In a move sure to stun pretty much everybody from Hollywood power-brokers to the most casual of moviegoers, filmmaker Tyler Perry has announced his intention to have the words "Tyler Perry's" placed in front of the title of every movie with an all- or predominantly African American cast.
"It's really a very sensible thing to do," claims W. Prescott Drycrotch, a cinema enthusiast from Vermont. "White people like myself have very little interest in the movies those people are making, with their Ice Cubes and their Cedric the Entertainers and their 'wuzzups' and 'fo shizzles'. And I can't imagine the young men and women of color wanting to leave their 'hood - if you'll allow - to go see something with complex themes like the Coen Brothers or Alexander Payne are putting out. Oh sure, maybe a Micheal Bay film," Drycrotch said with a shudder. "Putting that Perry boy's name above the title saves us all quite a bit of time, and c'mon, it's not as if he isn't fucking everywhere already. How much really changes?"
Of course, the idea is not without its critics. Friends and associates of black filmmakers such as Spike Lee and John Singleton have said - on the condition of anonymity - that the two directors will not allow Perry's plan to be implemented on their films - or anyone else's.
"Ho-lee mackerel dere!" Said an associate of Lee's, "Boss Spike, he done gone all hopping mad over dis h'yah Tyler Perry thang." Then, with an eyebrow raised, letting this reporter know the outburst had been a sarcastic exaggeration, the associate said that Mr. Lee found the whole thing to be laughable and was "far too busy doing actual work to comment".
Still, one has to wonder about a world where you could buy "Tyler Perry's The Color Purple", "Tyler Perry's Dolemite", or even "Tyler Perry's Malcolm X" on DVD. Would that world be a better one or worse? Perhaps history will decide.