Tyler Perry says Spike Lee’s past criticisms “stung” him the most: “I had so much respect and admiration for him”

Tyler Perry is thankful to have mended fences with his fellow filmmaker Spike Lee, who at one time called his work “buffoonery.” 

In an interview with Variety, Perry says that Lee’s comments really struck a sensitive nerve with him.

“If any criticisms stung, it would have been his, because I had so much respect and admiration for him,” he says.

“People’s opinions are their opinions, but that doesn’t negate the fact of the work that he’s done. And he’s due the honor of having a stage named after him and more than that,” Perry continues, referring to one of his 12 Atlanta soundstages that carries Lee’s name.

Perry says his reconciliation with Lee ultimately came after the Oscar winner saw his interview with Oprah where he talked about the legendary spat between writers Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston. During that argument, Hughes referred to Hurston as “a perfect darkie.”

Perry says that interview created the perfect opportunity for Lee to come to Atlanta and officially squash their beef.

“I opened the door. I said, ‘Come in here, so I can beat your [butt],’” Perry recalls, laughing. “And [Lee] said, ‘Fair enough.’”

“And we sat and we had a conversation,” Perry says. “He laid out his views and his opinions, which I respected. And he heard mine, and he respected them. So we can both exist in the same world with very different views and opinions and still respect each other.”

By Candice Williams
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