Tyler Perry tells Spike Lee: Shut the hell up

During a Beverly Hills press conference for the West Coast premiere of his new film Madea’s Big Happy Family, Tyler Perry voiced his frustration with fellow director Spike Lee, who called Perry’s work “coonery buffoonery” in an interview with Black Enterprise. When asked about Lee’s comment, he replied: “I’m so sick of hearing about damn Spike Lee. Spike can go straight to hell! You can print that. I am sick of him talking about me, I am sick of him saying, ‘this is a coon, this is a buffoon.’ I am sick of him talking about black people going to see movies. This is what he said: ‘you vote by what you see,’ as if black people don’t know what they want to see. I am sick of him — he talked about Whoopi, he talked about Oprah, he talked about me, he talked about Clint Eastwood. Spike needs to shut the hell up!” Perry’s newest film, Madea’s Big Happy Family, which he wrote, directed and stars in, opens Friday.

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Comments & Discussion

  1. Andrea • April 21, 2011 @ 12:17 AM

    You tell him, Tyler!

  2. karlene pryce • April 21, 2011 @ 11:03 AM

    Spike Lee is just jelous of the success tyler perry has

  3. Germain • April 21, 2011 @ 11:23 AM

    I agree with Lee, those movies sucks ass. Who enjoys Tyler Perry dressed up as an old lady, it’s so freakin dumb. mandee, i hope you are reading this.

    Perry will never be at the level Spike Lee is. His movies are legendary, that does not always come through on box office success. Watch “Do the right thing” and “Malcom X” and tell me it’s not better then stupid Madea.

  4. frishack • April 21, 2011 @ 11:32 AM

    Tyler Perry makes movies for the uneducated dregs of society. Spike Lees movies are mostly awesome.

  5. Andrea • April 21, 2011 @ 12:38 PM

    Looks like only the Spike fans are speaking out, but the Tyler fans are voting! It’s currently Tyler Perry 66%.

  6. billy bob • April 21, 2011 @ 1:07 PM

    Spike lee has always been a racist, plain and simple.

  7. lindsay brown • April 21, 2011 @ 2:09 PM

    Tyler Perry is ignorant. He even spelled the name in his new movie title wrong. Spike Lee is light years ahead of Perry in every way. Tyler Perry should shut up! He’ll be a has-been by the end of the year.

  8. quinn • April 21, 2011 @ 2:44 PM

    Why do black people have a need to pull each other down all the time. Here are two successful black men being successful in Hollywood. Why can’t success be enough for both. Just enjoy the ride, all to soon it will be over. You don’t have to like one or the other. Kudos for Tyler and Spike for making it and having staying power.

    If it were two white directors this wouldn’t even be a discussion. We have come a long way, and yet it always comes back to this. Move on.

  9. Kags • April 21, 2011 @ 5:59 PM

    I agree with Tyler Perry, Spike Lee does need to shut up. He sounds like an ignorant racist to me

  10. C-Dub • April 21, 2011 @ 6:05 PM

    Ok, Both directors are pro-black. That’s great. BUT in my opinion Spike’s movies show a lot of inter-racial relationships and very different dynamics. Tyler Perry certainly seems to gear his movies 100% towards black audiences only. That seems to alienate audiences who might want to watch movies with other minority groups.
    Also, I erally can’t say there are ANY Perry movies anyone would want to consider a classic. Really Madea goes to jail? Doesn’t he mean Ernest goes to jail? With Spike Lee, look at Do The Right Thang! Or Jungle Fever, even his war pic. Look at Inside Man, that was awesome!
    If anyone actually branches out in topics, I say Spike hands down. If I want to see a movie on relationships with black couples or groups of black women, I’ll see a Perry flick. I guess maybe they would be classic for that community which they are clearly geared towards.

    That’s not racist, that is the audience each chooses to make a film for. I feel Spike is wayyyyy more open (and skilled) as a filmaker.

  11. ke • April 21, 2011 @ 7:48 PM

    In terms of quality, there’s no question: Spike Lee over Tyler Perry. I haven’t seen a single Perry movie but a black comedian in drag…isn’t that a bit over and done with? Its all he does it seems, there’s no creativity. But then again, studios keep letting him do it, so obviously something is working.

  12. Velvet • April 21, 2011 @ 9:25 PM

    I appreciate both Tyler Perry and Spike Lee for their films and individual talents. I totally agree with the comments made by “Quinn”. Each is successful in his own right with Spike Lee’s production company titled “40 Acres and a Mule” and Tyler Perry’s (first ever owned by an African American) Studio titled “TPS = Tyler Perry Studios”. He invited every single “legend” (i.e. Sidney Poitier, Cicely Tyson, etc.) to kick off the opening of his studio. Class act if you ask me!

    Neither of these men are going away anytime soon, so appreciate each of them for they have a different perspective of telling the African American story.

    Although Tyler has made many “Madea” movies and plays, here is a list of other movies he’s done which are dramatic and very well acted:
    1. Tyler Perry’s Daddy’s Little Girls
    2. Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married?
    3. Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married Too?
    4. Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns
    5. Tyler Perry’s The Family That Preys
    6. Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself
    7. Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ By Sapphire
    8. For Colored Girls

    He also had a role in “Star Trek” in 2009 playing an Enterprise Tribunal Judge.

    Enough said. I wish that both men would set an example of brotherly love and being thrilled that each has “made it” in a consistently white Hollywood. You’ve both made your mark gentlemen, can’t you just be happy for one another?

    Spike Lee appears to have a very large chip on his shoulder for many years now. He should consider counselling. I think we have enough hate and jealousy in the world to circle the globe many times over.

    As John Lennon would say, “All we are saying, is give peace a chance!”

    Surely there is enough success out there for everyone who wants it, isn’t there?

  13. Nessa • April 21, 2011 @ 9:45 PM

    I agree with quinn. Plus, people in entertainment really need to stop insulting eachother. Entertainment is entertainment, it’s all up to the people who are being entertained by it. Everyone has a different opinion. It’s just not usually a good idea for people in the public image to criticize others. No one’s perfect and no one has the perfect product.

  14. rf903jwf • April 21, 2011 @ 10:07 PM

    I hate Tyler Perry’s horrible movies, but I have a new found respect for him on an individual level. Spike Lee is the racist here. Blames whites for everything and the irony is his movies are financed by whites. Why is he a director again? Maybe he should join the NAACP.

  15. Coop • April 22, 2011 @ 12:37 AM

    Spike Lee is by far the better director and has made many outstanding films not all dealing with racial issues(Summer Of Sam,anyone?)but he is a racist bastard and in my opinion that is never excusable no matter who you are.So yeah,shut the hell up,Spike just like that big bag of wind Al Sharpton you don’t speak for everyone.

  16. Tawny • April 22, 2011 @ 3:17 AM

    Tyler makes family films that do better at the box office than Spike’s. He’s also more prolific. That’s why Spike’s jealous.

  17. Germain • April 22, 2011 @ 6:23 AM

    Velvet, Tyler Perry had nothing to do with the direction or production of Precious, he helped distribute it that’s it. Get your facts straight.

  18. denzil • April 22, 2011 @ 5:17 PM

    well i read all the comments and yes they are all valid and to the point Spike Lee should reconsider his stance on what he is saying and hope to accomplished these men are different human beings and have a different way of expressing themselves so neither is above the other none will live forever and none can perform miracles so take the acts each other does for what it is and not to make it for something it is not some people love laughter and some rather to remaim serious about everything in the end we all have to answer to the true judge the one with no blemish black or white we all are just fighting a losing war when it comes to who is the better race GOD created us in his image gave us the freedom to choose right from wrong but i think that after many centries we have lost ourselvse and the right way to live in this saga theirs no winners or losers just sadness and to end this quote Spike Lee do the Right thing. PEACE.

  19. Jack • April 26, 2011 @ 2:00 PM

    Tyler Perry movies pander to everything that’s wrong with the African American community. I am a black male in my 30’s and i detest Tyler Perry movies. Especially the Madea ones.

    Spike Lee makes movies that may not be as successful at the box office but they are more critically acclaimed by a mile.

    Can you really honestly watch a movie by Perry that you can call great? or powerful? intense? very smart? i seriously doubt that.

    I can think of MANY Spike Lee movies that fit one or more of these criteria : Malcolm X, Do The Right Thing, 25th Hour, Inside Man, He Got Game, and countless documentaries.

    Anyway, it is all a matter of opinion. Everyone has their own tastes. I like Vanilla & Chocolate Chip Ice Cream and others don’t. Same thing…

    BTW: Precious was NOT directed by Tyler Perry… It’s way too good of a movie for that 😛


    – Jack

  20. mr bunziii • April 27, 2011 @ 12:07 AM

    Here we go! Here we go! Black Directors vs Black Directors, black rappers vs black rappers, Black athletes vs black athletes… The Emancipation procrastination. 1863 aka Juneteenth… Im probably talking over your heads… A generation without history is doomed. A successful black man opens the door. Another black man sees an opening and moves out front. Isn’t that the way this capitalist society dominated for centuries? peace!

  21. Cheryl • May 5, 2011 @ 8:11 PM

    Spike Lee is by far the better director, however that said, he needs to show a little grace and not speak down to Tyler Perry. Perry has a formula, that he goes to again and again, because it is a money maker. He’s probably tired of the Madea movies too, but they have made him a wealthy man. I’m hoping that with the funds that his studio is making he can now show that he is capable of doing better work.

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