“The Boondocks” Goes IN On Tyler Perry
I am not a Tyler Perry fan. In my opinion, most of his work is more predictable than cartoons. Nevertheless, Tyler Perry’s personal story of accomplishment and success reads like a typical rags to riches Hollywood story and I am happy to see him achieve the success he has in such a hard industry. Many people have chimed in on his supposed perpetuation of negative black stereotypes and as of June 20, 2010 you can add “The Boondocks” creator Aaron McGruder to the list.
In the newest episode of “The Boondocks” Aaron McGruder goes in on Tyler Perry through a closeted, cross-dressing, Jesus freak character named Winston Jerome. Through the Winston Jerome character, McGruder deals with the common criticisms of Perry’s work that typically involves exploiting black women, Christ and the negative stereotypes of black people. McGruder takes it a step further by likening Winston Jerome’s crew to being apart of a cult. Specifically, a “homo-erotic” Christian cult. Jerome’s character at the end of the episode eventually reveals that his cross-dressing habits and Christian faith is all a front to sleep with men.
Typically, McGruder’ s subject matter has always been controversial. Anything that he views as toxic within the black community has always been put on blast through the “Boondocks” platform. Just a few years ago, he consistently targeted BET for what he called the network’s harmful negative imagery and stereotypes that work as a “destructive” force within African-American culture. Not until BET executives complained to the overseers of the network and threatened legal action against McGruder did he finally let up on the network. In fact, two episodes about BET were actually never aired and have not been seen till this day.
Consequently, many of the Tyler Perry faithful will see this as an unprovoked, unnecessary attack on a man who does not deserve the sharp criticisms he receives. I’ve already seen many of the “crab in a barrel” references thrown around in describing the Boondocks episode. I’m not going to come out and say that the man is a closeted homosexual, but I do think the episode was pretty on point in regards to presenting the essence of Perry and his work. Perry was highly upset when told of the remarks Spike Lee made about his work. I wonder what his reaction will be when he sees his latest critics work…