Cinema Smackdown: After Racial Criticism, Tyler Perry Says Spike Lee Can ‘Go to Hell’

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Tyler Perry at a screening of Lionsgate Films' "Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family."

Channeling his inner Madea, filmmaker Tyler Perry responded to director Spike Lee’s consistent criticisms of his movies by saying this: “Spike can go straight to hell! You can print that,”  Box Office Magazine reported on its website.

Perry’s heavy-set matriarchal alter ego, which he made famous through his series of movies and stage plays, has never been one to mince words. But Perry himself had chosen take the high road in light of Lee’s statements about Perry’s films and television shows, which he said were “coonery and buffoonery.”

But this time, Perry did not bite his tongue, striking back at the perpetual New York Knicks fan during a press conference to promote his upcoming movie “Madea’s Big Happy Family.”

(More on See a review of Perry’s stage version of “Madea’s Big Happy Family”)

“I am sick of him talking about me, I am sick of him saying, ‘this is a coon, this is a buffoon’…he talked about Whoopi, he talked about Oprah, he talked about me, he talked about Clint Eastwood. Spike needs to shut the hell up!”

Lee is known for more edgy, controversial dramas like “Do The Right Thing,” “Malcolm X” and “Bamboozled,” in which he focused on the very stereotypes he criticizes. Perry made millions primarily from his family-themed but preachy films and plays, like “Madea’s Family Reunion” and “Diary of a Mad Black Woman.” Perry has also dealt with darker themes, like those in his most recent “For Colored Girls.”

Perry says he finds the type of intraracial criticisms he gets unfair and confusing.

“I’ve never seen Jewish people attack Seinfeld and say ‘this is a stereotype,’ I’ve never seen Italian people attack The Sopranos, I’ve never seen Jewish people complaining about Mrs. Doubtfire or Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie. I never saw it. It’s always black people…and I’m sick of it from us.”