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.

Comments (page 4)

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  • julie trinidad & tobago

    here's what come to the caribbean media market we will support you!!! s2k

  • Ann Bartow

    Thanks for the movie tips. Our family enjoyed watching Red Tails. We didn't see any advertisement for it, so I'm sure we would have missed it otherwise. Please continue to share with us movies that you've enjoyed watching or books you've read. Doing so reminds me of my family sharing these things, and it makes your letters/website seem warm and inviting. We appreciate you.



  • Vonae Deyshawn West Palm Beach, fL

    Mr. Perry, Thank you so much for all you do. As a young African-American woman, I love looking at the success that you have achieved. I've always wanted to work in the movie industry but always felt it was unreachable because of who I am. A few months back I saw a special on you done by Oprah in which you talked about how Hollywood didn't accept you with open arms when you started so you built your own studio. I think that is so powerful. Even more inspiring was that you named one of your sound studios after my great aunt Ruby Dee. Recently I've been feeling discouraged because I feel like God is doing nothing to help my dreams but then I came across your video on success shared by a friend. Thank you for being who you are and encouraging others to do and be their best. I'll keep writing, watering my seeds, and maybe one day Virtue Media will be a reality. Vonae Deyshawn www.myvirtueplace.com

  • Sherri Chandler US

    You know Tyler, money does talk but ignorance and greed is forever. You and George decided to "Let Your Works Speak For You", and those in the movie industry continue to ignore doing "Good Deeds" no matter what the price. I believe that those in power snicker behind your back, smile in front of your face , realizing they have lost a great opportunity by staying stuck in the mentality of plantation owner, then do whatever possibly to have you in their circle. Thank God!!! You, George Lucas and others like you realized you were the smartest people in your group and found a new group, the group of "WE". "WE" support you, cheering from the balcony, encouraging you to continue being your best. I express to you I am your cheerleeder clapping deligently in your balcony not pulling you down to the basement like those who turned you away. As they talk behind your back , You will always be in front of them. Ciao


    Hey Tyler i said this once before dont know if u got the message,i am going to mention it again,i am a cancer survivor of 7 going on 8 yrs i am blessed to be here god has given me a second chance, and while i was sick i had alot to think about my life and what i want to do once i get better,and now i am better i want ot get into the entertainment business either acting or working behind the scenes,i have no resources,i live in a small town, i have planted my seeds ,watered them and now just waiting on them to grow, just waiting on god to show me the way,i can use ur advice on what to do?

  • loretta dickson tenn.

    how can u ask me 2 chose 1 movie or show when I LOVE THEM ALL.GOG BLESS DO.

  • kathy mich United States

    dear tyler i love all your movies mada may god bless you

  • Safiyah Seattle, WA

    Mr. Perry I both agree and disagree with you on your statement that all Africian American casts are becoming extinct. I agree that casts which consist of all African American actors are becoming less and less common in the industry. "Good, quality" roles for African American actors that are not stereotypes or typecast for the actors that are able to get to the finish line for that next opportunity. I believe that not only better roles, but better WRITERS are needed as a representation for African American actors. We have a handful of African American directors; Spike Lee, Salim Akil, the Hughes Brothers, John Singleton and of course yourself among many others that I didn't mention in this example. The question then becomes who do we have to look up to as African American's in film without that writer who is also able to offer a fair represention in a story. Writing is tricky when you are not in the dual role of writer/director and we have had some breakthough over the years, but there is still a long way to go. This proven as a fact with the difficulty of George Lucas has has with Red Tails due to the cast. You are an amazing storyteller and that Mr. Perry is what makes you phenomenal at your craft, is your gift being that you can tell a story that people are able to relate their daily lives . You can caputure an audience people can see themselves in a character or identify with a story THAT IS what brings people to see a film or watch a television show. We need more roles of that for African American actors as well as in the writing for our actors. Denzel, Will , yourself CANNOT get all the good roles! There is a HUGE market for all African American casts but, not with the same old stories. I have seen too many movies even period peices carrying an all Caucasion cast with maybe, one person of color being a servant or who is the first to die, lol. Things must change in order for all African American casts to be preserved and taken of the endangered species list. Color is only blind when met with something that makes you see past race and see instead a good story. I disagree with you that all African American casts are becoming extinct, because we still have people like yourself, George Lucas and a handful of others who are trying to change minds. People setting milestones, who won't take no, who say I will show you and on top of that prove you wrong. This mindset reflected onto a film that allows people to see past, color which unforntunately even in 2012 is still an issue. As the singer Sam Cooke sang, "Change gonna come" my friend and change is coming.

  • AARON LANTON Knoxville, TN, United States

    I first want to say thank you for being the hardest working man in show business. You always have a new project in the works, and it's a good look for young black men like myself to see someone constantly working at his craft, always pursuing the next thing. I don't believe people truly appreciate the difficulties that you and other producers face when they approach Hollywood execs about creating a "black" film. I guess people believe that everyone owes you a favor and the movies magically appear in theaters. Truly, your achievements are remarkable. Keep up the magnificent work. Really looking forward to "Good Deeds" next month.

  • cedric rudd baltimore, md. 21218

    i live 2803 mathews st baltimore, md. 21218 apt 2.

  • cedric rudd baltimore, md. 21218

    hey tyler i been following you for a long time can you please send me a ticket to see your show in person it will be my first time i am a cancer survivorthank God!

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