Tyler Perry seems to think Assault is funny

Tyler Perry seems to think Assault is funny

Posted by Nomalanga on January 02, 2011

So after many, many trips to several Redbox locations and not finding the latest Tyler Perry play on DVD, “Madea’s Big Happy Family” (2010), I finally found it and watched it this weekend. As is to be expected of Tyler Perry’s comedies, it delivered a large dose of hearty, roll on the floor laughter. What I am concerned about though, is that intertwined in the laughs in this funny and highly entertaining play, was one very serious and ultimately very sobering issue-physical assault. In a couple of scenes in the play, Madea physically assaulted two people and then, even more disturbing than that, was a scene where “Monroe”  performed a beautiful rendition of Teddy Pendergrass’ “Turn off the lights” and made believe that he was choking a woman while he sang to her. The play audience responded with a loud roaring of laughter to this scene. To be honest, I was laughing myself, when I first saw it and only realized how offensive it was after the fact.

Now, I feel it necessary to mention that I love Tyler Perry and I have a lot of respect for him as a person, based on the positive things he has accomplished through his plays and movies as well as through his philanthropic projects and most recently what he has done to shed some light on a topic that most men had historically shied away from-the molesting of young men by other men and by women as well. I do however feel it is necessary to speak up about his constant insinuation, depicted in his plays and movies, that assault is funny and is an acceptable way of handling an annoying situation such as a nagging woman, a misbehaving adolescent or a “trifling” woman.

In this particular play “Madea’s Big Happy Family” (2010), there is a young man, “Byron”, dating a young lady who is depicted as a “gold digger”. This young lady encourages 22 year “Byron” to sell drugs so he can make enough money to maintain her lavish tastes. As if that were not enough, she is also rude and dismissive. By the time the play is close to the end, when Madea chokes her, it almost seems justified! Just to be clear, IT IS NOT! Assault of any kind is not, has never been and will never be justifiable or acceptable! This same line of thinking is also depicted in Tyler Perry’s “The Family That Preys” (2008). In this particular movie, Andrea, played by Sanaa Lathan, is cheating on her husband with her employer and constantly belittles and disrespects her husband. She also has a three year old son who she constantly neglects and instead chooses to run off to meet her secret lover. She is also extremely rude and arrogant and once again, towards the end of the movie, when he punches her and knocks her over the counter, it almost seems justified. Again, just to be clear, IT IS NOT!

Anytime a person exhibits behavior we deem unacceptable, there are always other ways of handling the situation. There is always the option to let them know that their behavior is unacceptable and if this does not correct the situation, another option is to remove oneself from the situation. I fully recognize that sometimes this is not an easy course of action and when you add the anger element, it may even seem impossible! What I know for sure though, is that being a success in life requires us to hold ourselves to a higher standard. Sometimes, it takes more courage to walk away from an escalating situation than to engage in one.

In the past, I have let my anger lead me to places that I now know are as far from success as heaven is from hell! Today, I am committed to success and to a higher standard of conduct.  I always choose to remove myself from an escalating situation rather than engage in it and I encourage you to do the same. As for Mr. Perry, I’m not suggesting that he shouldn’t shed light on violence through his movies and plays; what I am suggesting is that he should do so responsibly.


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4 Responses to “Tyler Perry seems to think Assault is funny”

  1. Asenath Bryant says:

    Good catch! We definitely have to be aware of the implications of our actions. Assault is assault, and in reality it is not funny.

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