During a press conference in Los Angeles last week, Tyler Perry lashed out at a reporter’s question, exclaiming “I’m so sick of hearing about damn Spike Lee. Spike can go straight to hell!” Perry’s frustration stemmed back to comments Lee made in a 2009 interview.
This week, the latest round in the Tyler Perry vs. Spike Lee feud began.
In a recent interview with Extra host Mario Lopez, the Madea’s Big Happy Family director discussed the comments he made about Lee saying, “I was just pissed off at some things that Spike Lee said, you know, about a coon and a buffoon and those kinds of things, but I’m just gonna stay above it. I’m gonna keep doing what I do, and I’m gonna focus on the millions that love it and not the five that don’t.”
Spike Lee has yet to give a formal statement in response to Perry. But last week, he alluded to Perry’s comments in series of tweets.
Three days after Perry’s comments Lee tweeted:
The Brooklyn director then tweeted out a non-descript dark picture and said, “I took that picture from “HELL” early this morning before I left to “COME UP” to DA GARDEN of HEAVEN for Game 3 Tonight. OH YEAH. OH YEAH.YO”
Days before his April 19th press conference for Madea’s Big Happy Family Tyler Perry made his own allusions to the ongoing feud with Lee and other critics with a very candid blog post on his personal website, telling fans that he felt his films were met with unfair scrutiny.
You know I don’t dwell in negativity. I try and stay above it, but I wanted to say this to you. You and I both know that there are folks out there that work overtime trying to keep people from seeing my movies. Even though I don’t say anything, it doesn’t mean that I’m not aware of it. They say all kinds of things about the films, Madea and me. They call me everything, but a child of God. I even had someone tell me in a press conference that I don’t have a “white” following. We all know that is not true. Had they been on tour with me they would know White folks, Black folks, Asian folks, Latin folks, Navajo folks, and everyone in between was there laughing side-by-side having a good time.
It’s crazy the things people print without any facts. What is also interesting is how hard they work to try and discourage you from going to see my films, as if you don’t know what you enjoy. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about!
But it’s okay, you know why? Because I know that they don’t get it! They don’t get the spiritual side of this, they don’t get the folks that not only laugh, but also get something out of it that they can use to make their lives better. They don’t get that this is about more than making a movie and telling a funny story. They don’t get that it’s about uplifting and encouraging the soul. They don’t get that most of you have been with me long before they knew who I was, and they don’t get that you have my back. And to tell you the truth, it doesn’t matter if they get it or not, as long as you do. I thank God for you every day. You know what you enjoy, you know what makes you laugh and gives you a bit of uplift after you’ve seen it.
As the dust settles in the battle of words between the two directors, some media critics are left wondering if this was all a publicity stunt on Perry’s behalf coinciding with the release of his latest film.This weekend, Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family took home the number two spot at the box office, earning $25.8 million.