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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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  • Keith Brady Chicago

    I love all black movies; i'm black and I love all black movies. When Roots played, I never missed a nite. I grew up during the black exploit era in the 70's and when my mother let me go to the show by giving me money and a time to get back home I went and enjoyed them. In addition, I also think that we need more Afro-American writers who write multi-cultural movies that the black writer will get the credit for. There are great stories in the bible; that included all races in Jehovah's grand scheme of things. For a blackman to get the credit for writing, producing, editing etc., etc,. etc., will be outstanding to our race as well. Just like Stephen Speilberg is known for his writing more outstanding blackmen need to be known for their ecumenical writings. The Bible has great race stories to write and us African Americans need to start writing them. Tyler u r so obedient; thank u for letting Jesus use u.

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  • Cindy Stewart Rome, Georgia

    First off....I am White...not that is an issue. But I have seen every movie and every play (on DVD) My grandson(also white) has also seen everyone...I love your work!! It always has a lesson and something uplifting. Which is hard to find today. Most of the TV shows and movies today have no redeeming factor.....Which is very sad. So I am very proud of you for writing shows, movies and plays that might actually teach our young people some values. God Bless and be you and keep up the GREAT work!!!

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  • Tonia Williams Southfield, MI

    I just saw "Good Deeds" and I must say you have outdone yourself AGAIN! I cannot put into words how much I love Tyler Perry. When I saw the movie tonight, it brought tears to my eyes because you are so much like the character you played. I am the one you gave tickets to in Detroit when TicketMaster messed up my tickets. You personally called me and told me that you had tickets waiting for me at the box office. I will NEVER forget you. I have supported you and ALL of your work since you first came to the theatre. If I would ever meet you in person, I would be one of the happiest people on earth. Just want to say again, I LOVE ME SOME TYLER PERRY. You are a beautiful person.

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  • Roberta VA.

    You Know Tyler, It's about time we as a People have Something that Belong and is About US. For TOO LONG we have been in the back ground or the token person in movies and comm ercials as if this is suppose to represent all of US. YOU Tyler has kept US Real... not writting to please the status quoe. You bring to the world a different picture : painting US has having a Belief in God, Educated, Serious, Funny, Thankful and Greatful People. Our Creator has given All People the same type of talents such as singing, dancing, acting,etc.. and to do anything that is POSITIVE With the help of our CREATOR. Tyler Please keep showing US in a POSITIVE LIGHT FOR THE SAKE OF OUR YOUNG PEOPLE! Thank You. POSITIVE LIGHT, -Ro.

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  • Sherilyn Fort Polk, LA

    Mr. Perry, As I take time to view some of messages, this one caught my eye. God has allowed me to discover one thing in life: The world changes, but He does not. Meaning this: To draw an audience you must appeal to that particular audience in order to convey the story you're seeking to tell. Paul in the Holy Bible stated that to a Jew I became as a Jew all to show them the love of Christ. In all, if God has opened your eyes to see a bigger audience that still need to see Him through your story lines-ask Him how to reach them and He will do just that. Whether its all "white" or all "black"-the story will remain the same: Jesus is Lord and here's what He's given me to say to you. Hide in His word and seek Him if you have not and watch the storyline reach the masses because that is what He's all about. And you won't have to compromise your spiritual standards to reach the masses either.-Behind you in prayer and support, military girl

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  • Angela Spencer Freehold, NJ

    Hi Tyler, I think about you and the work you do and I just wanted to thank you for just being you. I love you and how you represent God and his amazing love! The world is your church and your films are your ministry. I love you!

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    • Tracey Cannon atl #1644970

      Amazing no matter how pure a person intent can be,,no matter how good a person soul maybe be. pleasing others comes before what ur heart n mind may wanna do...Tyler so far all ur movies have been good. I have alwayz thought it to be amazing how u find such talented black actors..now if by chance this is true about having whit actors..then I trust it will still be a good movie..cause thats what u do produce good movies..never realize the pressure someone may be under till u read something like this..so is it fact or fiction. I stop reading

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    • Mztracey cannonnon atl #1644975

      l.o.l AS madea u can dance..seen Good Deeds lastnight..besides being a good movie..Dag first time I seen u dance as u ( TYLER) GOTS SOME MOVES..l.o.l look out don't hurt nobody . u even look like u were having fun,,Tylers got some moves have a blessed evening

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  • Juanita Stidons Wrens, Georgia

    Hi Tyler I am writing to let you know that I just came back from seeing your newest stage play. The Haves and the Have Nots. I must say that just like all the others I really enjoyed the play. the cast was great. I would like to thank you for all that you do to entertain us. I buy and watch everything that you do and when problems arouse in my life I watch a play or movie that you produced because I know that all that you do is heaven sent and their is a message from God to us through you. I thank God for you and please when ever you create something new please bring it to Augusta, Goergia although I am from Wrens, Georgia just thirty-two miles south of Augusta and I'll be there. I can hardly wait to see Good Deeds. I love all that you do. God Bless you and all your wonderful cast. God bless you all.

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  • WILLA DC

    TYLER, THAT'S A LOT OF HOG WASH THAT BLACK MOVIES DON'T SELL. ARE YOU THAT GULLIBLE TYLER PERRY. FIRST OF ALL, YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSE TO BE LISTENING 'WHITE HOLLYWOOD' ANY WAY. YOU'VE GOT YOUR OWN HOLLYWOOD AND IT'S ALL BLACK, AND THAT IS WHAT WE WANT. They are telling you that because 'YOU HAVE SHOCKED THEM' They are upset that you have made all those millions of dollars and they did not get any of it. They are MAD, that a BLACK MAN 'SNUCK IN ON THEM', and they were not watching the field. They mad that they told you Black Christians don't go to the movies to see Christian theme movies, and you proved them wrong. WHY ARE YOU LISTENING TO THEM, THE VERY ONES WHO TURNED YOU DOWN, AND YOU PROVED WRONG. We are HUNGRY FOR BLACK MOVIES TYLER. Don't you know that 'WE ARE TIRED OF WATCHING WHITE PEOPLE ON MOVIES AND TV. And when they give us a part, it is small, insulting, it low-rates us, and never anything spectacular like all the white movies. Even the no-names get starred announcing. Blacks in White movies don't even get mentioned even tho they have a starring role. Nor in advertising. We see it all the time, and I certainly do. White Hollywood don't want you to make Black SUCCESSFUL MOVIES, because it's taking away from them, and THEY WANT TO STOP YOU. DO YOU HEAR ME. THEY ARE TRYING TO STOP THIS BLACK MAN FROM MAKING ALL THIS MONEY AND OUTSHINE THEM. YOU PROVED THEM A LIAR AND THEY ARE HOT ABOUT IT SO to STOP YOU, they are telling you this lie about Black movies don't sell. DON'T WORRY ABOUT THAT, you don't need to worry about selling your movies overseas. You are doing just fine selling your movies in America to use, and the DVD sells. So if you are that gullible to listen to the Whites, you will lose your dynasty. God did not put you here to satisfy Whites, but to SATISFY YOUR BLACK PEOPLE WHO WERE HUNGRY, EMPTY FOR US ON THE MOVIES SCREEN AND TV SERIES. If you are that easily to listen to Whites and believe them, you are in trouble, and please don't get any advice from Oprah, your friend. Her life is filled with whites. That's another story. You stay TRUE TO BLACKS, AND WE STAY TRUE TO YOU. We don't want to see any Whites in our black movies. A BOYCOTT IS PENDING FOR HAVING KIM K IN THIS MOVIE THAT WE ALL WANT TO SEE, BUT YOU PICKED A FOUL SINNER WHO MADE A MOCKERY OF MARRIAGE, AND HAS NO ACTING OR MARRIAGE OR COUNSELOR EXPERIENCE TO PLAY THIS PART. YOU HAVE ANGERED US ALL, AND YOU NEED TO 'TAKE STOCK OF YOURSELF AND WHO YOU ARE LISTENING TOO'. REMEMBER: IF YOU DON'T STAND FOR SOMETHING, OR STAY TRUE TO GOD AND YOURSELF, THEN YOU WILL FALL FOR ANYTHING THAT SOMEONE SAY TO YOU., White Hollywood don't control you. Viacome don't either. If they don't want to make your movies anymore, YOU CAN MAKE THEM YOURSELF, AND WE WILL SEE THEM AND BUY THEM ON DVD. BUT YOU MUST STAY TRUE TO US....NOT WHITE HOLLYWOOD. GOD GIVETH AND GOD TAKETH AWAY. AMEN.

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    • Delois Harris CRYSTAL , MN #1636486

      Tyler, all Black actors in a movie or play with Christian foundation is very much needed and appreciated by both Christian Black people and non Christian Blacks. We do buy your Dvds. Please dont have white women , the suposed essence of what a woman should be in your movies. I would love to see a movie about the hurt a Black woman of any age goes trough when she is disdained by Black men.

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    • Annette Irving, TEXAS #1648646

      While I must agree with this post here with all the BOLD Caps and deliberate tone of his/her message, I want to make sure you know that 1- we support and love the productions you make ragnfrewufnuh43

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    • Annette Irving, TEXAS #1648654

      OK sorry, got instant disconnection in the middle of my message- I hate when that happens. ANYWHO- as I was making my 3 points to share with the world. I wanted to say that I agree with Mr WILLA in DC regarding my black movies and Hollywood. 1- We love seeing productions that cast people that look, behave, perform like us. That truly isn't alright because the world is not ALL white. 2- JUst about the latest movie, GOOD DEEDS. Wasn't that thrilled about it, glad you could bring some drama, but I wish the brother wasn't such an ASS, and the company didn't have to go to the WHITE guy. There are good brothers/sisters that are honest enough that won't backstab to get ahead. I would have changed that person. 3- Far-fetched that a janitor (no matter how civilized and well-groomed) will be allowed to be so close to touch the CEO, but this is your movie. I don't see how she would be even close to offer a massage, much less afford a passport. I would have like to have seen a dialouge of communication grow and begin to dig deeper with Ms. Union's character. Since she already loves him. You can still grow to love somebody and she should have been the one to Africa (Nigeria) too. Leave janitor at home catching up on her bills and getting a stable place to live. the last thing she needs is a vacation. And what's up with having her in a corporate apartment that isn't her name. SHe should have requested an apartment with an open leae, so she could be learning how to be responsible and accountable for her own actions. Other than that, Really enjoyed seeing my brothers and sisters on the big screen. (Prefer movies over plays) I look forward to the next - I am neither disappointed or swayed negatively about Kim K. I heard you tell Chelsea or Ellen, somebody, that she has a small role. So that won't stop me from going to see the Marriage Counselor. Just an oxy- action(oxymoron), that her marriage didn't even last until the movie comes out. If you want anymore feedback/ ideas/suggestions, just let me know. I already quit my bookclub. Thank you so very much reading. Peace-

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  • LeAnna S. Calhoun, GA

    Dear Mr. Perry, I'm hoping you'll be bringing your new play to Atlanta, GA. You are a truly inspirational person. I'm European American, but even I can appreciate your contribution to Hollywood through predominantly using a total African-American cast. However, I look forward to your future works with whites, blacks, browns, whatever. To Tyler's fans, stop criticizing him for casting multi-racially. He could put a purple person from Venus on screen and it would still be eloquent. His talent transcends color/race/ethnicity. His messages also transcend. Please make the effort to appreciate his art. What if he were white, but he wrote the plays and scripts that he has? Would it matter? Talent is talent. The same is true for the actors and actresses. Talent is talent.

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  • tina nevling candler nc

    Well, I will say this I am a white woman who watches your tv shows, your movies your plays. and I can say id rather watch one o your all arican american/black whatever hollywood wants to call it over some o the white trashy movies ive seen coming out. keep going God is good God will bless Lucas for his true love of his brothers and sisters. you know Godd said love thy brothers and sisters in christ hello he didnt say love thy white or black or yellow or red he said love thy brothers and sister. it just irks my tater some people.

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  • Kellie California

    Well there goes my dreams, no literally! Just woke up and spent 4 hrs writing out the detailed dream I had, that would make an awesome movie... All the characters save one, in my dream were black, and guess what? I'm not!

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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.

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