Tyler Perry Defends Madea Character: ‘I Love the Movies That I’ve Done’

Over the years, Spike Lee has been critical of Tyler Perry’s film and television work, specifically his Madea character.

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While sitting with Chris Wallace, Perry is asked about Lee’s 2009 comments stating that the Madea character is “coonery buffoonery.”

“There’s a certain part of our society, especially Black people in the in the culture that, they look down on certain things within the culture,” Perry said. “For me, I love the movies that I’ve done because they are the people that I grew up with that I represent and they, like, my mother would take me in the projects with her on the weekends, she played cards with these women.


“So when someone says, you’re harkening back to a point in our life that we don’t want to talk about or we don’t want the world to see, you’re dismissing the stories of millions and millions of Black people, and that’s why I think it’s been so successful because it resonates with a lot of us who know these women.”

For film fans who wish to see a different style of Tyler Perry’s work. His new film, A Jazzman’s Blues, is now available on Netflix.

Speaking with PEOPLE, Perry reveals it’s the first screenplay he ever penned.

“I wrote it in 1995. It was the first screenplay I ever wrote,” Perry said. “The two characters are just trying to find their own way in the world. Initially, I wanted to play the lead role of Bayou, but that was 1995 — I aged out.”

He added, “I was in Atlanta struggling to make it. I was hungry, sleeping on my cousin’s couch, eventually getting put out and being homeless. I was trying to get my first play off the ground, and this screenplay just poured out of me. I held onto it for all of these years.”

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The film’s synopsis reads:

A sweeping tale of forbidden love, A JAZZMAN’S BLUES unspools forty years of secrets and lies soundtracked by juke joint blues in the deep South. Written, directed and produced by Academy Award honoree Tyler Perry, the film stars Joshua Boone and Solea Pfeiffer as star-crossed lovers Bayou and Leanne alongside an ensemble cast that includes Amirah Vann, Austin Scott, Milauna Jemai Jackson, Brent Antonello, Brad Benedict, Kario Marcel, Lana Young and Ryan Eggold. The film features an original song performed by Ruth B., songs arranged and produced by multi-Grammy winner & two-time Academy Award nominee Terence Blanchard, music by Aaron Zigman and choreography by Debbie Allen.

A trailer has not yet bee released.