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Tuesday
Nov162010

Michael Ealy: "For Colored Girls" Is Not "Male Bashing"

Actor Michael EalyPushing back against charges by some that the film is derogatory towards black men, actor Michael Ealy, who has a role in Tyler Perry's film version "For Colored Girls," came out in defense of Perry's work. In an interview with Essence.com, Ealy defends the film, explains his character (an abusive war veteran) and tells critics of the movie and Perry to look at the "bigger picture." He thinks people should keep the film and the original stage play its based on in context.

More after the jump.

From Essence.com:

I think that if you say this movie is male bashing, you're not looking at the bigger picture. Yeah there are some men with problems in the piece and if you did notice, yes, Hill Harper is one good man. But this is a play by women, by a woman. And it's not like Tyler [Perry] or anyone else wrote the script that had all these men with problems. In my opinion the bigger picture is that the issues that were applicable in the mid '70s when the play was on Broadway, are still plaguing our women and our children right now. The bigger issue is that the piece is timeless. And if you're a man who is handling your business then you know this doesn't apply to you. This isn't a film that showcases men; this is a film that showcases the triumph of our women.

In an interview with Essence.com, Ealy talks about the critical response to the film and the interview briefly mentions Washington Post writer Courtland Milloy and his response to the film which was nothing short of "OH MY GOD! I HATE THIS SO MUCH!"

From The Washington Post:

I thought the movie should have been renamed: "For Black Men Who Have Considered Homicide After Watching Another Perry Movie."

Read Ealy's full interview with Essence.com here.

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Reader Comments (26)

I actually agree with Ealy. I don't know why people are freaking, have they not seen/read the choreopoem?? Of course, on stage the delivery is a bit more uplifting than the movie.....it's the stage, y'all. The medium is the message.

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJD

Like I stated in a previous post abou this movie- Tyler Perry can't win! When he has a movie with positive male figues it's "unrealistic" and when he has a movie with antagonistic male figures he's a "male basher".

The situations in this movie COULD, CAN, and WILL happen in real life! Michael Ealy's character, especially, being a war vetern with Post-Traumatic syndrome. He becomes abusive and insecure. What's so male bashing about that? Some of the female characters in this movie aren't exactly Mother Teresa so does that make him a woman basher, too?

People it's a movie. It's entertainment. It's a skewed view of reality. Stop taking everything Tyler Perry does so literal. Get over it already!

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHonee Bee

I agree with Michael Ealy. But to me, the bigger picture was that this simply wasn't a very good movie. Sorry.

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterViv

Dang! I thought when I opened this post he was going to have his shirt off......

Justice

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJustice

I agree with Mr Ealy.

@Viv, movie enjoying experiences are subjective. I know some people who saw the movie and they thought it was good some sad it was bad, so far of the people who I know have seen it, there is not real consensus on bad or not. Maybe you should add IMO.

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterlamh33

I also like what Ealy said about "Takers" there was no outcry over the supposed stereotypes int that movie. This whole thing just seems to me to be the usual hate Terry Perry thing that's been going on since the first Madea movie

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterlamh33

BE a more "positive image" and maybe somebody will make a movie about y'all.

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbigwilligirl

Amen, Amen. "BE" a positive image and someone will make a movie about you doing so."

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMe

My boyfriend and I saw the movie over the weekend. We both really enjoyed it and it prompted several interesting discussions between us. Without any prompting, he noted that this movie was not about male bashing. There just happened to be situations wherein men were not good characters. It's a portrait of real life wherein the difficulties of Black women were highlighted. More often than not, because of our love for men and especially Black men, our pain stems from experiences with these men. As Michael Ealy said, if you're a good man he's not talking about you. My man is a good one. :)

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterErika M

I don't see one man here saying he liked it. A woman says her boyfriend liked it, but that doesn't count. He'll say anything to please his woman.

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Wise

With the exception of the rapist, scenario, the women all knew full well that the men they were with were deeply flawed and/or no good and they in essence put themselves in those situations, facilitated, accepted, and encouraged the bad behavior by allowing the men to stay in their presence. Any of them could have left but they chose not to. They chose to stay with no good men and or make bad/self destructive decisions and ultimately got what was comming to them. Thats what the film was about. It was not about male bashing, it was about the failures and triumphs of a set of black women and the path/journey to empowerment and self realization.......Can ya'll beleive I got all of that from a Tyler Perry movie? My hands went numb typing that. I don't feel safe.

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenternovanova

"Be a positive image and somebody will make a movie about ya'll"

Right. Hollywood is just dying to make movies about positive black male role models. Where's the James Baldwin movie? David Walker? Frederick Douglass? Thurgood Marshall? Geoffrey Canada? Mark Bradford? Bill T Jones? I could go on ....

But, honestly, I didn't think the movie was male-bashing. As Viv said, my biggest problem: it's not very good. Other issues: Janet's clown makeup, Loretta's dead-animal wig, and, more seriously, the utter joylessness and heaviness of being a black woman it conveys (very much unlike the play) and the equation of sex with death (instead of the joy and celebration of black female sexuality in the poem). As my friend said: it makes being a black woman look like all thorn and no rose.

It's not hating on Perry to critique his work -- that's called freedom of expression, difference of opinion, artistic merit. And one can dislike his work and still admire him for all he has accomplished as a producer, entrepreneur and overall force. Creatively, he wants maturing out of the drama=melodrama stage. I think he may be a decent director at some point. But right now, not.

November 17, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterlisalisa

"it makes being a black woman look like all thorn and no rose" (from lisalisa). THIS is my problem with movies like this. I mean damn, EVERYONE has challenges. but, for some reason the world seems to think that as a Black woman, our best times are when we're just SURVIVING. Most Black women I know (including myself) live wonderful lives. Not fairy tales, but complicated, interesting, & enjoyable lives.

Since I sat through Precious last year, I don't plan on going to see FCG. I've had my fill for a while.

November 17, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersheryl

@ lisalisa and sheryl

I agree that there is a more to a black woman's life than doom and gloom. But unfortunately those kinds of movies won't bring in the cash like the dark-sided ones. For some reason the only movie I can think of that sort of showed the "Not fairy tales, but complicated, interesting, & enjoyable" side of a black woman's life is "Two Can Play That Game" with Vivica Fox and Mo'nique. And...well.. although it's one of my favorite movies, the numbers at the box office don't even compare to "Precious" and "For Colored Girls".

November 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHonee Bee

In Monster's Ball, a young black mother living in the deep south copes with the death of her only child by begging a local redneck to "make me feel good". Halle Berry goes on to win an Academy Award for her portrayal and many black feminists declare this is a monumental achievement for black women. That film did more to reinforce the stereotype of the promiscuous and sexually insatiable black woman than any film in Hollywood history. What would the response have been had it been made by Tyler Perry?

November 17, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterfilmlover

To the commenter who suggested that movies about positive black men will only be made when there are positive black men, are you implying that those men don't exist? Are you really that ignorant or was your comment meant to be provocative. You would probably feel more at home at the white supremacist site Stormfront.

November 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMadison

Michael Ealy = Delicious, articulate, and delicious. I might actually have to see this trainwreck if he's in it.

November 17, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdindc

"BE more positive?" Wow... great overgeneralization.

Hell, letme overgeneralize now.

Why don't you ladies BE more worth being positive for?

All "good women" aren't good.

Now... let the feces fly.

November 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKGDC

Unfortunately, the reality for a lot of black women IS more thorn than rose. Sometimes it's their making and other times, not so much. It's not my reality but I'd be lying if I said that I didn't know women (and men) who fit this description. IMO, this movie wasn't about black men. It was about the poor choices that this particular group of women made and how it affected their lives and the lives of people around them, which is not unlike some of the choices and resulting fall out that women make on a day-to-day basis in the real world. If a movie was made that showed black women living the good life, surrounded with good men, we'd probably be the first ones to not support it. We'd be the first to say it was unrealistic. So sad.

November 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFran

Sometimes, I wish black women (collectively) were less concerned with the treatment and societal perception of black men, and more concerned with their own needs. Black men (collectively) do not appear concerned about black women, but we invest so much energy and emotion into the feelings and emotions of black men.

If black men think the movie portrays them badly, they can take up their own fight.

November 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBOL

the whole media industry is far more misogynist than racist. I CAN GUARANTEE ALMOST ANY CURRENT MAJOR FILM CAN BE PROVEN TO BE MISOGYNIST. So it's retarded to even argue that a film is "sexist" against men. Its like people who say reverse racism is real. Tyler Perry is a misogynist, and is a horrible writer. Which is even worse cause so few non-white people are allowed through the capitalistic filter of the established to even be able to have a simple say. much less an empire of tv shows and movies. All the female characters in perry's shit are horrible people. theres not one to look up to. But mostly all media like i said is MISOGYNIST, mostly due to lack of understanding or caring or just plain hate.

November 19, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterwu fru de lu

Back in the day when the play appeared on Broadway, none of us (my friends and I) were impressed with the play - it was just another 'woe is me - black mens treats us so bad' catastrophe that made it to the Great White Way. Didn't like it then, don't like it now. Mr. Perry really knows what buttons to push to make money off his people, doesn't he?

November 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHoneyPeanuts

Y'know, there are SO MANY other movies that could be made with black women in them. I'm tired of the movies like PRECIOUS and others myself--they show us as 'one dimensional'. Also, movies and music has AN EFFECT on the population. (look whats happened to the BC since RAP came out--early 80s) Kids today think black men who are doing ok and financially secure are 'white' and make (imply) or allow the women to bring home the bacon while he eats it and shes 6 mos pregnant and throwing up daily. I'm also noticing white men starting to do this as well, but WW seem to have more choices

November 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjubilee

Nowadays Black girls need to be careful not to offend White girls with all this negative talk about black guys.
http://wandaphullworld.com/2009/10/10/word-of-advice-to-my-so-call-tough-black-women/

December 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGettyFus

The fact that Black women and Black people overall are made to defend anything that puts the behavior of any Black man in question is indicative of the rampant patriarchy infecting African-American culture.

ANYTIME a movie comes out that questions male behavior (be it culturally, collectively, or individually) Blacks in the US immediately fall back on one of Ole Massa's domination techniques, crying foul or "bashing" or "anti-insert.stupid.term.here"). PLEASE!! We've become sad and predictable with this!

This is nothing but a symbol of the culture of male dominance with which we're being infected. How many movies (songs, videos, etc) have come out that were OUTRIGHT MISOGYNIST?? These same fools don't complaint, seeing it as what's normal or legitimate (after all, that's what Ole Massa does/did with his women, right?).

But as soon as anything is released that INTELLIGENTLY questions Black men (individually, culturally, collectively, etc.), the same fools want to climb the walls with indignation.

Fools. Hypocrites. And by addressing it, we legitimize their sexism.

December 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterP
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