Tyler Perry Responds to Criticism of Him Wearing Dress in ‘Madea’ Movies: That’s a Uniform

While there’s a stigma that it’s easier for black men to become famous if they wear a dress, the ‘Vice’ star says that it was his choice to wear a dress in his big-screen debut and 19 other films.

AceShowbizTyler Perry is best known for his portrayal of Madea in the long-running comedy film franchise which he created in 2005. As he owes his big break to the character, comedians like Dave Chapelle have criticized him, suggesting that Hollywood bigwigs often emasculate black men in TV and film for easy success.

Speaking with T.I. on the rapper’s “ExpidiTIously” podcast, Tyler addressed the criticism. Having nothing but praise for Dave, whom he described as “a heavy, brilliant thinker,” he didn’t agree with the former “Chappelle’s Show” host though. “So, if that’s the case in Hollywood, then that’s the case. But that’s not my case,” so the 50-yer-old actor/comedian said.

Tyler said it was his choice to wear a dress when making his big-screen debut in 2005’s “Diary of a Mad Black Woman”. “Nobody owned that dress but me. A $2 billion franchise, nobody told me to put it on, nobody makes me put it on. It was all on stage. Black man owned the whole show, it was my choice,” he claimed. “So when I got to Hollywood and wanted to do ‘Diary of a Mad Black Woman’, it was my choice. And 19 movies since then, it’s been my choice,” he stressed.

Responding to the claim that it’s the easy formula to success, the film producer added, “Maybe that’s the way it’s been for some other men who have done that…” While he doesn’t enjoy wearing a dress, Tyler likened it to a uniform.

“I’m not a man that enjoys wearing a dress. For me, as an actor, it’s a costume,” he explained. “If somebody goes to Walmart to work, they put on their uniform. For me, that’s putting on a uniform, going out making people laugh, lifting them up, encouraging them. And the good that it does for so many people…”

Tyler last portrayed Madea in 2019’s “A Madea Family Funeral“, which he has declared as the final installment of the film franchise.

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