can be fired by the producer who can be fired by the higher up execs. etc. The director really doesn't have power, but the producer does have some, but the execs. have more than both of them.

Meaning we can write all the scripts we like, but if we don't produce etc. our movies then it's not going to matter.

ActsofFaithBlog said...

Rainebeaux: If it's being filmed in November it could very easily be spit out before next September. Anything is possible.

Jazine: You're right to pinpoint that it's BLACK WOMEN who've actually made Perry's entire career and fortune. So of course he feels entitled to our stories. This goes back to the earlier question from Evia about whether it's us who are having the nightmare as so many other black women seem to have no problem with Perry...or any of the other low quality, destructive and dysfunctional things that go on. Ugh!!!

Cool_splash1: When I was referring to black women doing their own projects I was including distribution as well. Technology has leveled the playing field and there are plenty un/underemployed professional who SHOULD already be doing this instead of waiting for someone to "do the right thing". Kinda like what Perry did in the first place. He had an established audience and self-funded then the studio finally got around to working with him. It's the ONLY thing about him I admire.

ActsofFaithBlog said...

Rainebeaux: If it's being filmed in November it could very easily be spit out before next September. Anything is possible.

Jazine: You're right to pinpoint that it's BLACK WOMEN who've actually made Perry's entire career and fortune. So of course he feels entitled to our stories. This goes back to the earlier question from Evia about whether it's us who are having the nightmare as so many other black women seem to have no problem with Perry...or any of the other low quality, destructive and dysfunctional things that go on. Ugh!!!

Cool_splash1: When I was referring to black women doing their own projects I was including distribution as well. Technology has leveled the playing field and there are plenty un/underemployed professional who SHOULD already be doing this instead of waiting for someone to "do the right thing". Kinda like what Perry did in the first place. He had an established audience and self-funded then the studio finally got around to working with him. It's the ONLY thing about him I admire.

roslynholcomb said...

I must say that I'm so devastated by this that for once in my life I am rendered speechless. Our rich literary heritage is our birthright, it is part of what defines us and signifies our humanity. Having already thrown away our rich musical legacy, we are now selling our literary birthright for a mess of pottage. I am a lover of music and have been devastated by the decimation of our music. But as a writer (though obviously not on Ms. Shange's level), this strikes me as something akin to...rape. I don't say this lightly. When I posted about this on my blog words escaped me, and I still find my mind reeling at the notion of this buffoon daring to sully our art in such a manner. The man is lacking in talent, sensitivity, heck even common decency yet he feels himself fit to do this. Once again, words fail me.

JPie said...

Boy if I could shake your hand I would! It is so relieving to know that I'm not the only one in this world who won't schlep down to the movie theater to see the latest Step 'n' fetch installment.

When I read the headline on the Hollywood reporter I almost cried. As a black, female filmmaker, the lack of quality in his films utterly disgusts me. Not only is he bastardizing the art of film, he is usurping good stories and warping the human condition into a superficial amoeba that passes as acceptable production.

Now I have a 9-5. I can't support myself on my craft alone, yet. What Perry represents is another glass ceiling filmmakers like me have to break through. He is not the spokesperson for Black America. He is a shroud over the talents of real artists like Gina Prince-Blythewood or Kasi Lemmons.

I really wish America would wake up and I thank you for discussing this so blatantly. I could not have said it better myself.

Faith at Acts of Faith Blog said...

JPie: Welcome and thanks, but it's not about me. Seriously. This is about the pathetic state the collective of black women, African-American women are in right now. I'm just sounding the alarm hoping as many get out from under the oppression, subjugation and denigration before it's too late. My email address is on the front page of the blog. Please let's keep in touch because I have some projects I'm working on (I also write music and scripts) and we need to find other likeminded people (not just women and not only black) who are willing to support each other. Again, thanks. I really hate what happened to Nzingha and I know she would've done an excellent job - not the 2 month steamrolled crap sure to be spit out.