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Why white critics’ fear of engaging Tyler Perry is stifling honest debate | Film | For Our Consideration | The A.V. Club


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Mike Ryan of The Huffington Post was the first to seize on the film’s awful implication: HIV is a disease that infects the immoral, and Judith deserves her infection because she cheated on her husband. Ryan writes, “Either Perry believes that if you cheat on your partner, you deserve a terrible disease or he believes that the people he hopes will pay money to see Tyler Perry’s Temptation believe that if you cheat on your spouse, you deserve a terrible disease. I can’t decide which is worse.” Louis Peitzman of BuzzFeed wrote his own takedown, which acknowledges Ryan’s piece and builds on it by dissecting Perry’s prior use of HIV as a narrative weapon in 2010’sFor Colored Girls: “By offering a version of reality in which people are either Good or Evil, Tyler Perry’s soapbox may do more harm than good.” Lindy West of Jezebel contributed another outraged missive shortly thereafter: “I’m starting to believe that Tyler Perry isn’t just artless—he’s reprehensible.”

Artless, reprehensible, and very popular.

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