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The Problematic Tyler Perry


Edited By Brian C. Johnson

For the past decade or more, few Hollywood stars have experienced a more meteoric rise than Tyler Perry. As much as he is lauded by fans, Perry is panned by cultural critics who reject his work as overtly preachy and rife with racially stereotypical characterizations and controversial themes. This book explores the vast chasm between his fans’ adoration and the critical reception of his work: while some argue that Perry’s brand of «blackness» is little more than buffoonery, others claim he offers representations that are missing in entertainment choices, especially among niche audiences. He is applauded by some for offering films and television shows that are «good entertainment», while others label his work trashy. He can be seen either as an oracle whose morality plays provide a gospel message of family healing, or as an actor with a misaligned worldview. This book asks: what are we to do with the «problem» of Tyler Perry?
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

The problematic Tyler Perry / edited by Brian C. Johnson. pages cm. — (Black studies and critical thinking; vol. 83) Includes bibliographical references. 1. Perry, Tyler—Criticism and interpretation. I. Johnson, Brian C., editor. PN1998.3.P4575P86 791.4302’8092—dc23 [B] 2015033928 ISBN 978-1-4331-3019-9 (hardcover) ISBN 978-1-4331-3018-2 (paperback) ISBN 978-1-4539-1588-2 (e-book) ISSN 1947-5985

Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at

Cover art: © Cover design by Sophie Appel

© 2016 Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., New York 29 Broadway, 18th floor, New York, NY 10006

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