Tyler Perry‘s most famous creation, Madea, has an unlikely fan — Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
The controversial minister addressed the polarizing comedic character during his regular ‘Farrakan Speaks’ sit-downs with the staff of The Final Call, the Nation’s newsletter.
“I have never seen his portrayal of Madea as a man cross-dressing. I saw his wonderful portrayal of Madea as bringing to the forefront the strongest person in the history of our sojourn in America, and that is Madea,” he said, according to News One.
“That strong, black woman who was the cornerstone of her family. She always was that figure that guidance [of] correction, reprimand, discipline, and Tyler Perry brought her to the screen in funny ways, but what I was seeing was the greatness of the strong, black woman who saw us through, from yesterday until today.”
Farrakhan went on to favorably compare Perry to Imam W. Deen Muhammad, the son of Nation of Islam founder Elijah Muhammad.
“When you look at Tyler Perry’s movies, you see the brilliance of T.D. Jakes, a spiritual giant. You see the majesty of human problems acted out,” said Farrakhan. “So you could sit in the theater and see yourself in your madness, in your gladness, in your goodness, in your evil, then come out of that experience, for a $15 ticket and some popcorn, and say, ‘Wow, I feel better.’”
“So this New Year is a shout-out to the giant called Tyler Perry. A spiritual giant, a magnificent human being, and I pray that this year his art, his greatness, will shine even more in healing our people through mass projection of drama through films and plays.”