I tend to read “GetReligion” for a dose of all things religously conservative and Ankle Biting Pundits for the occassional Pat Hynes moment of religous conservative Zen. So I am surprised that when a movie that was marketed to Religous blacks hits #1 in the country they aren’t anywhere on the issue. and with a respectable 10 million dollars to.
What many folks don’t stress in the Tyler Perry movies is they are religously themed for the black community. They are based on a series of plays which teach moral values that Tyler Perry wrote. Who did I have to hear this was a religously themed film…20/20 was where I had to find this out.
Now I know what you may be thinking…. am I saying that these religous conservative voices don’t care about Black people? If you think that lets dial it back for a moment and look at the type of movies (*for good or for ill*) The Religous Conservative audience focuses on.
They focus on those films that have a controversy. Brokeback Mountain (ummm DUH), The Passion of the Christ (How dare they not like a movie about jesus and claim it is anti-semetic), That movie about the missionaries in ecuador (how dare they cast a homosexual -activist- as a christian missionary)
Now what do the Religous values folks want? They want movies that touch their moral-religous-social values that don’t suck. They want values, but they want it to be entertaining. This is also why they have tried to tame the beast of popular culture. It isn’t so much that they want will and grace to be less gay, its that they want a common bit of cultural currency they can trade with fellow folks that respects their values.
The Tyler Perry movies while aimed for the black audience along the same track as other more religous movies it provides something we can relate to. It brings humor and family friendly entertainment with the message.
So it comes down to it that the Religous Conservatives in a political sense want to channel the rage of an audience, that just want good tv shows and movies that they can share with their heathen neighbors and co-workers. Thats why you won’t see Pat Robertson or Gary Bauer selling Tyler Perrry. Not because they don’t like black folks but because Tyler Perry means they will lose power.
So if you want to banish Pat Robertson from the American landscape… Don’t watch Brokeback Mountain but instead go see Madea’s Family Reunion.