Tyler Perry gets candid about playing his infamous character, Madea, and addressed the criticisms he has faced over the years for playing a female role and wearing dresses.
In the interview, T.I asked Perry for his perspectives on claims made by other comedians such as Dave Chappelle that Black men in Hollywood tend to achieve more success as actors if they play characters that wear dresses.
Tyler Perry sits down for an interview during a visit at the LinkedIn Studios on January 13, 2020, New York | Source: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images
In his response, Perrysaid
, "if that's the case in Hollywood, then that"s the case. But that's not my case." Referring to his infamous Madea character, heargued:
"Nobody owned that dress but me. A $2 billion franchise, nobody told me to put it on, nobody makes me put it on."
Perry made it clear that it was his choice. Unlike the arguments from previous comedians who felt pressured to play the stereotypical roles given to them, he explained:
"So when I got to Hollywood and wanted to do 'Diary of A Mad Black Woman,' it was my choice. And 19 movies since then, it's been my choice."
"I'm not a man that enjoys wearing a dress. For me, as an actor, it's a costume…going out making people laugh, lifting them up."
Perry's insight on playing Madea comes months after facing backlash for revealing that he doesn't have a writer's room and is the sole writer for most of his productions.
His intent in sharing the secret behind his success was meant to inspire other producers to have the same strong work ethic he has adapted by working tirelessly on his craft.
It is reported, fans slammed him for not creating more opportunities for writers and also limiting the perspectives on his work by doing it all by himself.
The backlash did little to deter him. In fact, Perry stood by his decision to be the sole writer because he argued that it is something that has worked for him and is the key to his success.