Spike Lee: Tyler Perry’s “House of Payne” and “Meet The Browns” Are Not In Line With Obama Era!

Cast of "House Of Payne"

Cast of "House Of Payne"

As much as the African American community loves playwright, television, film and actor Tyler Perry, it goes without saying that he is widely supported and appreciated. However, the flip side of that adoration is the deafening silence of the African American community regarding Tyler Perry’s television series “House of Payne” and “Meet The Browns.”

With everything that Tyler Perry touches turning into gold, it is no wonder that he would try his hand at a television sitcom. The problem develops soon after in that the shows are not original and the story lines are sub par. “House of Payne” borrows too much from the Archie Bunker meets George Jefferson school of situation comedy. In fact, “House of Payne” is crammed pack every week with tons of buffoon / clown antics and situations that make little sense. It is hard to concieve that Tyler Perry would put something of this magnitude on the small screen that only justifies why television executives aren’t really hard-pressed at creating positive African American television shows. Why should they when  number one top box office filmmaker Tyler Perry produces sitcoms that border on unintelligent and unwatchable, which continues to project a negative image of African Americans?

Spike Lee made an interesting quote that should not be shot down just because he said it:

“I am a huge basketball fan, and when I watch the games on TNT, I see these two ads for these two shows (Tyler Perry’s “Meet the Browns” and “House of Payne”), and I am scratching my head. We got a black president, and we going back to Mantan Moreland and Sleep ‘n’ Eat?”

It is fascinating how accurate that statement is! The scary thing about it also is that no one in the African American community with clout is standing up and saying that “House of Payne and “Meet The Browns” are mere modern day charicatures of “Amos and Andy.”

Here’s a suggestion: perhaps instead of the African American community applauding publicly and frowning privately behind closed doors about the negativity of Tyler Perry’s two sitcoms , maybe a healthy dialogue should take place to bring “House of Payne” and “Meet The Browns” up to a standard that will be in line with the historic election of an African American President.

When future generations look back at the year 2009, wouldn’t it be great to show the steady positive progression of African Americans in ALL aspects of achievement? It would be a shame to have President Barack Obama and his family on one wall and the cast of “House of Payne” on the other. What would be the lesson there? Our generation still didn’t get it?

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68 comments on “Spike Lee: Tyler Perry’s “House of Payne” and “Meet The Browns” Are Not In Line With Obama Era!
  1. Philip A Moore says:

    sounds like someone’s jealous as I a lot of the arguments spoken here was applied to the Cosby Show. so The House of Pain is not Sanford and Son or Boondocks at least Tyler does a show that can be watched by all ages.

    No it’s not Archie Bunker or George Jefferson. the House Of Payne and meet the Browns are about trying to except each other different’s not judging people by there race and throwing out ethnic slurs for laughs.

    The sad thing in the old day because these shows try to be wholes people like Spike Lee would have said These shows are not cutting edge. a buzz word for liberal but people got smart to that liberal shows couldn’t be watched by kids so now people throw out the word Obama Era as if people will not realize that it still saying liberal.

    if it were up to Spike the Paynes would be living in the projects have daughter who is a lady of night and Mrs Payne would be constantly talking about Marten Luther King and passing out clean needles to drug addicts while preaching about safe sex over abstinence as a nurse at the planned parent hood. Mr Payne would be talking about how bad life sucks while standing in line of the unemployment each and every week then blaming the white masses or the buzz word George Bush for all his problems.

    no offence but I like House of Payne I would much rather watch a show that has values What people including Spike forget is the reason these two shows stand out and are popular is that they are 1 they are among the last to moral comedies on TV . while they may touch on controversies they don’t wallow in them even sex is carefully avoided but not denied. 2 Tyler Perry appeals to Evangelical Christians Spike Lee’s do not he can complain all he wants but there are a few of us who would rather watch Tyler Perry Then Aaron McGruder BET even complained about the second season of Boondocks I like it but not as much as house of Pain I want to see meet the brown it just hasn’t been relised in dvd yet

    good day

    • Tracey Ricks Foster says:

      Thank You for reading The Kaleidoscope Factor, Philip! Your comment is greatly appreciated! However, I have to ask a question. Have you ever watched The Cosby Show? I was fifteen/sixteen when The Cosby Show first aired and the main complaint about the sitcom was that the family was made up of a doctor and a lawyer…an upper midddle class African American family. For that era, that was indeed a first! The storylines each week were bright, intelligent and filled with messages for adults and children who were watching. The Cosby Show was a definite departure from what America and African Americans were used to seeing on the small screen. The Cosby Show was funny, funny, funny! But it was intelligent and did not cross the line to straight-up buffoonery.

      Mr. Payne from “House of Payne” is a direct study/take from George Jefferson and Archie Bunker. Mr. Payne is insulting, curt, disrespectful, loud, and has an anger management problem. Tyler Perry tries to balance this with Mrs. Payne who is the Edith Bunker/Weezie Jefferson of the show. “HOuse of Payne” is a sitcom that follows a basic sitcom prototype that is as old as television itself. Every sitcom of this sort actually takes back to the days of “The Honeymooners.” This type is very recognizable when African American sitcoms are put on the air. Tyler Perry should know better than that!

      I know that you like “House of Payne” and I have nothing against that. African American shows should be supported by the community. But if we are to arrive at a place where we as African Americans can be more employable in Hollywood, we need to create shows that will put us to work and be a positive source of upliftment, too! Right?

      In defense of Spike Lee, whose career I have followed since 1986 with his debut film, “She’s Gotta Have It,” Lee has a catalog that can back up his complaint against bad African American tv. And rightly so. Aaron McGruder’s “Boondocks” is one of the best shows on tv. Why? Because it simply tells the truth. Truth can taste like cotton candy to some, while to others, it can taste like castor oil! BET complained about the “Boondocks” because Aaron McGruder parodied the network and it’s top brass. BET, up until that point, was showing stinking garbage on the air that included BET late night programming that showed R/X rated hip hop videos. Someone in the community had to stand up for what was right. Where were the Evangelical Christians when it was time to boycott BET?

      And…shows like “Good Times” and “The Jeffersons” have their place in our legacy as a people. But thirty years later, I have to ask when I watch “House of Payne,” when are WE as a people, “gonna move on up?” By the way, I am also happy that the UPN was dissolved…”The Game” was cancelled. “Girlfriends” was a good show. “My Wife And Kids” was a great show. I’m not shooting down my people…just voicing an opinion when necessary!

      Thanks Again For Reading!

      • soulsister says:

        Thank you!!!!!

      • DMILL says:

        Not sure if you are aware but The Game has been picked up by BET and did very well it’s first season back which was only because a viewer started a Facebook campaign and BET took it on. I was not going to speak on this issue but after reading your comments I had to. I’m not sure how often you or Spike have watched the House of Payne or Meet the Browns but they have dealt with issues that most of our shows in the past didn’t even broach.

        Meet The Browns discussed the importance of Prostate testing in older African American men with an episode about Brown needing a test, they dealt with Diabetes, abstinence, loss of a child to a miscarriage, have a doctor and nurse as husband and wife and a teacher. They also dealt with bullying, growing old and feeling alone, dimentia, teen pregnancy just to name a few and after each episode offered information on where to find supportive services.

        House of Payne has equally tackled the issues that we want to forget about as a people no matter the color. Those issues of drug addiction (they prayed and intervened with help), contraception when preparing to go to college (Malik said he wasn’t ready for sex and would let them know when he was), marital issues of infidelity, honesty, weight loss and obesity, foreclosures, retirement and life after, restoration of marriage, complicated baby issues of a child out of wedlock then a marriage and baby in wedlock and all that brought to the relationship, mental health issues and foster care, aids and forgiveness and black businesses and their struggles…I could go on and on. With every issue they had a character speak of supportive services.

        I think so many see bits and pieces of a show and make a sweeping decision about it. Mainstream critics never get our work so we can’t expect them to give it great reviews, they’ve even given Spike poor reviews for work I loved.

        We as blacks have to actually watch and then decide. I watched the first few episodes and wasn’t pleased with them but the difference with Tyler is that he has a fan base from his plays that are on his message board responding to his requests for their review of the work and he makes changes according to what they want to see. I am on this list and he often will address the disappointments that are expressed to him and will ask for patience as he works to restore their faith in the work. What other director does that??

        We can all sit on the sidelines and pass judgement of what someone else is doing but we have to then look at our own body of work and determine have we done anything to the contrary if we don’t agree with it or are we working to create something better?? If we are simply speaking, what are we accomplishing to further the “employablity” of blacks when studios see us bicker about every show that happens to come out with black faces in it. Boondocks is a great show? I don’t particularly care for the child’s ignorance and lack of commitment to education, sagging pants, braided hair and frequent use of profanity but you speak of this show as though it is landmark? And it’s ok, that is what is called differing opinions not a statement that it is denegrating our race or setting us back, just that I don’t care for it and prefer my children not watch it. We can however watch everything that Tyler produces as a family and we discuss it as we watch. It promotes family discussion if you actually watch it.

        The fact is, no one will ever like every single show that is produced and they don’t have to. Other races have multiple shows; some serious, some funny, some over the top and yet they don’t say it is setting their race backwards. Yes I understand that we are judged differently because they are the majority race(not really by numbers anymore) but people LIGHTEN UP!! I enjoy coming home and watching them on my DVR after a long day. I want to laugh and that is what they provide sometimes with a message and other times just a strong family that loves each other in spite of AND they put GOD first, what more can you ask for??

      • Tracey Ricks Foster says:

        “We can all sit on the sidelines and pass judgement of what someone else is doing but we have to then look at our own body of work and determine have we done anything to the contrary if we don’t agree with it or are we working to create something better?? If we are simply speaking, what are we accomplishing to further the “employablity” of blacks when studios see us bicker about every show that happens to come out with black faces in it.”

        I believe I AM doing something other than sitting on the sidelines and passing judgement. I am exercising my First Amendment rights as a journalist/writer. I have written an op-ed that may be highly unpopular with some readers, and no matter how unpopular my op-ed may be, I am not afraid to express my opinion, regardless of what the popular belief system of the day happens to be. In this country, Ms. Miller, no-one has to like my op-ed, but they have to respect the fact that I am Constitutionally able to do so. With that being said, Thank You for commenting, Ms. Miller! Continue reading THE WASHINGTON REVIEW!

    • Linda says:

      Philip A Moore couldn’t have said it any better and I totally agree with him more!!!!!

      • Tracey Ricks Foster says:

        God help us! If we African Americans continue to support negative entertainment that colors the world’s perception of us as viable, intelligent human beings, then the Obama legacy will just be a fluke moment in the history books of time.

        Get A GRIP, People!

    • soulsister says:


    • Mike says:

      I am a Nigerian-American who appreciates FUNNY comedies. I understand your point about the show preaching morality. However, i believe that whatever Perry is trying to portray can be done in a more humorous ways. his story lines are the same as his movies.

      The acting (especially the kids) need some emergency acting lessons. Jasmine is always smiling and can’t keep a straight face even during serious issues. Perry tries to pull humor out of exaggerated situations, and it is painfully unfunny. The jokes should rely more on dialogues, and should be subtle. He is wrong to think screaming makes the show funnier. The show can be better and more creative.

      And PLEASE don’t compare it to The Cosby’s, the Cosby’s can entertain anybody from any nationality. Perry’s sitcom cannot. To me, Perry’s shows portrays African Americans as “Hide your kids, Hide your wives. Cos they raping errybody out here”.

    • john says:

      i stopped reading after you said “excecpt” instead of “accept”…idiot.

  2. Dee says:

    I’m not a big fan of The House of Payne or Meet the Browns because the episodes’ content is of no substance! His shows are basically imitations of his plays (through dialogue, characters, and etc.) I think the shows can be better; if he gets NEW WRITERS!!!!!!

  3. Observant Servant says:

    You know…There is a difference between Mr. Perry’s shows and the Cosby show. Just sit and think back. It is easy to be defensive and want to support black entertainment, but we must also be selective. I can easily correlate the Huxtables to the Obamas…Not so much the Paynes. The Huxtables had people of all races and creeds on their home and watching their show. Again, not the case for the Paynes. It is unfortunate that we ourselves are so used to being portrayed below excellence that we cannot see the difference (and the legacies being left behind).

    House of Payne could be better. The only criticism for the Cosby whow was that the black family was “too successful” and acting “white”-this all by itself speaks volumes (success = too white, and then lesser achievement = black). The criticism of the Paynes…well you have read the comments above. VERY DIFFERENT focal points of critique. Take for example, the Fresh Prince- that show was about a successful family but stil humerous and intelligeble. Also wathced/enjoyed by a variety of people.

    Having studied American film. The differences are clear. Tyler can do better. He can carry on the movement of change, enlightening minds, quality, and breaking barriers that most artists, film makers, and good writers aim to do. Instead of mediocracy.

    • Tracey Ricks Foster says:

      Obseravnt Servant,

      Thank you for reading and responding to The Kaleidoscope Factor! Your “observation” is right on point and I hope those who weren’t too thrilled with my post take a quick note of what you have said.

      Thank you for reading The Kaleidoscope Factor!

  4. katieM says:

    Finally, someone who sees those two shows for what they are: negative stereotypes of African American Christians. They make me think of Steppin Fetchit, Rochester, and Amos ‘n Andy. I find them incredibly offensive. Why is it that shows that denigrate Black people are pushed by networks, but shows like Girlfriends and Everybody Hates Chris are canceled? We must stop blindly supporting shoddy efforts by African Americans and focus on quality.

  5. L R Maxwell says:

    I agree that Tyler Perry’s shows are “slapstick” to say the least. I do have to give credit, that the newer shows are better the earlier ones, but still have a long way to go. I think the “characters” make it so unlikely, how about an older man to play the role of the older man? I don’t tune in, I think it would be great to see Tyler Perry get advice from Bill Cosby on what he needs to do to attract and advance his audience.

  6. Cat says:

    What I think most of the readers aren’t getting in this article is the fact that, black people who watch this show are predominantly from the ghettos and are looking for an outlet of daily stress. Tyler Perry’s House of Payne reminds people of their own families and the antics that occur everyday in their own families. When you can find that on television as a black person, you continue to watch because you feel like what you are and who you are is finally becoming accepted. You are finally what most people want to be, NORMAL, in a world that says black is not normal. We as fans of the show are not uneducated, we are not avid watchers of nothing but comedy, we do watch more serious and complex things, but to help support a black man in anyway possible is necessary in helping our race to succeed. Tyler Perry’s shows are reminiscent of Black life and the black experience, and helps the rest of the world see what some of the Black experience is, and I see absolutely nothing wrong with that.

    • Tracey Ricks Foster says:

      Thank you for your comment, Cat! Your point was eloquently written and well-taken. Thank You for reading The Kaleidoscope Factor!

    • DMILL says:

      Don’t know if I’d go that far Cat. I watch it and I am not from the ghetto nor am I uneducated but I do enjoy it. Just thought I’d chime in on the “predominantly from the ghettos” comment

  7. jeff says:

    COONERY & BAFFOONERY implies that the show MERELY relies on rascist & self degradating humor (oh look how dumb niggers are) to get laughs . I was gonna get real philosophical but this is pretty damned simple. Was Seinfeld JeweryBafoonery, is Scrubs HonkeyBaffonery, is King of Queens FattyBafoonery ???? I could go on & on. Just call it a BAD SITCOM.
    P.S. I don’t particularly care for the show, but I think Mr.Perry has just as much right as any white person, to make a bad comedy, with bad actors, bad situations & simple minded moral points delivered by unrealistic characters. IT IS A SITCOM SPIKE !!!!

    • dek says:

      Jeff, I agree with you. The key word, is “unrealistic”. Does Mr. Lee really think his movies showed how “black” people really are? If he did/does then he is out of touch with reality. The biggest problem I see, is an inability to to see movies, television, and music in it’s proper persepctive. Of couse you have people who really believe that the girl comes with car in the commericial LOL.

      • DMILL says:

        Thank you DEK!! Theses are political satirical half hour broadcasts they are sitcoms (situational comedy) most of us can relate to these situations. GOSH!!!! We are just way too full of ourselves…the Obama Era??? Really….come on yall it’s just comedy….

    • Mrs Craig says:

      You are absolutely correct Jeff…I could not have said it better.

    • soulsister says:

      Disagree white folks have a variety of shows they can watch. The Browns and H of payne no thank!!!!!!!!!

    • DMILL says:

      Thank you Jeff, I was starting to think I was the only level headed one in this thread that wasn’t expecting Tyler to speak to Black politics and the State of America in 30 minutes.

  8. Brian says:

    I am white, ill just clear that up, i have nothing against black people or their community.

    But i don’t understand how someone like Tyler Perry can be such a success.

    His movies simply are not funny, the acting is terrible (by any standard, it just sucks), and now his show comes out and it is so damn cliche, and i find it incredibly insulting that he would think it is acceptable programming in this day an age.

    The father is a fat loud mouthed idiot, who is always screaming (and it gets extremely frustrating), i don’t like using the N word, but when if i could place it to one person it would be the father.

    Then each show has a corny moral plot, that has been done thousands of times on early morning children s cartoons, (dont steal, dont curse, dont give out information on the internet, so old and done).

    It seems incredibly obvious to me that Tyler Perry is taking advantage of ignorant African Americans who somehow are willing to accepts that that is how they should be portrayed.

    It may seem horrible, but i know people who watch this because it is hilarious to them to see black people acting like buffoons on TV, like a scripted Jackass show.

    • Tracey Ricks Foster says:

      Thank you, Brian, for your comment! I am in total agreement.

      It is unfortunate that more people inside and outside of the African American community do not see it the way you and I do. Tyler Perry once said that his movies and television programs were not for one particular segment of the American population, but for everyone. The big wigs at the network that runs Perry’s shows are in it for the revenue and Perry is in it for the profit.

      Thank you for your comment and continue reading The Washington Review!

  9. Clrence King says:

    I am an African American and I really do not care for Tyler Perry’s programming that much. However individuals like spike lee are making this issue bigger than it should be. I know many white shows like according to jim, that 70’s show, and everyone who loves raymond that follows the same format. And when dealing with the cosby show yes it had many positive messages, however it also provided an misconception on how afican americans were living during that time period. Network excutives was piping the Cosby show into different countries and many individuals (alot i had spoken too) thought american blacks were living like this. Many individuals around by fathers age 50’s-60’s did not like the cosby show for the false messeges it sent, alot of the older generation sees the Cosby show as token show. And I agree tyler perry probably all about profit but do you blame him espically if tbs paid him 200 million for 100 episodes.

    • Tracey Ricks Foster says:

      Thank you for your comment, Mr. King. I am in agreement with your assessment regarding the formula used in Tyler Perry’s sitcoms. I grew up in Detroit during the 70’s and 80’s. I watched the economy tank by way of the auto industry. I also had a front row seat to the poverty and unemployment that followed. The crack that infiltrated my neighborhood and Detroit period. When I as a teen-ager tuned into “The Cosby Show,” I saw the life that I dreamed of. I was exposed to an idea that hadn’t really developed in the African American psyche at that point. Yeah. I could relate to the Evans family on “Good Times” totally. I was living that life. But the Huxtable family was foreign to me. It planted a seed: get an education, get married, have children and make a home. That is what I did. My children were raised in this manner. They live, thanks to the vision of Bill Cosby, in a world like the Huxtables. So, I know that for some of us, “The Cosby Show” was unrealistic. However, for most African Americans, “The Cosby Show” became a blueprint on how an African American family COULD be.

      Thanks for your comments, Mr. King! Continue reading The Washington Weekly!

    • Brandi says:

      Being successful is a damn good stereotype! LOL If that’s how people from other countries were thinking of us, not a bad thing.

  10. Modern Person says:

    I am a 26 year old female. I have been married for almost nine years. I have four kids. I am a big fan of both shows. I see them as what most of us are. Curtis Payne says the things that we say or wish to say. The shows may be a replica of shows back when but they should not be a replica of a race of people. If you want to identified as an intelligent person then be one. I can not stand before someone and say I speak for you when I clearly don’t. I am not a spokeperson for all African American people. Just like you are not. I am a very intelligent woman who with the help of her husband raises their children to the best of our ability. I don’t relate with The Cosby’s what so ever. I didn’t have a mother who was a laywer or a father who was a doctor and neither do our kids. The two shows at the end of each shows that family no matter how messed up or what conflict goes on in it, it is still your family. And I think everyone can relate to that.

    • Tracey Ricks Foster says:

      Thank you for your comment, Modern Person! While I could not relate to having a lawyer for a mother or a doctor for a father…I grew up in hoods of Detroit…I wanted that type of life for myself and my children. I could relate to “Good Times,” “What’s Happenin,” and other shows that depicted urban family life. Just because I related to growing up in the ghetto didn’t mean that when I was introduced to another concept, I rejected it because I had no knowledge it. All I am honestly trying to get across is simply this: African American sitcoms should project not only familiar images onthe small screen, but also images that are not so readily available to the masses of African American viewers. “The Cosby Show” transmitted the exact same principle that you stated, Modern Person, at the end of each program as well: at the end of the day, family is the most important factor. Watch the reruns on TV Land for a night or two and then let me know what you think.


      • DMILL says:

        They Paynes are also depicting what our families should be, rooted and grounded in prayer and God. No one speaks to that though too busy getting mad that Curtis is like most of our older men, coarse on the outside and a teddy bear inside. He always wants people out of his house but their door is always open when someone is in need. He couldn’t stand Ella’s friend but when she was diagnosed with cancer he had compassion for her. Another issue other shows didn’t tackle, leukemia and other silent killers in our community. Man people watch a episode or two and see that Mrs. Foster.

        I will state also that I am a published author with a BA, MBA and working on a PHd. so not only ignorant people who don’t know any better enjoy Tyler Perry’s work. Just wanted to point that out. Oh…Have you ever met him??? He’s a very humble man, maybe you should request an interview and tell him what you think so that you can have a useful dialogue rather than tearing him down in this thread.

      • Tracey Ricks Foster says:

        Ms. Miller, I am not trying to “tear down” Tyler Perry! I have the utmost respect for him!!! This is a respectful discussion. I have watched HOUSE OF PAYNE and MEET THE BROWNS. Actually, MEET THE BROWNS, in my opinion, is the BETTER show! LOL! If we as the African American community can not be vocal and critique what we embrace, who will? Honesty is not conditional. Once again, I have the deepest regard and respect for Tyler Perry. I was beyond moved when he told his story of being sexually and physically abused as a child on Oprah.

  11. Nugyrl says:

    Tracey, you have sparked an interesting discussion on the quality of Black TV as opposed to quantity. I am a strong believer that there is something for everybody when it comes to watching t.v. Although, I enjoy watching Tyler Perry’s films and television shows to some degree you have a very valid argument. I was appalled at how the first season of “House of Payne” started with showing a mother who was drug addicted and abandoning her family for drugs. However, at the end of the day most of the shows that were said to be “good” tv for blacks (Girlfiends, My Wife and Kids, Boondocks, etc.) had flaws and weaknesses that would never bring them to the status of a Cosby Show or A Different World. All these shows of our time have an element that depicted negative aspects of black life. I loved “Girlfriends,” but as a black female it had no good depiction of a black woman; Joan was so obsessed with finding a man that she lost her desire to be lawyer to flit around looking for some man as an A-list party girl. Tony was a high class gold digger that showed that educated women can be one too. Lynn was the stereotypical confused biracial girl who was a slacker, and Mya was teen mom, turned secretary, who became a glorified author through advice from the “hair dresser.” We seem to forget that at the core of this show were three women who slept around and displayed nothing by loose values. It was just glossed over with their professional success. Boondocks (man that hated his race,stereotypical ghetto youth/rappers, and a militant), The Game (followed a man instead of going to a top medical school and having him pay for it), and other shows can be broken down the same way.

    The one thing I enjoy with Tyler Perry’s productions (film, play, t.v.) is that he gives a image of family that anybody can relate too. He shows you the good, the bad, and the ugly side of a family. It’s not painted in a pretty little box like the Cosby’s, it could be better depictions displayed, but at the end of the day it holds true to some truths in our community.

    • Tracey Ricks Foster says:

      Thank you for your comment! I totally agree with what you have stated. All I’m asking for is intelligent dialogue about what we watch and accept on television as it relates to African Americans. Thanks again for reading and replying!

    • sami says:

      I completely agree you, Nugyrl! No one ever addresses those issues, instead they applaud the fact that Mya was a teen mom, Joan was man crazy – and she could never have a meaningful/lasting relationship, Toni was a gold digger who slept with just about every man that had bank, and Lynn was just as confused as she was biracial. And they all, with the exception of Mya, slept around and didn’t think twice about doing so. All of these things are overlooked because people – black women – were satisfied with all the scheming, sexing, and drama. Don’t even get me started on The Game… I had issues with Girl Melanie from jump, but they skyrocketed when she and Derwin initially broke up. Did she really have to bed hop… I mean, she left Derwin – who I believe was paying her way through college, only to end up in the bed with another athlete who offers to pay for her tuition as well… Then she tried to sleep with Malik… I digress… But this isn’t limited to just Black shows. There is a show by the name of Gilmore Girls – I happened to love by the way – Rory, one of the main characters was a very stand up young lady. Great head on her shoulders, smart, virgin, etc… She broke up with her boyfriend and nearly lost her mind. Even ended up sleeping with her ex who had gotten married. So, not only did she become reckless, but she had also become an adulterer? Ok, my point is that no sitcom is “perfect” there will always be stereotypes – there were even stereotypes in Different World. I loved that show growing up, but it was one of the main reasons I decided NOT to attend an HBCU. By the way, I am a black woman, and I am not the biggest fan of Tyler Perry. But it is what it is. I did love The Cosby Show though!!! I aspired to be like them.

  12. Mrs Craig says:

    It never ceases to amaze me how we as a people over analyze that which is intended to simply entertain us. The shows are interesting and often times funny. I think we should continue to watch and support Tyler as we have supported Spike with Do the Right thing or She’s Got to have it! We as a people need to stop making everything a political statement it is what is.

    • Tracey Ricks Foster says:

      There is a great documentary on SHOWTIME produced by Robert Townsend called WHY WE LAUGH: THE HISTORY OF AFRICAN AMERICAN COMEDIANS. It depicts the evolution of African American comedy from the late 1800’s to the present. We as a people always need to remember that until African Americans CONTROL at least 50% of Hollywood and wield the POWER to CREATE a positive African American presence on the small and big screen, every single time an African American appears ANYWHERE, it WILL be a POLITICAL and CULTURAL statement. Catch a clue! By the way, I don’t see any Hispanic/Latin programs that promote the nonsense that Tyler Perry’s television shows do. Nor Asian American. These groups are trying to break through, too! But they REFUSE to be portrayed in a negative light JUST to get on tv. We as a community support Tyler Perry’s movies. Tyler is a MASTER of story-telling and placing it on film. The problem is the televison shows are inferior to the films.

      • DMILL says:

        Do watch any Univision?? they have all kinds of shows!! They don’t come on mainstream television stations because they have their own networks!!! MAN!!! I am bilingual and lived in Mexico for a short period while attending school and yes, they have shows that display nonsense, reality tv, jerry springer type talk shows….ALL OF IT!! Research before you make such statments.

        Asians aren’t a large enough market to have shows on that depict anything. Now your comments are just going to far. Again, request an interview, you might be enlightened after a discussion with Mr. Perry.

      • Tracey Ricks Foster says:

        Wow! Ms. Miller, are you getting heated over a discussion of my opinion? Calm down! I love Tyler Perry and support him! I have seen every one of Tyler’s plays and his movies! I am not a hater of Tyler Perry! I am in awe of him. But what is wrong with a little criticism? Shouldn’t we be able to critique those we love? And by the way, Univision is ALL Latin programming, with the exception of American movies. Univision can create and broadcast ALL kinds of shows! They have that creative and executive power to do so. Univision has a variety of different shows that portray Latins/Hispanics in many different ways. So, ‘nonsense’ shows, as you have said, are not the ONLY portrayal of Latins/Hispanics on television. But American networks can barely keep one Black actor on a prime time show! But I am hopeful…Queen Latifah’s SINGLE LADIES is on VH1 and of course, THE GAME is on BET.

      • Tracey Ricks Foster says:

        Asian Americans would disagree with you, Ms. Miller. I mean, should NAO KAI LAN be the ONLY Asian American representation on tv?

    • Inside looking out says:

      Media plays a very important role in the “social construction of reality.” Therefore it is this “it’s just entertainment, so treat it that way” type if simplest ideology that fuels the acceptance of an often negative ascribed profile for a given group of people. I strongly believe in supporting my people, but the question remains; what are we REALLY Supporting?

      • sami says:

        People bring so much attention to Tyler Perry yet turn around and credit shows like Single Ladies, The Game, Love and Hip Hop, etc… that doesn’t really make since.. I’m not even going to get started on BET. How much better was The Game when it was on the CW??? Since BET picked it up, it has gone to the birds. It’s just entirely too much.

  13. Draft says:

    I’m not a huge fan of Tyler Perry, I always felt his plays were geared toward a particular sect of the African American community to which I didnt belong. I also felt he relied on comedic effects that are overused to the point where I find them more insulting to my intelligence than entertaining..That being said, I still want to give Tyler Perry productions a chance because so many people i know say its funny/entertaining.

    I don’t see it with these shows… it’s simplistic and I sit through the whole show not laughing. It seems like the entire program from acting to characters and writing belong in the category of 70’s African American sitcoms (ie That’s My Mama)

    I read the arguments about how it’s easy to relate to the show and its portrayal of an African American family..I don’t buy it. a show like “Roc” back in the 90’s had the same stage-play atmosphere and realism but was also funny. it tackled tough issues and had quality acting. I can see how it might be hard to live vicariously through the Cosby show for the average person –(even though it was a top rated show) but why are we compromising with these shows?

    Why don’t we demand a higher standard – why are most people supporting this equaling their families to catoonish caricatures?

    also how many white people make a similar case about Seinfeld or Friends or Frasier or any other show with predominately white casts? every white person doesnt live like them – but why does a black sitcom have to box iself in? and why when it does is it always at the expense of the black people being portrayed?

    why is the comedy typically at the expense of the individual and not just the situation or the dialogue (thats why Fresh Prince and Cosby were successful)

    I hope better shows come out soon..and I hope that if this remains on the air without anything countering it, then it improves as far as acting writing and overall presentation..

    • R. Jewrel Perry says:

      Praise the Lord, Bro Lee. I feel that is very distasteful for you to make such comments about Bro. Perry. The brother is good, no excellent. What is your issue with him.

      Have you ever heard, “I DO YOU HAVE SOMETHING GOOD TO SAY, DONOT SAY ANYTHING.” Language you might understand: SHUT UP.

      Amen and praise the Lord. Do have a blessed day and God bless.

  14. Jay says:

    I found this article on Google, and it makes sense to me. House of Payne and Meet the Browns are two of the dumbest shows on television for African American viewers. It is already bad enough that BET wants to show reality shows that doesn’t need to be on the air such as Keisha Cole’s mom and sister. I don’t think they needed a show because they aren’t doing anything relevant that doesn’t happen in anyone’s life already. They just got the show because they were related to Keisha Cole. Tyler Perry could have done better with these shows he got on TBS. They are not funny, and it is too predictable whats going to happen next before it even happens. It is like you are watching his plays week after week because most of the material for the television shows come from the stage play. I wish nothing but success for Tyler Perry, but if he doesn’t change his material soon then people will soon stop watching these shows and his stage plays because his humor to me is very dry. Buffoonery is the correct word when it comes to these shows because you got Curtis always running around with his hands in the air screaming like he is funny in every show. I can’t stand to see the show myself, and I do not watch them. Meet the Browns is not funny period. You got the talent of David Mann and Tamela Mann in the show, but it is like they are hindered by Tyler Perry’s writing for these shows. They were funny in the plays, but what happened to them on the shows? Take House of Payne and Meet the Browns off the air, and bring back Everybody Hates Chris. That was one of the best shows, and was always funny week after week. I wish people would wake up and notice that Tyler Perry is not a funny playwright like he use to be. All that money he made must have taken his once funny humor away from him.

    • s says:

      Meet the Browns is a funny and CLEAN show. I commend the writers for keeping THIS SHOW CLEAN…as for hous of payne, now that show pure stinks!!!!

      Mr. Perry, i surely wish you’d read this and switch the shows – put Meet the Browns evenings so i can watch when i get home and just plain do away with house of payne

  15. Fed up says:


  16. soulsister says:

    I could not believe what TBS was shoving down my throat when i try to watch House of Payne.Painful don’t worrier i change channel quickly and i felt better.That show is a racist white man’s dreams and a real black man’s nightmare.Thanks for setting us 80 years.CROONER BUFFOONERY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SPIKE IS RIGHT RUN TO THE BANK ALL YOU WANT….BUT DO YOU SLEEP WELL AT NIGHT…….YOUR BENEATH A SALE OUT!!!!!!!

  17. Duby says:

    I dont think many of the sitcoms out these days portray white folks or black folks very well. Im ok with that because its T.V. its not real and dosent prove anything good or bad about any group of people but I dont lke meet the browns or house of pain because they’re not funny not even a little bit funny. Tyler Perry is funny so I would think he would recognize dumb his shows are. The Maury show and the Jerry Springer show are much more negative and make us all look bad as a country for keeping them on the air for so many years.

  18. Princesa says:

    I can see both sides of this argument. I think that in the beginning, HOP was funny but it soon became senseless. I love MTB because I think Mr. Brown is funny. We all have different reasons for watching or not watching something. I also wanted to add that I have seen all of the TP movies and plays. The one problem I have with his movies is that he never finishes a story line like it should be finished ie Madea Goes to Jail. I also feel that there are not enough good black/ minority shows on TV. I can remember being in elementary school and watching Family Matters, Fresh Prince, Hangin w/ Mr. Cooper, etc. But I feel that we as black people and minorities must support our shows. I was a still am upset that they decided to cancel City of Angels. For those who dont know what that is, it was a show from the late 90s that portrayed a hospital primarily run with black doctors. That is why I love HawthoRne so much because she is a black woman who is intellegent and cares for all people who comes through her hospital. Although I would love to see her with another black (or hispanic) man, it is still a wonderful show that shows us we can be successful, intelligent peoplel. I know I went off on a tangent but this is just what I feel.

  19. Matt McG says:

    As a white guy who is appalled by the commercials for these shows, I just had to Google “meet the browns is bad for black people”. I’m glad to have found this article but disappointed that it’s pretty much the only thing that came up. This certainly is quietly ignored…as much as some people are defending it as a “sitcom”, you all would be pissed if I was the one producing this racist drivel. It’s just one watermelon and sambo reference away from the 1920s.

    • Tracey Ricks Foster says:

      Thanks for commenting on my post, Matt! Trust me when I say that my viewpoint is shared by the Black community…but no one wants to be vocal about it.

  20. LisaAnn says:

    I have a friend who’s always mad at me for downing Tyler Perry, but i’m sorry IT’S MY OPINION don’t knock me. I say his tv shows are silly….no i’m sorry you didn’t hear me….THEY’RE FREAKIN’ SILLY. Then my best friend challenges me by saying, “well white people shows are silly too”. That’s the best you got, I pondered?. Just because one person jumps off the clift doesn’t mean I gotta do the same thing. My friend says, “you only watch white people shows”. Firstly, there isn’t alot of black shows on tv, and SECondly, the ones that are one, sadly suck. AND I WOULD LIKE TO SAY, TYLER PERRY IS A CON MAN, HE PRODUCES CRAP FOR CRAPPY PEOPLE WHO HE KNOWS WILL WATCH THEM AND I FEEL BAD FOR THEM. EVERYTIME I SEE A COMMERICAL FOR HIS NEW MOVIES, HIS TV SHOW’S PROMOS, OR ANYTHING ELSE IS JUST A BIG SLAP ON ALL AFRICAN AMERICANS!!!!!!!! SLAP SLAP FREAKIN SLAP SLAP. GOOD DAY!!!

  21. Aelisha Labat says:

    I think this is crazy!!! If you have ever watched the show for more than a week then you would know that they do touch on very serious issues! They have tackled aids, online sexual predators, drug addiction, cheating, alcoholism, adoption, date rape, diabetes health issues that plague the african american community, on top of that they portayed firemen and numerous others. So what if every single episode doesn’t touch on a serious issue. I like to watch tv sometimes and just laugh without all of the seriousness. Life is too hard already. We need a little laughter in our lives and that is exactly Tyler Perry’s goal. I think he wants to tackle some serious issues with a little comedy and I think there is nothing wrong with that! Besides I think if we really truly stop and think about it we all have a Mr. Brown and a Mr. Payne in out families. I know I do!!!

    • Tracey Ricks Foster says:

      Thank you for commenting on this topic, Aelisha! Trying not to backpedal to much on this discussion, I will say this: Tyler Perry has acknowledged the criticism of the African American community regarding his shows, HOUSE OF PAYNE and MEET THE BROWNS. Perry has created a new show surrounding the characters from his hit movie WHY DID I GET MARRIED, Angela and Marcus. The television series is serious and funny. The show is well-written and the plot is decent. Tyler said in an open letter to fans and critics that he will write, direct, and produce each episode. This means that he will be directly responsible for the content that comes across the small screen. I am glad that I was able to encourage a discussion/debate regarding Perry’s sitcoms. The idea is not to tear a brother down for doing his thing. The idea is to help the brother help uplift all of us through education, enlightenment, and entertainment. Which this new series is doing a fine job. I am beyond encouraged! I am happy that our voices were heard. And I am sure that MEET THE BROWNS will still be in production for a new season even though HOUSE OF PAYNE has been cancelled. So Aelisha, you will get to continue to see those caricatures of Black folk that you love!

  22. Craig G says:

    I’ve only watched one episode of “House of Payne” and had to google search “House of Payne offensive” to see if I was the only one who felt this way. As an educated African American male, the fact that the first 4 characters from this show I was introduced to were all horribly stereotyped black people pissed me off to be frank. in this particular episode a white barber was hired in a black barber shop. There were 2 black females and 1 black male that were also employed at this same barber shop. One of the black females did not like the fact that a new barber was being hired (this would add unwanted competition I suppose). Upon realizing this the white barber says “dont be mad because I am a superior barber to you” the black female’s reply was “Am I sposed’ to be offended” (as coonishly and confused as possible), the black male promptly said “you have to translate for her”. So the white barber looks at her and says “don’t be hatin’ cuz I gots mad skills”, she understood this. The second black woman immediately began hitting on the new barber (over-sexed black woman as usual) as soon as he walked in. She couldn’t get past wanting to have sex with this man she had just met like a dog in heat. How can this NOT be offensive to an African American audience??? I wouldn’t care if the show does change, 15 minutes of this rubbish was enough for me to never watch it, or any other Tyler Perry show ever again. I am extraordinarily disappointed in the black community for “drinking the kool-aid” on this rubbish. This is how we see ourselves? Illiterate sex-addicts?

  23. FedUp says:

    Quite honestly… I don’t watch a show and see it is a “black” show or “white” show. I don’t watch based on race. I watch the show and if it entertains me… I watch it. If it doesn’t entertain me,

    While I thought that the Cosby Show was excellent, I find House of Payne and Meet the Browns poorly written and even more poorly acted. The deal is though, I didn’t watch either show and make any perceptions about blacks as a race. (As many of the replies in this topic seem to be centered around).

    That is to say that by watching The Cosby Show, I didn’t think “Wow… all black people must be smart and rich”. Nor when I watched House of Payne think for a second that “Man… black people are stupid”.

    Just like when I watched Friends, I didn’t think “All white people are so funny and cool” and when watching that horrible Big Bang Theory show think “most white people are nerds”. I never even thought about how either show affects how white people are perceived.

    I am simply sick of people bringing race into everything! Something is good or not and you have to judge for yourself whether you want to watch it again.

  24. ryno says:

    point blank…Tyler Perry’s citcoms are garbage…bullshit…buffoonery. A goddamn shame

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