It didn’t take long for a petition to surface against Tyler Perry’s new shows The Haves And The Have Nots and Love Thy Neighbor on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN.
Debuting impressively Tuesday night, the scandalous soap opera-style Haves And The Have Nots brought in a much needed 3.65 million total views during double airings, and became the network’s highest rated show.
While comedy series Love Thy Neighbor followed with 3.4 million views Wednesday.
Bringing his strong audience to OWN was clearly a hit, but not for Eva Vega who has launched a change.org petition that includes Touré‘s criticism of Perry as “malt liquor” for the Black community:
For decades Oprah Winfrey has used her television show to educate, empower, and uplift people of all races to be better versions of themselves. OWN has committed to be an extension of this work.
Where it is clear that neither Oprah or Tyler Perry are not experts on race and racism, they have also refused to utilize feedback from the conscious Black community and scholars on racism regarding the damage that Tyler Perry and his brand of entertainment perpetuate against the Black community.
Stop supporting racist stereotypes on OWN and remove Tyler Perry programming!
If You Dislike Tyler Perry, Watch Something Else
Having had endless and tiring discussions over whether Tyler Perry is the “worst thing to happen to Black America,” I’m exhausted.
If you don’t like his films and shows, don’t watch. You’re not his audience.
For example, I greatly enjoyed For Colored Girls. I went to theaters to see it, and watched its recent television premiere, though a harrowing film.
On the contrary, I couldn’t tolerate the poor acting and comedic timing on all of Perry’s previous television efforts, House of Payne, Meet the Browns, and For Better of For Worse… So I stopped watching.
Nor do I watch The Cleveland Show, The Bachelor or Bachelorette, How I Met Your Mother, Vampire Diaries, Toddlers & Tiaras, Castle, and a bunch of others. Know why? They don’t pique my interest.
You too, can find solace in this approach.
Be The Change or Shut The Hell Up
Better yet, go fund projects by other Black filmmakers that tell stories you like.
You can also write letters to celebrities that tend to back small productions, like Jada Pinkett-Smith and Jay-Z who latched onto the Free Angela Davis documentary or Pharrell Williams who supports Issa Rae‘s Awkward Black Girl.
And by all means, stop fucking complaining.