The Mo’Kelly Report


Aaron McGruder is Right About Tyler Perry…Even Though He’s Wrong

Aaron McGruder

Dr. Cornel West has often asserted that the late, great Richard Pryor was the “freest” Black man who ever lived. Not that I disagree with the noted philosopher and leading public intellectual, but I would like to also add that cartoonist and satirist Aaron McGruder deserves honorable mention.

McGruder’s entertainment resumé has been decorated with numerous chalk outlines, laying waste to both individuals and institutions arguably out of step with what’s best for the African-American aggregate.

Anyone familiar with McGruder’s work knows that the The Boondocks is unabashed, unrelenting and unrepentant in its attempts to offer its creator’s viewpoint on everything from popular culture to political fodder. Whether you agree with McGruder’s approach often times determines whether you are a fan of his work, regardless of the point he strives to make.

McGruder’s work is akin to chitlins…either you really like them or you can’t even stand the thought of the smell. There’s no in-between and he likely revels in the visceral response he often evokes.

In the latest episode of The Boondocks, McGruder took aim at the Tyler Perry empire by way of

Tyler Perry

“Winston Jerome.” Stopping short of imitating Perry’s voice and likeness, McGruder lampooned the legacy of Perry in every way, even hinting at supposed unresolved homosexual issues which allegedly power Perry’s most popular character, “Madea.”

If McGruder is anything, he is consistent. His consistent effort in “putting hands on” the seemingly untouchable or immensely popular is probably unmatched. Perry has fast become a movie mogul in an entertainment world in which knows few of his color. Right or wrong, public criticism of him and/or his work is not acceptable in many African-American circles. Criticism of such lofty African-Americans is often dismissed has being rooted in jealousy or a “crabs-in-a-barrel” mentality; regardless of how factual and accurate the criticism just might be.

Don’t talk “crazy” about President Obama, don’t talk “mess” about Oprah and don’t talk “ish” about Tyler Perry. For many, they are simply above reproach.

Uh…no they’re not and yes you should when warranted.

As a matter of fact, McGruder has put his foot into the backside of all of the aforementioned over the course of his career.

In this particular instance, he has a point and it’s a good one (several actually).

At the same time, Mo’Kelly isn’t so sure that Aaron hadn’t already abrogated his moral authority to take anyone’s “Black card” anymore or is wise by throwing stones from his glass house of negative imagery.

Let Mo’Kelly digress momentarily…

For what it’s worth, can anyone describe the immense irony in the fact that one of Perry’s most vocal critics (outside of McGruder) is filmmaker Spike Lee?” That would be the same Lee whose groundbreaking films and vision as a opened the door for more Black voices and Black directors to be seen and thrive; names like Tyler Perry. If Tyler Perry has become a money-making monster in this business (and he has), some thanks must go to Dr. Spike Frankenstein who unwittingly helped create him. In the way that there probably is no Tiger Woods without Lee Elder…there’s probably no Tyler Perry without Spike Lee.

W.E.B. DuBois

Such is the nature of the battle for the souls of Black folk. And speaking of The Souls of Black Folk, once upon a time it was W.E.B. Dubois who offered sharp criticism of Booker T. Washington. Langston Hughes’ artistic vision was roundly criticized by James Baldwin. Despite these truths, history had more than enough room to celebrate them individually and collectively.

In other words, the fight for the souls of Black folk didn’t begin

James Baldwin

with Harriett Tubman and it didn’t end with Barack Obama taking his presidential oath. Let’s not lose sight of these facts.  History will have ample room to celebrate all of these figures and their contributions in the coming generations, Aaron McGruder too.

But back to McGruder/Perry…

For some, the fact that Tyler Perry has built his empire on the back of a cross-dressing character with many features similar to the “Mammy” stereotype of yesteryear concerns many in the Black intelligentsia. Some have characterized Perry’s work as nothing more than “coonery” and “buffoonery.” In truth, it’s a fair criticism.

Yes, I said it…it’s a fair criticism.

There are real similarities between “Madea” and “Mammy” which can’t be denied. The shenanigans of the characters on programs like Meet the Browns evoke for some, comparisons to Stepin Fetchit.

Stepin Fetchit

Stepin Fetchit, not-so-coincidentally was the first Black millionaire actor…”Stepin Fetchit” was the stage name for Lincoln Theodore Monroe Andrew Perry. The fact that “Tyler” and “Lincoln” share the same surname is not where their similarities begin or end. The amassing of great fortunes while promulgating questionable images of African-Americans has managed to bring both their names together in discussions many times prior to this editorial and will continue to do so long afterward. It’s a reasonable discussion to be had. You may agree or disagree ultimately, but the historical similarities do bear mentioning and are worthy of discussion. No number of Black people Tyler Perry has managed to employ over the years mitigates these similarities or marginalizes those who take issue with the images Perry puts forth.

As I’ve said many times over the years…if the game of dominoes taught Mo’Kelly anything, it’s that not all money is good money. If Al Jolson, BET’s Comic View and HBO’s Def Comedy Jam taught Mo’Kelly anything, it’s that not all “funny” is good funny.

It does beg the question as to whether the exaltation of Tyler Perry comes at too high a cost. We must be willing to ask ourselves if Tyler Perry becoming an eventual billionaire is any different than when Bob Johnson became one thanks to BET? McGruder’s answer to the question (on both) is abundantly clear, yet are African-Americans willing to accept long and sustained criticism of Perry or might they eventually turn their backs on McGruder? Throwing hay-makers at BET as McGruder has done in the past could be considered “easy” as BET has long been universally accepted as the top villain in such discussions. The same can’t be said of Perry.

Perry is firmly entrenched and beloved within the church-going community from his original stage plays which paved the way for his eventual success in TV and movies. The love affair with Perry’s characters is both long and strong. Conversely, it’s always been easy to hate BET. The company and its executive leadership have always made it rather easy to do.

Spike Lee

But as always in The Mo’Kelly Report…we strive to go deeper. Simply criticizing Perry is a superficial read of this issue. Let’s get to the substantive.

Where Spike Lee has it right is that all African-American filmmakers have a duty to put forth responsible imagery. Yes, ALL of them. We do not live in a post-racial America and we as African-Americans are not adequately or respectfully represented across video and audio media. Any irresponsibility on the part of a Lee, a Perry, a Singleton, a Fuqua or even an Ice Cube has a disproportionately negative effect on its target viewership.

It’s not fair, but it surely is the truth.

She's Gotta Have It (1986)

If Lee should view Tyler Perry with contempt, Spike should also remember his own similar missteps. Girl 6, the movie about the phone sex operator is not liable to end up on Turner Classic Films and did nothing to place Black women in a positive light. She’s Gotta Have It...anyone…anyone?

Bueller…Bueller? Oversexed Black woman stereotype?

She Hate Me, you know, the Spike Lee movie about the Black “buck” who impregnates 18 women at $10,000 a pop (no pun intended) for his “sperm donor business.”

Stereotypes? Coonery and buffoonery?  Nobody was exactly twisting Lee’s arm to tell that “positive” African-American story in the 21st century.

That’s a double-edged sword cutting more than just Perry…let’s be intellectually honest and fair. Lee can make the argument that his body of work is balanced and offers a wider swath of African-American life, and it would be an accurate statement. Yet he too has willfully trumpeted obviously negative imagery along the way to make a dollar.

Which segues Mo’Kelly back to McGruder.

As for McGruder, let’s not forget his liberal…no, LIBERAL use of the N-word over the years. It’s not for Mo’Kelly to necessarily say one evil is worse than another, but Mo’Kelly will say “evil is evil.” Negative imagery is negative imagery. It’s difficult to rationalize it in either small doses or large. It’s too complicated to try to reconcile the supposed difference between someone offering negative imagery only “some” of the time as opposed to “most” of the time. Mo’Kelly didn’t know such a sliding scale existed.

Do we now grade “sell-outs” on a bell curve? That’s what it sounds like McGruder is saying we should do. In the end, Mo’Kelly isn’t high on the N-Word OR cross-dressing Black men when it comes down to discussions about positive representations of African-Americans.

So before we all run to jump on the McGruder bandwagon, let’s be wise enough to examine the fullness of history. History has shown that there’s enough room for all of these towering figures to coexist and we’ll celebrate each of their legacies long after they’re gone. History has also shown that none of these towering figures is above reproach and has done his questionable fair share. Yes, McGruder is an honorable mention for the freest Black man in the history of America, and his points about Tyler Perry are well-taken and in many ways valid. Let’s just not let McGruder and Lee get “brand new” on us either. You can’t hold someone else up to the light and not also have some of that same light shine on you too.

RELATED: Black Electorate – Time to Grow Up (Or Go to Your Room)

The Mo’Kelly Report is an entertainment journal with a political slant; published weekly at The Huffington Post and www.eurweb.com.  It is meant to inform, infuse and incite meaningful discourse…as well as entertain. The Mo’Kelly Report is syndicated by Blogburst. For more Mo’Kelly, http://mokellyreport.wordpress.com.  Mo’Kelly can be reached at mrmokelly@gmail.com and he welcomes all commentary.

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80 Comments so far
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“Do we now grade “sell-outs” on a bell curve?” AAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAAAA!!

“Pot, kettle, black”, “Sh*t don’t stink”, etc. We could pull more quotes out to fit to this situation, but don’t need to. Neither McGruder, Spike, nor Perry deserve a “pass”, but Perry seems to get one, for whatever reason. That needs to change. We need to try and hold All of Our prominent media figures to higher standards.

Comment by Baba Kifo

Where Spike Lee has it right is that all African-American filmmakers have a duty to put forth responsible imagery. Yes, ALL of them. We do not live in a post-racial America and we as African-Americans are not adequately or respectfully represented across video and audio media. Any irresponsibility on the part of a Lee, a Perry, a Singleton, a Fuqua or even an Ice Cube has a disproportionately negative effect on its target viewership.

It’s not fair, but it surely is the truth.

To which I’d ask, what about Richard Pryor?

As a white dude, I must disagree with this point, especially when stated in such absolute terms. Here’s why: It’s a mature society that can laugh at itself, just as it is a mature person who can laugh at him or herself. As a child of the 70s, growing up listening to Richard Pryor, I laughed so hard I had tears coming out. And what was funny weren’t the stereotypes of black folk, but that a very funny black man was doing them. Years later Eddie Murphy would attempt a very poor imitation, then wisely dedicated himself to movie roles, where he also took on black stereotypes, especially in his “Nutty Professor” movies.

My point is that only a scared society rejects self-effacing humor. That’s a very defensive view of the world, that any attempt at humor will only destroy your value as humans. It’s also a nihilistic view: You are accusing white America of wanting to destroy you, and if it’s by your own hands, so much the better.

I realize and respect that this is a post by a black man aimed at black folk, and I won’t presume to teach you how to talk to each other.

But since some of your perspective is based on what it means to be a black person living in white America, I would like to make the point that this particular white American considers self-effacing humor to be, on the whole, a sign of a healthy society.

In other words, it really is OK to laugh at yourself.

Comment by Walt Bennett

It’s ok to laugh at yourself, but there are many of us (African-Americans) who will quickly explain to you that “Mammy” was never “us.” Stepin Fetchit was never “us”…the self-described laziest man in America. That’s not laughing at us, that’s laughing at a derisive and debilitating stereotype, historically difficult to shake.

I didn’t touch upon Eddie Murphy (Norbit) or Martin Lawrence (Big Momma’s House) but they could have been included in this discussion too.

Comment by mrmokelly

Gotta bump heads with you on this one, Mo’Kelly. But it will be done in love.

You have lampooned Sheryl Underwood RELENTLESSLY on this blog, so you can’t cast your stones if you’ve got sin that can easily be found in a Google search. In fact, the TP/AMcGruder beef immediately reminded me of your back and forth with Mrs. Wesley Snipes.

Yes, McGruder uses the n-word on his show but he attracts a unique audience: educated kids, like myself, who don’t take certain words seriously. That’s the upside of an education. When you learn that actions speak louder than words, you realize that being TREATED like an n-word is FAR WORSE than being called one. Look at BET. BET has banned the n-word, yet we are portrayed as n-words on every show except Sunday Best.

Tyler Perry is a philanthropic dude, but he uses money to brainwash us in to accepting his bull. The same women who defend him wearing a dress are usually those who tell our boys to “get their pants off the ground, pants off the ground.”

Which one is it, Mo? Should the boys sag, or dress like a f…you finish the rest.

Plus, you’re a frat boy. That routine you posted on Facebook could be considered coonery and buffoonery. But because I know you as a person, I know that’s not the case. However, the general public may think otherwise.

It just boils down to, respecting others but not being surprised when you still get disrespected in the process.

Comment by Zack Isaacs

We ‘worry’ about our image, but don’t see the damage we do to our image when we attack each other. We can disagree, but we can disagree in love and honor. That is why I think this is ‘the’ best article I have read regarding this subject. It was very fair, even and the tone was ‘just right.’

This is coming from someone who likes the work of all three gentlemen and gives all three a pass, which was hit upon in the article. Why? I look at the big picture. If what they say in their work is worth something to at least few of us and helps them in their lives, then it benefits all of us.

Lastly, if we are going to hold media figures to a standard, it should be ALL media figures, not just the prominent ones AND thereby include musicians, entertainers, authors, journalists and bloggers. Anyone whose work is viewed by more than just family members.

Censorship. That is another topic.

Comment by T. Dorsey

Ah, but WHY did I take down Sheryl Underwood? I took her down because she’s without a doubt the most vulgar comedian yet REPRESENTING one of the Divine Nine. I didn’t take her down because she’s a vulgar comedian. I took her down because it flew in the face of the organization she represented.

As for being called the N-Word…using it I would argue opens the door to be treated like one. I have no problem with you disagreeing with me…but I do want you to be accurate and have full disclosure.

I would’ve done the same to Richard Pryor if he became president of the 100 Black men or the NAACP. It’s called context. There’s more than one way to disrespect a whole of a people as you alluded to with BET and there are many shades of gray to this topic which T. Dorsey alluded to in his comment.

But if you would like to “compare” me having fun on a college campus in my personal time with producing major motion pictures or TV shows full of stereotypes…you can try. I’m just not sure it’s an apt comparison.

And yes, I am a frat boy and can run down what my frat (and I) have done historically. Might I introduce you to my fraternity brother Langston Hughes who I mentioned in my piece.

Comment by mrmokelly

“To which I’d ask, what about Richard Pryor?”

One, Richard is dead and hasn’t impacted media in quite some time. Two, if you are familiar with him you know of his epiphany and the use of the N-Word, as in stopped using it.

Comment by mrmokelly

While I understand your point about accountability, I think that McGruder has touched upon not just the notion of the image put forth by Perry, but also how it lowers the bar of art that American Americans are capable of (I would also think this is part of Lee’s argument). If the point of art in society is to leave behind traces of culture and civilization that best represent how a group lives and communicates, is it Madea? I don’t know any older black men that cross dress and act the fool but I do know plenty of people who understand the historical context of the N-word and how it has played a role in society. As for Lee, I think his attempts to move black characters out of the norm and into new stories, while maybe not popular, is at least a fresh perspective, which is the mainstay of art. While I have no issue with Perry as a person, I believe that there is a morality missing from his art, which is ironic given how it is centered on religion. In particular, I find it disturbing that so many church folk are ‘abhorred’ by homosexuals but think it is just fine to have Perry cross dressing on stage and screen. That double standard is not inclusive of all people in a culture and there are better artists with better stories who deserve to be given a platform.

Comment by HB

Morris,

My reference to Richard Pryor was not connected with his N-word epiphany, which was one of the most beautiful things I ever saw.

It was about the fact that, right til the end of his career, he made his living setting up and knocking down black stereotypes (and did some hilarious white impressions along the way).

My point was that what you call self-disrespect I call self-effacing humor, which was how Pryor made his living, and I say we are better off for it.

I saw that you referenced some very raw and disturbing black caricatures. This can be connected to the colloquial use among blacks of the N-word, and it pertains to “taking back” things that were used to harm or oppress you.

If I’m not mistaken, you take strong issue with that argument, but I do point out that many others believe it.

It might be necessary for you to make peace with that point of view.

Comment by Walt Bennett

Yes, I take issue with the argument that you can “take back” the N-Word. In the instance of Tyler Perry and the oblique comparison to Richard Pryor, Pryor held up a mirror to both Black and White America and used comedy to deal with harsher truths. Perry is not doing anything of the kind. I’m not even saying Perry should, but there is no real comparison to be made between the individuals. I mentioned Pryor only because he was “free” enough to say what he wanted, tell the truth about America any way he wanted and did not hesitate along the way. There is some Pryor in McGruder. I can’t say that there’s Pryor in Perry. And that’s not a diss, just a statement of fact as to what/who they are or are not as artists.

Comment by mrmokelly

Morris,

I do have more thoughts on this topic, but with respect, I will sit out the remainder of this discussion.

“My name’s Paul and this is …”

Comment by Walt Bennett

well put…..

Comment by laughing808

But that’s the thing, Morris: You can’t change contexts to fit your own agenda. That’s changing the rules in the middle of the game. If it’s good for one, then it’s good for all.

I agree with your stand for appropriate BGLO behavior, but for the most part- frat boys and sorors are a*******. I’m sorry. I’ve yet to meet a nice frat boy (other than you and a couple others). So, it’s truly a sense of casting stones without looking at your own faults. Sheryl Underwood just publicly represents the way a lot of all act in private.

That’s why no one will join your organization in the amounts that they could. Most folks can college can find pretty good friends without the drama, for free.

But back to Aaron McGruder, the guy draws 369,000 viewers per week with a FRIGGIN’ cartoon show. He’s a trailblazer just like Perry, because he’s breaking into a market that hadn’t been dominated by blacks before. Tyler Perry’s work, on the other hand, is a LIVE ACTION cartoon.

So, I would consider them equals in terms of their ability to draw a substantial black audience. I don’t see thousands on either of our blogs.

And I peeped the Langston Hughes reference, BTW.

Comment by Zack Isaacs

I didn’t change contexts. If someone individually wishes to act a fool and maybe it’s their job (i.e. comedienne) to act a fool…do you.

If you are leading an organization directly impacting imagery…different story. I haven’t changed the game, the rules or moved the line. What one does personally in their own life…if it’s not illegal…do you. There’s always been a difference (I can show you the numerous links) in terms of what someone does in their personal life NOT for public consumption and what someone does in an influential capacity.

How many times have I said I’m not a moralist? I’m not talkin’ about Sheryl Underwood because she’s vulgar, I’m talking about her because she’s vulgar and acts as if she can CONTINUE to be vulgar and still be the head of one of the organizations which is supposed to be the standard for young Black women. CLEARLY there’s a difference there…don’t feign ignorance.

Pookie and Ray Ray can run a dog-fighting ring probably without a problem. Michael Vick can’t. Legalities aside, there are different societal and influence implications.

If Pookie and Ray Ray want to use the N-Word all day long on the corner, that’s their business. If they get a TV show and prominently feature it in their program…different scenario.

Same applies here.

I’m not making a value judgment about Tyler Perry and whether he’s gay or not…don’t care. And no Aaron McGruder is not Tyler Perry’s equal. That’s laughable. Tyler Perry is one of the most powerful Black men in media (i.e. TV, Movies). There’s no comparison and they aren’t equals in that sense. McGruder could get a million views a day (like a Perez Hilton or Mediatakeout.com)…nobody is calling them equals to Tyler Perry. That’s simply nonsense.

Perry can green light his own movie tomorrow…thanks to him having his own fully staffed PRODUCTION STUDIO. McGruder is nowhere near that neighborhood. 369,000 “views” doesn’t change this reality. “Chocolate Rain” got MILLIONS of youtube views…doesn’t make that guy on a par with Tyler Perry. A Boondocks movie will NOT pull in 30 million its first weekend. If it would…it would’ve been made by now.

As for your comments on frats and sororities…whatever. Doesn’t deserve a response.

Comment by mrmokelly

I kinda wanna stay out of this one… but I can’t. I’m going to ride in the land of heresy on this one probably. I respect Tyler Perry as a genius. I do that in the way that I respect Kirk Franklin as a genius. I don’t understand why they are so popular and successful, so I just assume they are just operating in a realm I can’t understand. I must be me. But I can’t take away from it. I HATE men dressing as women. I hated when Flip Wilson did it, and I was just a little boy. But obviously it was beyond me. Tyler and Flip didn’t teach Black people to love men in drag, they appealed to something that was already there… so I can’t hate on them for that.

I respect Aaron McGruder as a genius. I do that in the way that I respect the guys that produce South Park as geniuses. I think they do an excellent job of exposing some of the insanity that exists in this country in both Black and White people. I don’t get the extremes of cruelty that they go to to make their points sometimes. It is so reminiscent of playground bullying, particularly when the attacks go against people who aren’t attacking anyone else… just doing their own weird thing. And I HATE bullying. Unlike Al Sharpton, I thought McGruder’s MLK back from the grave thing was one of the best things I’ve seen on TV in the last ten years. It attacked our collective stupidity with dealing with King’s legacy. But the individual attacks against people who don’t have a medium designed to respond to those attacks is just cruel to me.

When rappers battle, one makes an underground mixtape, and the other responds with their own. What if Tyler Perry wrote a character into his next play that parodied McGruder. Even if he should showed “… we now grade “sell-outs” on a bell curve…”, by honoring people who make a living attacking people who have done nothing to them, he would lose the respect of some of those who look to him for his spiritual message. If he doesn’t go after him, then McGruder is getting the pass he refuses to let anyone else have… which is pretty much the case for McGruder in most instances. The best thing they could do is find a way to work together since they both want to improve the lives of Black people. At that point would working together make them both sell outs?

Writing wise, Tyler Perry would have been just as funny with a woman playing Madea. I would hate to believe that the character’s humor is tied in his drag-wear. Writing wise, Aaron McGruder would be just as funny without the extreme personal attacks and N-word. I would hate to believe that his humor is tied into cruelty and profanity. And I believe both would still be able get their “deeper message” across. But for now, they both have the ability to make me laugh out loud even while they are repulsing me.

Comment by Dwane T.

Good comeback, but I guess it didn’t deserve a response because I’m telling the truth. But my beef has nothing to do with BGLOs, it has more to do with the pointless azz kissing of certain black celebs. Just like you got quiet on me when I attacked your radio peer (who just finished a nationwide bus tour with his fellow Chicago native), there’s this sense of “ooh, don’t say anything bad about the koon who gets money from white folks, maybe he can share some money with me.”

Mo, you are talented BEYOND words. And I’m not writing this to patronize you. You really are. But don’t feel that the way to the top is by putting somebody else down to prove your point. Aaron McGruder is one of the few blacks with a platform who doesn’t go the bourgie route (like Gumbel or many others) or the drag queen route. You might not like him, but I do. His message speaks to me and you have to respect that. Just like I respect the lunatics who go gaga over Tyler Perry.

To each his own. And I won’t be back…

Comment by Zack Isaacs

I didn’t put down Aaron McGruder…and if you read my piece you would’ve clearly seen that. I don’t need to copy/paste as such here. I said his points were valid and he’s consistent in what he does. But if he’s going to in effect call Tyler Perry a sell-out for portraying African-Americans in a poor light, then he might want to take a look at the use of the N-word. That’s not putting him or his talents down, that’s truth. It’s relevant in the discussion and others have agreed with me and taken particular umbrage with his use of the N-word. Not just here…google and you’ll see.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson
Nothing Hip in Boondocks N-Word Usage

http://www.blacknews.com/pr/nword201.html

More truth…highlighting the FACT in this conversation that he’s not on the par (in terms of relevance or scope) with Tyler Perry isn’t putting him down either. Tyler Perry, like or loathe him is close to a worldwide phenomenon. Aaron McGruder, not so much. Tyler Perry’s movies have grossed more than 400 million dollars. I think it’s safe to say that’s more than the net worth of The Boondocks.

I’m just talking facts here. Whether his message speaks to you or not does not change these facts.

Nobody is denying McGruder’s talent and I think your fandom is blinding your objectivity here. Dwane said it best in the fact that his “bullying” (I called it “approach” in my piece) precludes any greater good.

I didn’t slam Aaron for that, I actually chalked it up to “Aaron being Aaron”…he’s doing him, he’s being consistent. I hate having to deconstruct everything I’ve written but you’ve taken me there.

THAT was the whole point of the Richard Pryor reference. Aaron McGruder does what he does, without concern for consequences or reputation. He follows his inner voice and that’s being “free.”

You have visited here long enough to be able to know the difference between critiquing someone and slamming them. If Aaron McGruder (who you are such a FAN of) can slam the hell out of Tyler Perry…I think I’m well within my right to offer a critique of his slam.

You did see the title of piece starts with…”AARON MCGRUDER IS RIGHT ABOUT TYLER PERRY…” You did see that, correct?

As for the BGLOs, that’s between you and whoever you personally have an issue with…not relevant with me or this particular discussion. Again, that doesn’t warrant any comment from me.

As for the “koon” paragraph…the same. Don’t misinterpret a non-response as an unwillingness to respond. Why you’re puffing your chest out right now, I’m not sure.

Comment by mrmokelly

Zack reminds me a little of the “just keeping it real” brother in Jerry Maguire.

I would only caution him to avoid saying things like “I won’t be back.”

Jack said it and I know he regrets it. He would have loved to jump in the Beck thread but, alas, his pride made him keep his word, and we all missed out on some fun.

Zack, Mo, let’s not rule out one possible reason for your different views: The generation gap.

Same with Jay-Z. Some folks get him and why he moves masses, and some have no clue.

And Morris, as I said above, the whole idea of reclaiming powerful words and images is in fact a widely held view with more than a little substance to it.

And it is in any case a reality.

Neither of you is “wrong” but you both have to find a way to agree to live on the same planet.

And from where I sit, I’d prefer if you two continue to talk to each other.

You both bring game.

Comment by Walt Bennett

Thanks Walt. And no, I’m not puffing my chest. You did get quiet on me when I attacked…Michael Baisden. Yes, I’m gonna write his name. And I did read your piece. But Sheryl Underwood could say the same about you: that she’s the MOON and you’re the dog barking at her. I completely disagree. I think you both are moons that shine for different people.

And my fandom is blinding anything. Aaron McGruder is almost 40, but he speaks better to the 30 and under group than anybody in your age group does. We just want our point of view represented.

A lot of young black men are sick of Tyler Perry movies and the Hollywood azz kissing that results from his fake success. Money doesn’t bring success but giving your community a sense of pride does. The guy is still living his life as a vendetta to his abusive father and that’s just immature. The real victory comes from forgiving him and moving on with your life. But the male bashing/male ogling in his films shows a dichotomous effect of him dealing with different aspects of his identity; he male bashes because he never fit in with the fellas and he male ogles because he’s confused about his admiration for the same men who never accepted him growing up.

Let’s just call it a truce because this is going too far. It’s your blog and I apologize if I did anything to disrespect that.

Comment by Zack Isaacs

Generation gap or not. Tyler Perry is more important to more people and wields more clout. He is closer to Oprah (in stature) than he is to Aaron…and it’s a joke to suggest otherwise. Oprah doesn’t resonate with young people either, so the “generation gap” is neither here nor there. Larry King reaches more people than Aaron McGruder too by the way.

Another factoid, there are more adults and senior citizens in this country than young people. So by sheer numbers Tyler Perry (his demographic is 25+) brokers more power. This debate is just getting silly.

I’m not even a fan of Michael Baisden so I don’t know what the HELL you’re talking about Zack. I’ve never even done an editorial on him. You’re not a Perry fan, I got it. You’re a McGruder fan, I got it.

Neither changes the fact that you are wrong on this one Zack. Use any metric, Aaron McGruder does not occupy the same space as Tyler Perry. McGruder is niche. He has a very specific and much more narrowly defined audience. There are few networks that would ever run his program and few newspapers who would run his cartoon just for that reason. This isn’t debatable. Just because you are debating it doesn’t mean the facts in play are debatable.

You’re also trying to “debate” why McGruder is somehow more positive, prescient and needed than Tyler Perry. That wasn’t the point of my piece either. My point was that in the end, they all will be celebrated as history has room for all of them. And since you don’t know Perry personally and aren’t a psychologist, I doubt you have the authority, professional or otherwise to float the theory that Perry is “living his life as a vendetta to his abusive father.”

Really? When was the last time you talked to Perry? You can debate the merits of his art, but you can’t debate his motivations. His art is on public display, his personal motivations or issues are not. Like I always say, not all opinions are created equal, some are more informed than others. That “vendetta” statement is an uninformed opinion. Nice rant Zack and nice of you to attempt to put Perry neatly in a psychologically damaged box…but it’s an uninformed opinion with neither facts, personal knowledge nor professional expertise in which to support it.

“He male bashes because he never fit in with the fellas and he male ogles because he’s confused about his admiration for the same men who never accepted him growing up.”

How you’ve come to “know” this I have no idea. You obviously have a window to his soul that is almost omniscient deity-like.

Like I said, I don’t care whether he’s a closeted homosexual, latent daddy issues or not. I’m only assessing him on the strength of his art form…no more, no less. And I did the same with McGruder. Can’t get much more fair than that.

Comment by mrmokelly

Just asking: Was that a truce offering?
:-)

Comment by Walt Bennett

I was never at war.

Comment by mrmokelly

How can my OPINION be wrong? That’s the thing, Mo. You use your blog as a way to masturbate your ego. When folks disagree with me, I state my piece and move on. If Aaron McGruder was irrelevant, why did BET get the episode defaming them removed from the airways. (It’s only available on the DVD and online)

That’s the only thing I don’t like about you man. You always feel this need to put folks in check. Like I said, this is your blog but as I guest, I’d like a little respect.
You can’t put me in check because your opinion of me doesn’t have any control about how I’ll feel. And you did get quiet on me and give me the eye when I made that joke about Michael Baisden when you were in Chicago.

But whatever, dude…whatever…

Comment by Zack Isaacs

How can my OPINION be wrong?

When facts are available to prove as such.

“If Aaron McGruder was irrelevant, why did BET get the episode defaming them removed from the airways. (It’s only available on the DVD and online”

I never said he was irrelevant or non-influential. But his relevance and influence are far less than Tyler Perry and that’s not an opinion.

And when you stop referring to people as “assholes” or that this particular “blog owner” associates with “assholes” because he’s in a fraternity, then maybe we can have the discussion about “respect” and “putting people in check.” Respectful dialogue is not at your convenience and I’ve yet to disrespect you or your associations. There is a text record here, remember that. This isn’t up for debate either. It’s on record and I’d be happy to copy/paste it if you like.


You can’t put me in check because your opinion of me doesn’t have any control about how I’ll feel.

I didn’t offer any opinion of you…I offered that your opinion of Tyler wasn’t based in any fact, pure conjecture.

And you did get quiet on me and give me the eye when I made that joke about Michael Baisden when you were in Chicago.

I still have no idea what the hell you’re talking about…

“You use your blog as a way to masturbate your ego. “

If you say so. And like your analysis of Tyler Perry…you’re welcome to your opinion. I’m sorry, what was that you were saying about “respect” and “checking someone” and “opinions about people.” For a moment there I thought you just went ahead and completely contradicted yourself with the above statement. Maybe I read it wrong. Let me go back and check.

Nope, I read it right.

But back to the original point of the discussion. Please provide a metric to support your contention that Aaron McGruder is of comparable or superior stature or influence than Tyler Perry. I’ve offered sheer numbers, net worth and media saturation (TV, movies, NY Times bestselling book) to support my contention. Please provide your metric/evidence to support your contention. Otherwise, your opinion is by definition wrong. If 369,000 page views on a FREE WEBSITE in ONE WEEK, or his irritation of BET is the best you’ve got, you’ve actually proven MY point, not yours.

Comment by mrmokelly

awsome

Comment by ME

I will say that relative popularity has nothing to do with individual tastes.

McGruder may be more important and influential to Zack than Perry is, regardless of who has the bigger wallet.

Somewhere up there Zack made a very good point about McGruder speaking to his generation in a way that others do not.

I’ll say again, neither of your positions is “wrong.”

It’s all a matter of perspective.

Dammit! Why is it so hard for humans to acknowledge that if we want room made for our views, we must make room for others’ views.

That’s the foundation of respect.

Comment by Walt Bennett

Tyler Perry’s present net worth is estimated at OVER 700 million dollars, which is now more than Bob Johnson (who gave up half his fortune in his divorce).

Perspective…
George Lucas 3.9 billion net worth
Steven Spielberg 3.0 billion
Oprah Winfrey 2.3
New York Yankees, valued at 1.2 billion
Magic Johnson Enterprises 700 million
Tyler Perry 700 million.

Also…

Has TWO TV Shows running at the moment on TBS (House of Payne, Meet the Browns)
House of Payne has reached 100 episodes and is in syndication.
Will have a THIRD TV show this fall.

One of his books rose to the top of the NY Times bestseller hardover/non-fiction list.

And movies (just recent history):

2007
Daddy’s Little Girls
Why Did I Get Married?

2008
The Family that Preys

2009
Madea Goes to Jail
I Can Do Bad All By Myself

2010
Why Did I Get Married Too?

And Four OTHER movies presently in development. You’re saying that Aaron McGruder even APPROACHES this type of media exposure? He has this level of influence on imagery and how African-Americans are portrayed? He commands this level of clout in Hollywood and beyond? If my “opinion” is wrong, please present your facts to the contrary. No matter how much you like Aaron McGruder’s work or dislike Perry’s…these facts don’t change. I don’t like Ryan Seacrest or his work but you can’t deny his scope of influence in Hollywood. Same applies here.

Comment by mrmokelly

No Walt, the point in contention wasn’t whether McGruder speaks to a generation that Perry does not. I don’t debate that. I debate whether that generation wields as much clout, is more influential than Perry’s base. And it isn’t. It’s not a perspective, that’s a fact. There are more people who buy, support and are reached by Perry. And even if you don’t watch his TV shows, or attend his movies, more people know who he is than McGruder. That’s not an opinion.

It’s irrelevant that McGruder resonates with Zack. McGruder doesn’t wield the clout that Perry does. It’s a joke to suggest otherwise. I laid it all out.

I respect Zack’s viewpoint…but it’s wrong and he can’t back it up with any facts. He’s welcome to say Tyler Perry is acting out of hidden homosexual and unresolved Daddy issues. He just has nothing to support such a statement and you would rip me apart if I offered such an argument with nothing to back it up.

I respect it because I allow it to be expressed and don’t censor him. That doesn’t mean it automatically is granted equal merit after the expression. There is nothing factual to support the statement that Aaron McGruder wields more clout than Tyler Perry.

Nothing.

If you want to say McGruder has more clout amongst 18-30 year olds…fine. Just as long as you also acknowledge that 18-30 year olds are fewer in number than the 25+ demographic which supports Perry who has more money, more education and more decision-making power.

Comment by mrmokelly

It’s irrelevant that McGruder resonates with Zack.

Then you missed my point.

I don’t think anybody disputes yours, other than Zack’s observation that what Perry does to get that money is distasteful to him.

Wait a second…wasn’t that YOUR point too?
:-)

Comment by Walt Bennett

There was a time that the Backstreet Boys made more money than any other music artist.

Morris: Were they more influential than any other group?

Comment by Walt Bennett

I mean, if we want to start trying to make a case that the most influential people are the ones who make the most money…

Morris, is that where you’re going with this?

Comment by Walt Bennett

I respect Zack’s viewpoint…but it’s wrong and he can’t back it up with any facts. He’s welcome to say Tyler Perry is acting out of hidden homosexual and unresolved Daddy issues. He just has noting to support such a statement and you would rip me apart if I offered such an argument with nothing to back it up.

Actually I love to speculate about peoples motives and I do it all the time.

I read Zack’s theory and said “Uh huh, makes sense to me.”

As much as I love a great artist or a great thinker or a great leader, I ALWAYS examine their motives.

It’s automatic with me.

Comment by Walt Bennett

Something “making sense” is not the same as it being true.

Comment by mrmokelly

This is a capitalist society. Don’t tell me Bill Gates’ influence isn’t connected to his cash. Don’t tell me Oprah’s influence isn’t connected to her cash. Don’t tell me that there isn’t a correlation between the higher the position in a company (i.e. influence, responsibility and control) isn’t also related to the higher salary.

The fact that Perry can greenlight his own projects is inextricably linked to his cash. Meaning, he’s not dependent on virtually anyone (save distribution) to put out a movie tomorrow. He’s functionally independent.

Comment by mrmokelly

Backstreet Boys…you mean the same Backstreet Boys who singlehandedly ushered in the “boy-band” phenomenon? Those Backstreet Boys…?

Comment by mrmokelly

To answer your question Walt…yes. They were more influential than any other group.

“Backstreet Boys are an American vocal group, formed in Orlando, Florida in 1993. The band originally consisted of A. J. McLean, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell, Nick Carter and Kevin Richardson. In 2006 Richardson left the group to pursue other interests leaving the band as a four-piece,[2] but the remaining members did not rule out a possible return of the singer.[3]

They rose to fame with their debut album, Backstreet Boys (1996). The following album, Backstreet’s Back (1997) continued the group’s success worldwide. They rose to superstardom with their album Millennium (1999) and its follow-up album, Black & Blue (2000). After a three-year hiatus, the band regrouped and have since released three albums: Never Gone (2005), Unbreakable (2007) and This Is Us (2009).

The band has sold over 130 million records worldwide,[4] making them one of the biggest selling groups of all time. According to the US Billboard 200, they are the first artist since Sade to have each of their albums reach top 10 on the chart.[5]”

Millennium became the best-selling album of 1999 in the U.S., selling 9,445,732 albums.[35] It also holds the record for most shipments in one year, with 11 million shipment.[36] Millennium remained on the Billboard chart for 93 weeks, eventually selling over 12 million copies in the United States and being certified 13 times platinum.[37][38] As of the end of December 2008, the album stands as the fourth best selling album in the US of the SoundScan era.[37]

Comment by mrmokelly

OK then.

I remember my 1990s a little differently.
:-)

Some things we like to call “hip-hop” and “grunge”…

The point being that sales does not necessarily equate with social influence, unless you call countless lemmings behaving the same way an exertion of “influence”.

I call “influence” the development of new ideas which carry us forward.

And I have understood from the first that this is what Zack means with regard to McGruder.

And I swear that I’m right about this: You and he agree that Perry’s popularity is distasteful.

Comment by Walt Bennett

And Morris,

To the extent that it’s true that money can buy a lot of influence, isn’t that the POINT of other people “taking them on?”

I mean, isn’t that the point, to knock monied power back down to size?

Comment by Walt Bennett

You can’t talk about “influence” regardless how you choose to define it and disregard SCOPE of influence. If Tyler Perry is impacting the way people perceive Black people by having 2 TV shows running simultaneously (and he does) a best-selling book and at least one major motion picture a year…he has MORE influence, no matter how you cut it.

If Perry takes us back to the 70s in how African-Americans are viewed on TV…that’s not developing a new idea, but surely exerting and wielding influence. He has changed the way we look at TV and how people view African-Americans…for better or for worse. McGruder is not there yet, not by any measure.

And when you mention “hip hop” and grunge you’re comparing GENRES to ONE group. There is no single hip-hop artist of the 90s who had as much influence as the Backstreet Boys, a single group.

How do I know? Because of the Backstreet Boys all of these other groups came to be as record companies tried to imitate them.

98 degrees
N’ Synch
Take That
West Life
Day 26

Etc.
There aren’t a dozen Jay-Z or 50 Cent clones out there.

Not Jay-Z, not 50 Cent, not Eminem. None of them. Not Kurt Cobain.

Comment by mrmokelly

There is no single hip-hop artist of the 90s who had as much influence as the Backstreet Boys, a single group.

You ought to stop saying such things.

Just leave it at this: there is the temporary sort of “wow look at that” popularity that generates a lot of money; there is selling out in the name of that money; and there are those who do not sell out, do not make the money, and define their influence in other ways.

Many of those who wait, end up with the more resonant and the more developmental influence.

It is entirely possible that, two years after his last movie or TV show, not a soul in America will ask “I wonder what’s up with Tyler Perry?”

So in that sense we could go back, after it’s said and done, and discuss “influence.”

And at the same time, McGruder may have spawned a generation of “keep it real” black comedians and social commentators, which may end up with a much more resonant and developmental influence than Perry could ever have hoped to achieve.

And not knowing the material of either men, just based on what I’ve learned here, I would say that McGruder cares more about influence and how to use it than Perry does. Perry cares more about popularity and, as Zack suggests, scratching some emotional itches.

So then we could digress into a discussion of which artist is more morally worthy of any attention they get.

And the bottom line would remain, to each their own. Wasn’t it Eddie Murray who dissed Bill Cosby, ON STAGE, and then IN A MOVIE?

Who was right? Who was wrong?

I nominate as First Fool the person who thinks they know that answer.

Comment by Walt Bennett

Yes, of course it is. Aaron McGruder doesn’t take on anybody but heavyweights…which is another fact that should be mentioned. He’s going after the big guns. Like I said, he’s consistent.

Comment by mrmokelly

please forgive: That would have been Eddie Murphy, not the Hall Of Fame first baseman.

Who didn’t seem to laugh much, come to think of it.

Comment by Walt Bennett

“And at the same time, McGruder may have spawned a generation of “keep it real” black comedians and social commentators, which may end up with a much more resonant and developmental influence than Perry could ever have hoped to achieve.”

You ought to stop saying such things if that’s the best you can do to equate McGruder with Perry. We’re not dealing in hypothetical, we’re dealing in reality.

The “maybe” argument doesn’t fly. The FACT of the matter is, McGruder doesn’t wield as much influence as Perry. “May” that change in 10 years? Yes, it “may” but he’s nowhere close in 2010. This discussion is happening in 2010 with the resumes that exist in 2010.

Comment by mrmokelly

Yes Mo. That was my typo above for which I was apologizing.

As for this issue, you should probably go back and read what Zack and I are both saying, because you are trying to win a point that’s not in contention.

And again I say, you want to equate “influence” with “popularity” and again I say, balderdash.

No intelligent person makes such an assertion, and I am affording you this opportunity to clarify:

You are not saying that the guy with the most money is de facto the most influential, are you?

And I remind you how broad such an assertion would be.

And I would ask, does this even have anything to do with the point of this thread? Has this not become a wasteful diversion?

And exit question: Do you acknowledge that McGruder is infuential?

Comment by Walt Bennett

I never intimated that Perry is more “popular” I said he wields more influence, which obviously is connected to his popularity. Popularity is influence, no matter how you cut it. Popularity wins elections. Popularity sells tickets. Popularity leads to endorsement deals because advertisers know popularity helps sell their products.

This isn’t rocket science. You can parse this all you want. Yes, McGruder is influential and no his influence isn’t even CLOSE to Tyler Perry’s. You don’t have to like or respect Perry’s work to know this is true.

NOT CLOSE.

Comment by mrmokelly

And to your point…if you knew anything about Aaron McGruder, he ONLY takes on those who wield CONSIDERABLE influence. That’s ALL he does. He’s slammed President Obama, BET, Condi Rice, Oprah Winfrey…he doesn’t devote complete episodes to those of marginal recognition or influence because nobody would care.

Turn this around, do you think (to Dwane’s point) that Tyler Perry would DARE stoop to go after McGruder? In terms of scope, influence and business it holds no upside for Perry. He’s existing in a whole different realm, economic strata and stage than McGruder. Soon to be billionaires don’t trip off of millionaires.

Comment by mrmokelly

More metrics…

The Boondocks, highest rated episode 2.55 million viewers.

Tyler Perry is estimated to have made $125 million on just his MOVIES alone last year. If he take that figure and divide it by the $7.50 average price of a ticket in 2009…

That’s 16.7 million people turning out to see just Tyler Perry MOVIES last year. They paid MONEY. They left their house, got into their car and dropped on average 7.50 to get some Tyler Perry. That’s not counting the millions who watched EITHER of his TV shows or bought his book or bought his DVDs.

Influence?

This conversation is just silly now. Just silly. This isn’t even close, not in truth or semantics.

Comment by mrmokelly

I didn’t want to jump in while the big boys were talking, so I waited until I saw an ebb in the conversation. What I have to say isn’t profound in the least. I’ve watched the Boondocks from time to time because I have children 22-28 years of age and when they visit, they watch. Aaron is definitely appealing to that generation. I sometimes cringe when he uses the “n” word, but I do take it in context….I’ve sometimes thought the same thing. I have watched Tyler Perry’s movies and television shows and have sometimes come away with a bad taste in my mouth. I am just not into his brand of humor especially how he represents black woman. Maybe some people know someone like Madea, but in all my life as a black woman(51yo) I’ve never met anyone like her. I wish he would come out with something that represents the black men and women I know. I live in a state that has a very small black population…Tacoma,Wa. I was born in South Carolina and grew up in NYC. When I was growing up in NY during the ’60′s and ’70′s, most people I know were still striving to be a part of DuBois’ Talented Tenth. My family in the south were still living under Booker T. Washington’s vocational training mandate. I contend that Perry has set us back to the pre- 1919 (Harlem Renaissance)period where we were being represented by the media as sambo’s, stepin fetchit,hoochie mamas,maid and servant like characterizations. And all for a dollar? All I could do while watching the Boondock clips was shake my head at the truthfulness of it all.Yes Perry has money and regrettably influence and can green light his productions, but at what cost? Oprah (not one of favorites either)does use her money and influence in a much different way. She does not sign off on projects that are denigrating to black people. I hope that Aaron will continue to be as “real” as he is, and I really hope that Perry with all his amazing talent will really think through what he chooses to produce.

Comment by southernVal

southernVal,

Can you compare the influence of the two men in non-monetary terms?

Do you agree with me that one does not necessarily have to do with the other?

Morris,

I think you’ve got it all backward. Or maybe we just aren’t being clear in our definitions.

Tyler Perry has influence within his industry because he can put fannies in seats. He deserves enormous credit for figuring out a formula to draw an audience. It took him a long time (I read some bio on him) and a lot of refinement to perfect that persona.

It’s somewhat disingenuous for anybody to argue against how he chooses to make that buck. After all, those fannies sit in those seats voluntarily.

But to me with artists like him it will always come down to this: Are they an innovator or a popularizer? Madonna was an innovator. Sheena Easton was a popularizer. Prince was an innovator. Morris Day was a popularizer.

They all made boatloads of money.

But did they all have “influence”? And Morris, here is where definitions matter. I don’t mean “clout.” I don’t mean “Green light.”

I mean the ability to persuade their fellow human of a certain point of view. I mean to leave a mark on the consciousness of a society.

Some filmmakers attempt to do both. I think Spike falls into that category. From what I’m reading, never having seen any of Perry’s movies, most people here do not believe Perry is behaving in a responsible way when it comes to representing social values and possibly getting us to think about things in a better way.

From what I’ve read here, never having seen McGruder at all, he is an innovator, he does go directly at the conscience of a society, he does challenge people to look at things in a different way.

Black consciousness became two distinct entities in the 1960s, at least from the standpoint of being easily identified by us white folk: those who followed Dr. King and those who followed folks like Malclom, Eldridge Cleaver and Stokely Carmichael.

A segment of black society directly took up the challenge of looking inward, at the choices being made, and dared their own people to challenge those choices for themselves.

And a style developed, which many of us call “keeping it real”, and it had an enormous influence on all society, white folk included. It became an accepted and effective way of speaking truth to not only power but to the intellectually lazy, to those who just want to sit there and be entertained.

I may be wrong, but it seems that you dismiss the guerilla effectiveness and the overall justifiable acceptance of that second approach. It seems to me that you want your entertainers to obey a certain code, which is probably what caused the split in the first place.

I understand the allure of Dr. King. He probably saved the country from a second civil war. Without him there could never have been those other men. It’s fair to say that if Dr. King would not have approved of something, you don’t and I don’t either.

And so would Dr. King have approved of McGruder? What would his opinion of Perry have been?

Morris, I think you opened a very interesting can of worms with this topic, and I think where we are now is this: What is your position on militantism as a form of expression, as I see it representing a distinct and conscious development that began in the 1960s as a reaction to the “soft” approach?

Because to me, humorists like McGruder represent a carrying of that torch, so it seems to me that this discussion goes all the way back to the validity of that form of expression in the first place.

Comment by Walt Bennett

OH MY GOD!

Morris, THANK YOU for turning me on to this man. My new hero! Oh I can’ begin to express how amazed I am that I never even heard of this man til this post.

This was my very first Aaron McGruder clip:

So quite naturally, I instantly recognize why he has no hope of ever being as popular as Perry or any other mainstream artist: He’s just too real.

And that’s the deal he made.

Now, back to my question above. I’m going back to YouTube.

Comment by Walt Bennett

I just saw this interview from ’08:

I like this McGruder guy.

Comment by Walt Bennett

And as I re-read the post that started all this chit-chat, it seems to me that Morris likes McGruder anyway, and has a problem with Perry’s stereotypes anyway, so he and Zack were never all that far apart anyway.

But my question remains, from above, about entertainers and a certain code, versus expressing a valid “keep it real” style that goes back to at least the 1960s and has deep roots in terms of social legitimacy.

Comment by Walt Bennett

Anything that is “keep it real” is antithetical to the progress of my people. It’s a convenient excuse for filling your show, your music with N-words, degrading women or something else that generally has no place in the discussion of positivity.

And in this case…it also proves true.

Comment by mrmokelly

Hey Walt, you’re proving my point. If you have to investigate to find out more about McGruder, he’s not widely as known or influential as Perry. McGruder has a considerable following, but one that is FAR less than Perry. Stop trying to parse “influence.” Like I said, it’s laughable. You were arguing all day yesterday about a guy you now ADMIT you knew little if anything about.

At what point do you acknowledge the obvious?

“Influence” isn’t about whether you respect or like somebody’s work above someone else’s it’s one ability and range to get people to follow you or care what you have to say or “influence” others behavior.

More people will come to know McGruder and his work because of him slamming Perry…but it still won’t equate to the millions of Perry followers. He’s not a one-trick pony, he has MILLIONS and MILLIONS of followers which are closely tied in many instances to the Black church.

He’s produced Black stage plays for the better part of 20 years. This guy is embedded in Black culture for more than 2 decades.

This is getting insulting now. You were arguing for two days about a guy who you didn’t even know about his “influence?” But you already knew who Tyler Perry was…didn’t need to look him up. That’s not even funny.

Comment by mrmokelly

Morris,

I’m perfectly willing to drop the subject of comparative influence, because I think we’re talking about two different things, anyway.

I’d like to know more about your position on militantism as a valid form of political and humorous expression.

Comment by Walt Bennett

“More people will come to know McGruder and his work because of him slamming Perry…but it still won’t equate to the millions of Perry followers. He’s not a one-trick pony, he has MILLIONS and MILLIONS of followers which are closely tied in many instances to the Black church”
Mo…this is where I’m coming from. Tylers success rests mainly on the fact that his plays featuring God and gospel music were successful because of the Black Church. I will admit that when his plays were new to the scene, I was impressed with him. When Hollywood stepped in and he became hugely popular (mostly with again- black church-goers) I started seeing a pattern I didn’t agree with and refused to give him another shot at my money. I’ve never been one to follow popular culture. Perry found his niche and gained popularity and influence. My question is will he ever step out into new territory? Whats the use of having all that influence and not do anything with it? Is he going to get people to think otherwise about black people? I’m not a buffoon, and I don’t know many of my people who are. I hate to resort to cliches but…If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything. I wish he would stand for something else. There are so many other positive aspects to our lives than Madea and Mr. Brown, and loud woman, low down dirty men, and obnoxious children.Open the eyes of all America with positive black figures. I know his goal is to make money, but come on now…try something different. Tell the true story of us.
As for Aaron, no he doesn’t come near the money or influence that Perry has and yeah he called Perry out on Boondocks, but that goes with the business. Maybe it was time for someone else to do that.I don’t care for Aaron’s use of language, but then, Pryor and his use of colorful words shocked me too at first. Not that I hadn’t heard them before, but that he said those things out loud for millions to hear, but then again all of show business was doing it….don’t make it right though.

Comment by southernVal

I don’t expect Tyler Perry to change for anyone. I don’t expect him to have any epiphany either. He’s been very clear that this is his calling and he’s dwelling within his calling. This criticism of him is nothing new, just the severity of it from one person in the public space.

After all the back slapping and ghetto hi-fiving, nothing really will have changed. In African-American culture, this would be akin to a game of The Dozens…score one for Aaron McGruder. But just like in The Dozens, it really doesn’t matter who has the sharpest tongue or can create the most mean-spirited (yet witty) diss…in the end, Tyler Perry still wins.

For all the “props” McGruder is getting right now, I doubt that it has done anything to lessen Perry’s appeal to those who support him and those who support McGruder will continue to do so.

Nothing changed, nothing gained.

Unlike BET (like I said in my piece) who is the all-around villain, Tyler Perry isn’t. He will ultimately come out on top because he never did anything to McGruder and even though people may not like Perry’s work…the attack on him will not pan out because any time you attack someone like Perry PERSONALLY who has a huge church following will only look as this as the “work of the devil.”

McGruder wasn’t attempting to change minds he was trying to destroy Perr y. Emphasis on DESTROY. That’s what he does, but let’s call it what it is. Like I said, his “points” were valid, but will likely get lost in the methodology.

If anything, Perry is now a more sympathetic figure. In the final analysis, McGruder spent more time attacking Perry personally, not his art form. That’s appealing to the ghetto hi-five crowd, but not larger society. It’s why Perez Hilton and others can only exist on the periphery. Not that McGruder wishes to be mainstream, it just limits his opportunities within the Hollywood matrix.

What’s been even less talked about is that this diss of Perry and Ice Cube (TNT/TBS family) comes from another Turner family member (McGruder). And in this piece which also disses Ice Cube, McGruder’s show’s primary characters are voiced by John Witherspoon and Regina King…co-stars of the Ice Cube movies in which McGruder is so ardently against (The Friday movie series). There are many, many contradictions and ironies that really haven’t been touched upon…yet.

Comment by mrmokelly

Love the article and the dialogue! I find the different viewpoints interesting. I find that I like Tyler Perry most for his films such as “Why did I get married”, and least for the Medea films, but respect his right to do his thing and make his money. I am a fan of McGruder, but have found the tone of his show a bit much so far this season (though I thoroughly enjoyed the episode in question in this article). Again, I respect his right to do his thing. I would, however, prefer to see more positive images in film, and do feel that both have a responsibility to make that happen.

Just as an FYI – Bossip has an article today about how Tyler Perry may be firing people due to the ‘secrets’ revealed on the Boondocks episode. Considering that Bossip is a gossip site (and this may just be a rumor), I take it with a grain of salt, but your blog immediately came to mind when I saw the piece. If true – McGruder apparently has some influence (perhaps Mr. Perry himself?)(http://bossip.com/261797/tyler-perry-gets-his-period-and-starts-firing-folks-because-of-the-boondocks-episode-that-aired-his-gay-business/)

Comment by MiaC

There might be an interesting dialog if Morris ever answers my question.

My opinion of the dialog that’s come before this is that it was misunderstanding stretched into discord, and missing a real opportunity to get to what really would be interesting: a historical analysis of the two styles.

I suggested above that Morris seems to have a code his entertainers should live by. I suggested that he seems to dismiss the validity of “keep it real” humor and commentary.

I’m waiting for Morris to allow the discussion to go further in that direction.

“Deeper”, if you will.
:-)

I suggested above that Morris wants his enter

Comment by Walt Bennett

By the way, Morris, Riley asks that the next time you say you will be “going deeper”, that you follow it with “No homo!”

Comment by Walt Bennett

The comment above truncated.

Let me try to finish it:

I suggested above that Morris wants his entertainers to keep to a certain code. I asked his opinion of militantism as a form of expression.

It’s not just “using the N-word” and it’s not just “portraying negative imagery”. It’s about “keeping it real”, peeling back layers, leaving the BS on the stoop and so forth.

And that style goes pretty far back and has some pretty large names attached to it.

I’d like to explore that angle, if Morris is interested.

Comment by Walt Bennett

And can somebody render an opinion of Chris Rock’s routine about “black people” and “Ni**ers”?

Because that is the closest I have ever come to hearing a black man describe a typical white attitude toward the use of that word.

“Some of them are…”

Comment by Walt Bennett

I’m not going into a historical analysis of the two styles. And believe it or not Walt, we’ve run this thread for days now. I’m sorry if my not entertaining your every whim and question irritates you. I’ve devoted more than enough time to you in this discussion when in truth you had virtually zero knowledge of McGruder. In other words, you wasted my time with a false argument. We could’ve been much further down the road in the discussion.

To then say after the fact I’m not going deep enough in this dialogue is doubly disingenuous. I put in enough historical context in the piece. Respectfully I’m moving on.

Comment by mrmokelly

A simple “Hi I’m Walt and I didn’t even know of McGruder until Mo’Kelly posted this” would have been sufficient and we could’ve moved on…like 40 comments ago.

Comment by mrmokelly

Morris, you no longer answer any of my questions on any thread.

This blog is becoming “Hi I’m Morris, I’m telling you how it is, and if you try to turn it into a discussion I’ll mutilate you.”

Your biggest crime right now, other than actively seeking to chase away loyal participants, is becoming boring.

There’s nothing interesting in what you put out in your comments. The posts themselves contain enough inspiration to spark dialog, but that dialog goes nowhere because you have lost any interest you once had in back-and-forth.

I’ve warned you about this privately, now publicly.

Morris: You’ve changed.

Comment by Walt Bennett

OK, Walt. Whenever someone “warns” me…I tune out. If you’re uninspired that’s fine. I write for me and nobody else. It just so happens some people appreciate what I do from time to time.

It’s been a discussion here for quite some time. You’ve simply tried to manipulate its directions for your own ends. How McGruder/Perry leads into Chris Rock Black people V. N I’m not sure. It’s not my job to answer ALL your questions ad infinitum. I do have other things to do on this blog other than just comment. You don’t concede the obvious facts and you take faux contrarian stances, even when they’re ridiculous.

You haven’t even conceded you didn’t know who the HELL McGruder was and there you were, wasting my time on the discussion of influence and you didn’t even know the guy, his history or his work.

We’ve had this discussion about your refusal to concede facts before. When you start conceding facts, then maybe I’ll take more of your questions. In the meantime…

I move on…to the next topic.

And honestly Walt, if you think I’m chasing away people who call ME asshole on my blog, you simply aren’t living in reality and in denial of the facts.

Jack LEFT.
Zack LEFT.

Stop making ish up.

This is not a 4-H club. There are no dues-paying members and they haven’t purchased any good or service from me.

They weren’t called any names they weren’t discouraged from participating. Jack is lucky I simply ignored his comment. How laughable to have ANYTHING to say about the guy who called me asshole THREE DIFFERENT TIMES IN ONE POST.

But I “ran him off?” You know what, I think you need to review the reality of how we came to this point. The next person who does it, he/she can leave too. I don’t care. That’s not me “changing” that’s having a degree of self-respect. I don’t provide a comment section for someone to make such remarks about me. Jack and anyone like him who abuses that platform is free to go and such people have left on their own.

Nobody is here is “allowed” to call me out my name here…ever. Not on the street, not in cyberspace. No internet trolls peddling overt racism are allowed here either. People are allowed to freely express their views on a topic, but not flame the comment thread.

They (readers) do not pay to visit this site and retain no ownership over its editorial direction. Enough of the distortion of facts and self-righteousness. Enough with you and others trying to dictate what is written here, how the comment thread should go or whether I take enough time to answer all your questions across all the threads. I do have other ish to do. You’re not my daddy, thank you. I just celebrated Fathers Day last week. I’m clear on who he is.

You’re welcome to your opinion, even when it is disputed by all sorts of facts. I don’t owe anyone any explanation or any vote on what goes on here. THAT has never changed and never will. I write for me. Emphasis on “I” and “me.” If nobody reads, nobody comments, I’m still ok with that.

G’nite.

Comment by mrmokelly

Umm… I just returned from ABFF (the American Black Film Festival for those who have no prior knowledge of the acronym) where I was inundated with Black media representative of the entire spectrum of the black experience. It was refreshing to have choices!!! I am a fan of McGruder’s “Boondocks” commentary – for the most part – although I cringe at his use of the N-word. Until the firing of the four WGA writers in 2007 and the subsequent exposure of T.P.’s treatment of his staff (plus the Meet the Browns movie which was the final straw for me) I supported T.P.’s movies in hopes that the greenlighting of Black Films with more substance would be the result of T.P.’s tomfoolery paving the way.

With that being said, I was excited to read that the Mo Kelly Report had finally reported in response to the airing of “Pause”. (C’mon Mo… that Rocky Horror Picture Show throwback was dayum funny!) I too thought of W.E.B. Dubois and George Washington Carver. Whenever and wherever there exists social commentary on the plight of African-Americans in America and the positive or negative images portrayed in the media as a result of that plight there will be controversy.
Period. But, this one thing remains TRUE: “All African-American filmmakers have a duty to put forth responsible imagery. Yes, ALL of them. We do not live in a post-racial America and we as African-Americans are not adequately or respectfully represented across video and audio media.”

Spoken like a true Cosby Writing Program Alumnae, Mo.

xoxo

Comment by lagirlatheart

@Walt… hmmmm. I usually enjoy your commentary on the Mo Kelly Report, but I have to question your motives for the argumentative rebuttal. Generally, bloggers blog because they have something to say, not because they feel compelled to discuss what they’ve said or refute their point. That’s reserved for talk show hosts where guests regularly challenge the host on his/her point of view.

Dude. Chill. Please. It’s a blog.

Comment by lagirlatheart

Yes, the Rocky Horror Picture Show bit was quite funny. Over the top as McGruder often times is, but it was a nice use of pop culture.

Comment by mrmokelly

Some thought-provoking perspectives, Mo’Kelly. I also have some mixed emotions about Aaron McGruder’s dead-on skewering of Tyler Perry. On one hand, McGruder is just doing what any good satirist does (and he is very good at satire) and that’s taking our sacred cows and turning them into Boondock burgers (with apologies to Mark Twain).

But on the other hand, McGruder gets mud all over himself in the process of pelting Perry. His casual usage of the slur “nigga” grates on my ears and the homophobia is so thick and oppressive it hangs over the cartoon like a fog. I’m laughing at the episode, but I’m not very proud of it.

Comment by Jeff Winbush

lagirlheart,

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about definitions. Words like “friend” and “brother”.

A friend is somebody whose company you enjoy. There’s a certain connection, a bond.

A brother is somebody you would step in front of a bullet for, without hesitation, without thinking. A brother is a person whose back you have at all times without it ever being questioned.

Morris and I have known each other a relatively short time. We’ve never met face to face and our only phone conversations have been perfunctory.

Why, then do I consider Morris a “brother” as well as a “friend”?

Anybody who knows me through this blog, knows that I am fiercely independent in my thinking. I often say that I “go slow” in terms of coming to grips with an issue, because I believe that going fast leads to more problems. Sometimes we have to pause, be still, let the situation unfold and see where we are.

I believe that Morris champions my presence here. I believe I am appreciated for my frank explorations of sensitive topics, my willingness to get my hands dirty, to learn as I go, and to generally seek as elevate a level of consciousness as can be achieved.

I always aim high. Mo says he likes to go deep, well I like to aim high.

There are only three places where I make a regular appearance: The New York Times Fifth Down football blog, the Central Pennsylvania news site Pennlive.Com, and here.

And I spend more time here than at either of those two places.

This is Mo’s house and he’s always made me feel welcome. Just last week he published an opinion piece I wrote. No question. He said “sure” and he did it.

He has always accepted the challenges I place before him to explain, define, resolve and otherwise deconstruct his posts. The meat of any post is not the post itself but the discussion it generates.

I believe that Morris has appreciated my efforts at contributing to lively discussion.

However, in the last couple of weeks something’s changed. Morris has become much more hostile and much less willing to simply discuss things.

I asked him if he was alright and he said he was, so I take him at his word.

But I want the old Morris back, the one I spent so much time getting to know through this house of his. He can’t go changing on me now, not when we’ve spent all this time building this relationship, this strange beast where I feel so close to a man I’ve never laid eyes on.

Who is this man, and what has he done with my Morris?

Comment by Walt Bennett

“Perry has fast become a movie mogul in an entertainment world in which knows few of his color.” Can we get a proof reader here!

Never trust anyone who refers to himself in the 3rd person…

Lincoln Perry couldn’t do anything BUT what he did in movies. If Tyler Perry had any real talent, like Lee Daniels (who’s openly gay, by the way), whom he piggy backed on to get his only opportunity at Oscar consideration, today, he could put any kind of image he wanted on the screen.

Spike Lee’s She Hate Me was, I thought, a riff on Putney Swope. It was, though not as clever, thoughtful.

Aaron McGruder uses the word nigger in direct counterpoint to all those niggers who insist that the word should be banned; all the N-word assholes. Censorship will not keep you from being a nigger in the eyes of those who would see you as one. It’s word. Words are not killing us. McGruder is saying that it’s bullshit for black folks to get indignant about being called niggers if you’re not a nigger…

I don’t expect black artist to produce images of blacks that are universally positive. We’re just like everyone else. We are NOT universally positive. What I do expect is some thoughtfulness. Show me some intellect, at least.

Both of those brothers, McGruder and Lee, can talk about Tyler Perry because they’ve never gone for the easy laugh or the fast dollar.

Comment by Brian

Mo’Kelly never said you need to trust him or his 3rd person references, just look at the facts presented. Trust the facts, because they aren’t subject to being mitigated by the person presenting them. Facts just are. I’ve heard all the “reasons” for the use of the N-word by McGruder, but cutting to the chase, it is a low value argument which yields no upside. His show isn’t only viewed by African-Americans. It isn’t even produced by majority African-Americans, isn’t aired on a majority Black network and isn’t staffed by majority African-Americans beyond the cast. Keep his show in its proper context. It’s arguable that his predominant viewership isn’t even Black…in the way that the predominant listenership of hip hop isn’t Black.

Words aren’t killing us (to your point) and neither is Tyler Perry.

If you expect thoughtfulness, then She Hate Me can’t be defended. Girl 6 can’t be defended. You’re shifting the line in the sand simply because you subjectively appreciate their work as opposed to objectively acknowledging the historical imagery and stereotypes contained therein.

Yes Stepin Fetchit had few options (as did Hattie McDaniel) but Hattie arguably was more self-aware and did not go to the lengths that Lincoln did to “justify” his work. Like I said, not all money is good money.

Comment by mrmokelly

And BET is owned by Viacom; Chris Rocks writing partner is a big ole white man. What’s your point? Black people do not exist in a vacuum. I’m not naive. Are you? McGruder may be viewed by many by his aim is “urban”.

The FACT is that DuBois’s criticism of Washington is as valid today as it was in 1903, while to mention Hughes and Baldwin in a discussion of the schlock of Tyler Perry is illusory and delusional.

And the word is NIGGER. Everything in life doesn’t “yield an upside”. But when journalists report that a group of racist wrote the “n-word” (let’ not capitalize it) on someone’s house, that diminishes the impact, intended and unintended. Censroship, especially self-censorship is an abomination. Once you start where do you stop?

I haven’t put down a line to shift. I leave that to people like you. I’m pretty sure I made that clear. I don’t have a problem with any story that anyone wants to tell, as long as it is one I haven’t heard or seen before and I can’t figure out the plot in 5 mins., which is where Perry fails. He hasn’t an original idea in his head.

I’m sure I said I didn’t think She Hate Me was very thoughtgul. I mean, the title is She Hate Me! Girl 6? Hey, it’s a story about a sex phone operator. I hadn’t seen that before, but I wasn’t expecting Raisin’ In The Sun. The girl could have been white, black or Asian. Again, black folks don’t exist in a vacuum and black artist have no more obligation to create cookie cutter images of stiving, noble blacks than do Jews, Indians, Asians or any other group to do that when they write about their people. The point is, don’t bore me.

Perry tries to come across as if he’s socially signifant. He’s not, except that he a nigger amassing an inordinately large fortune selling unfailingly negative inages of black people, coupled with bilious, sanctimonious, over-simplified notions of bliss (as long as Jesus is in your life). You know, the stuff that was used to keep slaves happy on the plantation, waiting for freedom in heaven. Life is not like that either.

I never thought that Perry’s homosexuallity and cross-dressing was an issue, though we all know that there has always been a corollary between not being a threatening black man and success (see Little Richard, Barak Hussein Obama, et al). I do think brother McGruder went overboard on that. Homophoba, which is the ground on which he should be repudiated, is not acceptable. Interestingly, I have yet to see a black commentator, not even, surprisingly, you, brutha Mo, take note of that.

Comment by Brian

And BET is owned by Viacom; Chris Rocks writing partner is a big ole white man. What’s your point? Black people do not exist in a vacuum. I’m not naive. Are you? McGruder may be viewed by many, but his aim is “urban”.

The FACT is that DuBois’s criticism of Washington is as valid today as it was in 1903, while to mention Hughes and Baldwin in a discussion of the schlock of Tyler Perry is illusory and delusional.

And the word is NIGGER. Everything in life doesn’t “yield an upside”. But when journalists report that a group of racist wrote the “n-word” (let’ not capitalize it) on someone’s house, that diminishes the impact, intended and unintended. Censroship, especially self-censorship is an abomination. Once you start where do you stop?

I haven’t put down a line to shift. I leave that to people like you. I’m pretty sure I made that clear. I don’t have a problem with any story that anyone wants to tell, as long as it is one I haven’t heard or seen before and I can’t figure out the plot in 5 mins., which is where Perry fails. He hasn’t an original idea in his head.

I’m sure I said I didn’t think She Hate Me was very thoughtgul. I mean, the title is She Hate Me! Girl 6? Hey, it’s a story about a sex phone operator. I hadn’t seen that before, but I wasn’t expecting Raisin’ In The Sun. The girl could have been white, black or Asian. Again, black folks don’t exist in a vacuum and black artist have no more obligation to create cookie cutter images of stiving, noble blacks than do Jews, Indians, Asians or any other group to do that when they write about their people. The point is, don’t bore me.

Perry tries to come across as if he’s socially signifant. He’s not, except that he a nigger amassing an inordinately large fortune selling unfailingly negative inages of black people, coupled with bilious, sanctimonious, over-simplified notions of bliss (as long as Jesus is in your life). You know, the stuff that was used to keep slaves happy on the plantation, waiting for freedom in heaven. Life is not like that either.

I never thought that Perry’s homosexuallity and cross-dressing was an issue, though we all know that there has always been a corollary between not being a threatening black man and success (see Little Richard, Barak Hussein Obama, et al). I do think brother McGruder went overboard on that. Homophoba, which is the ground on which he should be repudiated, is not acceptable. Interestingly, I have yet to see a black commentator, not even, surprisingly, you, brutha Mo, take note of that.

Comment by Brian

Brian I appreciate your contributions, and I hope you will continue to do so. BET is owned by viacom, but it wasn’t created by Viacom. I don’t know specifically but its present staffing is not mostly White. And in terms of being a commentator, it’s not my “job” to hit every point to your satisfaction. Yes, it was dripping with homophobia, but in the larger discussion it would have convoluted my editorial.

The job of a commentator is to stay on point.

Yes, W.E.B. DuBois’ criticisms of Booker T. Washington are still valid today and you prove my point…history has room to celebrate all of these individuals. That was the salient point. Again, you’re making this argument about “Nigger” that’s neither here nor there. It’s offensive to many people, me included. It (the word) is not admirable in any manner. It can’t be sterilized or iodized. It can’t be simonized. Not only that, it can’t be removed from McGruder’s resume. You’re arguing the merits of McGruder’s argument, not acknowledging the objective reality. In a discussion of “positive” imagery, McGruder’s resume is spotted too… “N-word” (capitalized, because it refers to a group of people, proper noun) for many, many folks (me included) has no place on our lips, in our hearts…

And definitely not on our TV sets.

Remember, a commentator has to stay on point. Let’s stay on point. There are plenty of things which I didn’t mention about the SPECIFICITY of the episode. That was NOT the point. The point was taking a larger view of the criticism of other towering African-Americans and place it into the proper historical context. And by the way, the discussion of the homophobia has been discussed in a number of places. You would be incorrect. I had no desire to deconstruct the episode. I didn’t mention the Rocky Horror Picture Show scene, I didn’t mention any of that.

I was staying on point. If you specifically want a discussion of the homophobia…here’s a commentator discussing it…

http://newblackman.blogspot.com/2010/06/mcgruder-goes-in-hard-on-tyler-perry.html

Comment by mrmokelly

So first of all know i was supposed to be in bed, maybe 20/ 30 mins ago, so if I miss my workout I’m blaming it on you.
Ok so I love this post, I appreciate your standing up for the responsibility we all have for no only or color, race, gender, sex, what ever it be. You are completely correct, not all money is good money, and with out going throw and expressing why not only McGruder as well as you post have it on point. I would like to defend the one point you pose against McGruders use of the N- word, so I followed up on the clip you have to view the following just to make sure that it was in reference to an actual incident which happened in a school and made the local news in Jefferson County (unsure the CIty, State).

if you watch both the news report and the boondocks, you will see that in some instance he was taken used the scenario verbatim.

Other than that, appreciate your words. So on point! thanks.

Comment by iranturave

Hello Iranturave,

McGruder’s use of the N-Word has been well documented, even beyond that clip. The clip may historically tie into an actual incident, but I would say that the incident (real or not) more fits McGruder’s personal aims (i.e. he just likes using the word), not professional (i.e. making a meaningful difference). You can find the N-word in virtually every episode and he has said repeatedly that he is going to use it and not think twice about it.

Comment by mrmokelly

The brilliance of that episode is the way it captures white confusion over the use of the word.

Which goes to Mo’s point, since it confuses and divides black folk as well.

On the other hand, I have no idea what possessed the actual white teacher to use the actual word.

Very slippery slope.

Comment by Walt Bennett

Ok I’m black and I agree Tyler perry is a cross dressing freak taking advantage of a stereotype….stuffing Jesus consistently down my throat..,I bet he happy that the boondocks got cancelled but what did he offer up in return ? a bunch of shows with either no name or washed up actors…the same actors in every movie…3 tv shows 2 were pretty much the same…house of Payne and meet the browns and then one loosely based off characters from why did I get married… He sucks. People are starting to see that’s why they cancelled 2 of the shows and they are probably getting their 100 million dollars worth out him…I be glad when he just disappears.

Comment by Teddy




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