Tyler Perry.com


The problem with all-star African American Casts...

Unfortunately, movies starring an all African American cast are on the verge of becoming extinct.  THAT’S RIGHT, EXTINCT! Ask any executive at a Hollywood Studio why, and most of them will tell you one of two things. The first thing they’ll say is that DVD sales have become very soft, so it’s hard for a movie with an all black cast to break-even.  Secondly they’ll say, most movies are now dependent on foreign sales to be successful and most "black" movies don’t sell well in foreign markets.  So what that means is you will begin to see less and less films that star an all black cast.   Isn’t that sad in a 2012 America? Somewhere along the way we still haven’t realized that we are more alike then not.

I must tell you that I have been very fortunate to work with a studio that sees the value in my type of storytelling and filmmaking. As well as having you, an audience of all races of people, who have stood by me arm and arm. It has helped me navigate through some pretty rough waters.

I thought that as black people in Hollywood, this is just our reality, but I quickly realized that this is not racism. What made me realize this is I had a conversation with Mr. Star Wars himself, George Lucas, and he was telling me that he was having the same problem with Red Tails. I was blown away!  Red Tails is an important story about, not just black history, but American history about the Tuskegee Airmen. It has an all-star African American cast, including Cuba Gooding Jr. and Terrence Howard, which opens this Friday.  He went on to say that he brought the movie idea of Red Tails to several studios and no one wanted to make this film…. AND THIS IS GEORGE LUCAS!  Not to be deterred, he put up his own money, shot the movie then took it back to those same studios, and they wanted nothing to do with it. One of them even refused to see the film, citing the above mentioned problems.  So George decided to take a huge risk by entirely funding the movie and releasing it himself.  What a guy! For him to believe so strongly in this story is amazing.  I think we should pull together and get behind this movie. I really do! Not just African Americans, but all of us.  I have seen the movie and screened it here in Atlanta. I loved it and I think you will too.  The Tuskegee Airmen, who were at the screening, were so happy that somebody is telling a small part of their story.

It opens this Friday. Please take your kids, you will enjoy it and so will they. There is a lot of action and adventure and also a great history lesson to be learned.

George, I just want to say, thank you for having the courage to do this.

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  • Ms. Lou Philly, PA

    This is also true of books. I'm saying this as a reader and as a writer. Over the summer I attended a writer's conference for authors of MG and YA books, I realized during the conference the only books which got a second look were the ones featuring non multicultural protagonists. The divide between books featuring multicultural protagonist and white protagonist is so wide , it made me if the industry think black don't read.

  • lakevius pinkney caroline county

    hi, MR.Perry im writing to ask i have a family of five triplet boys and two others . We love all u do please help us to come one of your shows we live so far from the places u perform at.

  • Lito Suave Dallas/Houston TX

    Tyler I know you loose your patience with some of these comments and in your position you cant say certain things without damaging your image/brand but guess what, I can say what youre thinking right now and I will. Why? Because this is the first time I visited your site and what I've read has pissed me off too. So, first of all until you people start making films, engaging in tremendously impactful business transactions, you have no F*&^%$#@ clue how difficult it is to get MFrz to co-operate with you or your vision, period! All of this malarkey questioning Tylers oppinion cant possibly appreciate his witness of these experiences. Tyler who is in the throw's of negotiation with what amounts to the thinnest possible vail of racism and p**** envy you can imagine (That would be uh, "Hollywood") has a birdseye view of the jealousy and racist barriers that go largely unseen by the general public. Basically until you've dealt with these scenarios you simply are not in any position to comment on them so, if Tyler says an all black cast movie doesnt sell or shop well, thats that. Personally I negotiate with some of the largest companies around and if you dont know where the land mines are (Most are Social), you cant navigate the terrain. If George Clooney was interested in the Red Tails everybody in Hollywood would have screened it just because.... Go Figure..... Ok so on behalf of my new friend "T" all you anti-intellectuals shut the *&^% up and stay in your lane...lol

  • Derrick Frazier Atlanta Georgia

    Most Businesses deal with trends; The reality is that trends change and you have proved that with your franchise and proof that black plays and films are not only marketable but profitable. We should focus on moving forward and not standing still, yes people especially movie executives will always look at HISTORY and even though it is extremely important some things, people, and trends change. We are the biggest group of consumers among all racial groups that means we have power because we are spenders. I think the Tuskegee Airmen film is an important part of our history and should be shown to more of the people like this generation who have no clue about them. I actually met one of the men at a restaurant and felt priviledge. Some people especially is this economy rate films based on finance and say Hey I will catch this when it come to the dollar movie or DVD. It is a mindset. Overall keep keeping us informed and enlightened God has a plan for you.

  • Godzgirl Southern CA

    I am so glad to actually know one of the Tuskegee Airmen in person. Have known him since 2000 and had the opportunity to sing for them in 1997. I know what a few of them have told me and all of their stories are similar. A valuable part of ALL of OUR HISTORY.

  • Deirdre

    Mr. Perry: An All Cast African Movies has been around for a very long time and would never become extinct as long as we supported them. I grew up watching " Sparkle", "Porgy and Bess", and so many other great movies. As a matter of fact, Lawrence Fishborne played in an All African American " cast with Allen Payne in the orginal movie " Tuskegee Airman" and it was a very good movie. The doors has been open for a very long time as long as we support the movies it would never end. What I am concern about is I just read comments and is it true that you are going to have your next Madea movie with an All White Cast after you just praise George Lucas if so for the very first time I am very disappointed in your contradicting behavior. Your movies help employed professional talent actors and shared an inspirtional message with comedy. Please tell me that you did not sell your soul for a dollar bill when you took Hollywood you took it by your faith in God and you refuse to sell your soul. God has open up doors for you to help the Black Actors be in more positive images instead of the stereotype images. You have blesssed so many actors by giving them an opportunity being in a positive spiritual image. You are a child of God, God has never left you and he has always supply your needs. Please do not contradict yourself. I saw the trailer of Good Deeds and can not wait to see that movie.

    • Colleen Danbury, CT. #1628094

      I just read the post about selling your soul because,of a white cast. Well I pray that the GOD that I serve dose not see color.

    • marlo williams riverside, ca #1643476


  • Sarah ozigi London

    Wish I can see redtails and support the film but am all the way in the UK. It sadden me to see that other directors will not give this film a chance and that all films with all black actors may be extinct .I personally feel the community should make a stand because I simply enjoy watching films with actors that I can relate to. Society makes it a norm for certain groups to be more acceptable in the media and other groups acceptable if they are shown on the negative typical Stereo type. The most successful coverage of black people, is on tv entertainment such as sports and music. I think people with the same skills as those directors should come and help plus do a charity event to raise alot of money and do their film project on their own. You don't need hollywood to be successful just your faith like you said Tyler. Keep making films directors, wish there were directors like you in the Uk

  • Southernboy JJ

    Great point and I love all your movies, bought all them too. Nice to have a variety of Black Directors. I was getting old of Spike LEE's angry black man movies. Shock the world. TP

  • Kerry Jamaica

    Good looking out! i will go and see this movie as soon as it is my way..everyone should take a page from your book and learn, just a saying we have! they would be better off in life. god bless you...

  • ShaNee Jeffers Alpharetta, Ga

    This past Sunday I took my nephew to see Red Tails at the local theater in Johnscreek/Alpharetta off of Medlock Crossing. I bought my tickets early because a friend had informed me the movie had sold out the night before. My nephew and I arrived and were seated for the movie less than 10 minuets before the scheduled showing of the film. The theater was a mess, candy wrappers and trash everywhere. By the time the movie began to start the theater room showing the film Red Tails was filled; however the movie was so low I had to get up and find a theater employee to ask to have the volume raised for the movie. You could barely make out the sound of the bullets and fighting in the movie. Needless to say the movie continued to be at a low volume so much so that the air conditioning clicking on and off took more precedence than the words being spoken by the actors. The movie was marvelous despite it occasionally going out of focus and the timing of sound being out of sync with the mouths of the actors supposedly speaking in the movie. The movie theater I went to was high priced and in an affluent area. I don't think they expected "Us" to come out and support our own, but we did. We Did.

  • unique orlando florida

    you are the best.you show how families really are.only if we could have more real life show,movies on tv it could open peoples minds n hearts...may god bless you and carry you through all of your movies.please never stop making them again

  • Kathie Texas

    You are saying that Hollywood tells you this...............well, just keep on making your movies in Georgia at your studio and people will go see them and buy them. I enjoy your movies much more than any movie out of Hollywood that if you took out each cuss word their would be no dialog. Hollywood movies would be so much better if they left all the cuss words and nudity and violence out of them. What about the movies from the good old days? People enjoyed them. You just keep making your movies and your television shows in your studio and keep them clean like you are doing and you will be fine. I would pay $15 per movie ticket to see a clean, good movie than pay $7.50 for a ticket to a piece of trash. From what I remember, most of the movie "Roots" was black actors. It was a wonderful movie. "The Color Purple" a wonderful movie. Hollywood, Smawleywood..........just keep doing your Atlanta, Georgia studio thing. I thank God that my grandchildren do not see people through color, they see them as their classmate, friend, etc. I have never heard one of my grandchildren say, "black friend" it is just "my friend" Also, on the two missing men...............I was a police officer for 13 years and something stinks in Denmark! Call Nancy Grace.........she will ask questions.

    • GwenSpence Chesapeake, VA #1626667

      There are so many great things that you are doing Tyler. I am still proud of you for where you started from and where you are now and where you are on your way to. Thanks a million for all you do to keep us enlightened as to what is still going on in the world concerning prejudices, race relations and police sheriff related incidences. I feel bad for both families who have lost their loved ones. I cannot even imagine the pain their facing. I truly hope that in the mothers' cases, every thing will work out for them and bring some closure to the many questions that haunt them both every moment of their lives. Thanks for your wisdom and for inquiring into reports and sharing them with your followers, that we would probably otherwise not have privy to. Thanks and love is being sent your way. God bless you tremendously Tyler.

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