Karen Ocamb

Tyler Perry Pissed at 'The Boondocks' Cartoon Dis

Filed By Karen Ocamb | July 02, 2010 3:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: Boondocks cartoon, crossdressing, Ma Duke, Madea, Tyler Perry

The LA Times business-entertainment blog Company Town reports la-et-boondocksthat Black actor/producer/mogul Tyler Perry is so angry about a June 20 episode of "The Boondocks" sharply lampooning his popular character Madea, he may re-think his relationship with Turner Broadcasting, which owns Cartoon Network and airs Perry's shows "House of Payne" and "Meet the Browns."

Longtime LA Times reporter Greg Braxton wrote about the episode two days after it aired, forecasting a likely headache for Tuner executives.

"In "Pause," an episode written by [Aaron] McGruder and executive producer Rodney Barnes that aired Sunday, a thinly disguised version of Perry named Winston Jerome is positioned as a closeted, cross-dressing cult leader whose love of the Christian faith is a mask for his true sexuality. Though the character bears little physical or vocal resemblance to Perry, the reference is obvious to those familiar with Perry's work. The dancing Ma Duke is a clear parody of Madea.

The Jerome character wears a pink sweater, is surrounded by bare-chested muscular men and constantly proclaims his love for Jesus even as he attempts to seduce Granddad (John Witherspoon), the guardian of the two boys, Huey and Riley Freeman, at the center of the series. The fame-hungry Granddad is trying out for a part in Jerome's new play, "Ma Duke Finds Herself a Man."

Near the end of the episode, Jerome bluntly asks Granddad for sex; the old man responds, "Do you mean to tell me that this whole cross-dressing Christian cult crap is just so you can sleep with men?" "Uh, pretty much, yeah," says Jerome."

Joe Flint at Company Town says the episode that aired is the milder of two other scripts originally submitted more than a year ago.

This was originally posted at LGBT POV.


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Dear Tyler Perry,

The truth hurts, don't it! EXPOSED!!!!

Jacqui B. | July 2, 2010 7:51 PM

'The Boondocks' is intended to offend.
If you can see through this, you can laugh at it (or not, if you don't think it's funny, which I personally do). If you take yourself too seriously, however, you will become pissed at this show attacking your public figure, like Tyler Perry. I think Tyler Perry needs to loosen up.

A. J. Lopp | July 3, 2010 1:07 AM

I agree. Comedy drag presents too many possibilities for gender flip-flop. Milton Berle in his day may have gotten away with doing drag for the sake of comedy, but any male comedian who does comedy drag today needs to be prepared for the possibility that the character might be interpretted as a gay man in drag instead of as a straight man in drag. After all, the drag character could be intended as either --- and if the "female" character is chasing men ... well, is it the "woman" in the dress doing the chasing, or is it the man in the dress?

I thought it was hilarious, and that it was also about time someone blew Tyler Perry's wig off. But slowly the laughter turned to something else, something more thoughtful. Was this episode not only dissing Tyler, Jesus pimps and easily led evangelicals, but was it also dissing black gay men, too?

Is this the same ol' homophobia, in a different, more insidious venue? By the time the episode ended, I'd stopped laughing a long time ago.

What are the typical homo-haters and bashers out there going to take from this episode? Are they suddenly gonna feel all warm and fuzzy about the gay thing? And considering the target audience, African Americans, will this beloved show send the wrong message about black gay men in general?

Funny as the Madea parody was (and I'm no Tyler Perry defender by any means, though I did give his film, "The Family That Preys" a rave review on Amazon), but for the very first time I'm left with a foul taste in my mouth by this favorite show of mine and am left wondering what exactly is the Boondock's creator, Aaron McGruder, trying to tell the world?

Because clearly there was "no homo" love, or, "can't we all just get along" in this episode. Black gay men have been climbing up from the lowest rung on the social totem pole for a long time. We have to be careful how we are depicted on shows beamed to our communities, which can already be hostile and 'phobic enough, if we want to reach the top. Dissing Tyler Perry is one thing, but doing it in a way which some in the black community (especially Perry's churchy audience) will further extrapolate to be representative of ALL black gay men is troubling. ~

I saw it as not only as making fun of Tyler Perry's Madea character but the lengths that people will go to stay in the closet in Hollywood as a black man.
How many gay black actors in Hollywood that are out? as far as black people Wanda Sykes. I could say Rupaul but RuPaul came up from a different angle. Black men are Hyper sexualized and assumed hetero or portrayed as the most flaming queer of all times. I find it appropriate that McGruder used The RHPS reference given hat the creator of the RHPC had coming out issues himself. McGruder isn't hammering Perry's sexuality as much as he is hammering "Christian ideals" that are as watered down as the drinks during pride week in NYC.

Yeah - Boondocks looks at everything through the lens of black culture and Tyler Perry highlights a completely different aspect of his movies/comedy in that community than the community at large. He's fair game for parody as far as I'm concerned.

Our local WalMart (yes, I shop there -- sorry, folks, but it's all that's around) has an entire display rach devoted to Tyler Perry movies, which strikes myself and my friend Randy as amusing in a quietly odd kind of way and has started what has now become a long-running game -- take any film title and preface it with "Tyler Perry's..."

For example:

"Tyler Perry's a Fish called Wanda"

"Tyler Perry's Titanic!" (usually said with an appropriate shriek of ecstacy)

or in the TV section:

"Tyler Perry's Mad About You"

Mindless fun that never grows old. :-)

twinkie1cat | July 4, 2010 12:11 AM

Boondocks is edgy and meant to offend, although not to make one vomit like Family Guy. Over the years they have attacked almost everything including whether the bi-racial girl is black or white. Tyler Perry needs to get over himself.

leave tyler perry alone...the gay crowd always want to capitalize on successful black men...they want to claim his fame...as if everybody who is successful must be gay ...because "we are the best thing since sliced bread"...if they are talented and making money...not married ...and not slanging....they must be gay...GAY also means silly...someone in the gay community has done too much wishful thinking about tyler perry and want him badly...and of course someone is going to play the gay card...and call this gay bashing.....to each his own...