'The Boondocks' (allegedly) take on Tyler Perry: Too far?

Boondocks-kiss-DukesImage Credit: Adult SwimSouth Park‘s decade-plus of brilliantly skewering celebs has made that type of satire de rigueur for adult-oriented animation. But when The Boondocks‘ latest episode featured a sassy, gun-waiving, bump-and-grinding Madea-esque character that ruled stage, film, and TV — and the Jesus-praising male auteur who plays her — it still got folks talking. The “Pause” episode’s Ma Duke character was clearly Madea, and it stands to reason that the Winston Jerome character was Tyler Perry (neither Perry’s office nor Turner Networks would comment on the episode). Jerome’s works were portrayed as poorly written and almost buffoonish and set him up as a closeted, cultish leader, who created his Ma Duke empire as a way to solicit sex with men. In the episode, Huey and Riley’s grandpa gets cast in Jerome’s new play, “Ma Duke Gets a Man.” First he’s asked to kiss Ma Duke on stage, then Jerome asks him straight out for sex.

Even though shows like South Park have taught us that there are no sacred cows, did Boondocks go too far with “Pause”? A satirical take on the kind of work Perry does and the “prosperity Christianity” he seemingly espouses is one thing, but some folks are up in arms because the episode also calls into question his motivation and brings his sexuality into the mix. What do you think, PopWatchers? Is that all fair game? Did you see the episode? Funny, mean, both?

Comments (187 total) Add your comment
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  • wendy23

    No his work is silly. Just watch those terrible TBS sitcoms he produces. As for the “gay ” thing not sure but hey South Park does it with Tom Cruise all the time.

  • pea

    Is the producer of this show White or black?? Just wondering if that’s why people care?

    • RLS

      OMG, you don’t even know the first thing about the project, yet you’re itching for an opportunity to jump into some “blacks are playing the race card!” rant. LOL!

      The creator of The Boondocks is black, Einstein.

      • Jamaaliver

        It’s valid question, RLS. As much as the show focuses on race and negative stereotypes of blacks, the race of the show’s creator is extremely relevant.

        And my name is Jamaal….so you can probably guess what race I am, too.

      • Friggin Tommy Noble


      • Dnice

        actually Jamaaliver dats still kinda off… in that case you case say the writer and voice of Cleveland from the Cleveland show is black when he is the most sqaure white you can be…. the humor is a little off but hey the show is still on…

    • Alicia moore

      Actually I think the original poster was being sarcastic. Everyone knows Aaron is black.

    • BLUE

      It’s tv not the bible made for laughs I thought it was funny. Why is one culture/race ok to poke fun at but not the others…I lmao at the boondocks all the time.

      • Bianka

        First of all i love the boondocks i have watch all season but i also love Tyler Perry shows and movies and i really dnt thnk Aaron was getn at Tyler Perry he jus was makn da boondocks even funny for Tyler Perry he was bein in question about being gay anyway so he dnt need blame dat on boondock and the races remark i wish everybody wuld stop wit dat i am black

    • Curt

      the creator is black and was forced to move to Canada by black folks who were threatening to kill him.

  • randy


    • paige

      lol exactly

    • tim

      My first viewing of ‘Boondocks’ and I’ll be back. It was scathing and brilliant television. Highly recommended.

      • mary q contrary

        If this is your first viewing, I highly suggest you check out almost all of the first season. The best thing that has ever come out of Adult Swim.

      • dontrell

        i love boondocks so much i look at it all day

  • Lolita Hansen

    South Park calls Tom Cruise’s sexuality into question all the time. They even had Kanye West screwing a fish. How is this any different?

    • jmr

      hahaha…fishsticks :)

      • Nuke Dukem

        He’s not blasting his own culture dude.. he’s blasting people who are making a mockery of black culture. Tyler Perry is the black-face comedy of today. Not a white guy with his face painted black.. but pretty much the same kind of humor. Also, he’s totally gay!

  • a black guy

    Aaron McGruder is black. There was nothing wrong with this show at all. As wendy said, South Park does this all the time with Tom Cruise, they dont like him. Mr. McGruber has every right to blast his own culture as he sees it. They same way Matt Stone and Trey Culture blast everyone. Boondocks, like South Park is one of the smartest show out there.

    • a white guy

      Totally agree. Boondocks doesn’t get the numbers that South Park pulls down, but it really is one of the smartest and best-written shows out there, of any kind.

  • nan

    oh give me a break. Even if liked Perry’s stuff I would be fine with this. Why is it ok for South Park but not ‘black’ Boondochs. And I am black. As for his sexuality Perry in his last film which saldy I was dragged to went out of his way to play the anti gay card. Did that bother you? was there a column about it?
    So what they made fun of him get over it

    • Mike

      How did it play the anti-gay card? Didn’t see it so just curious.

    • kwan

      ummmm I seen why did i get marreid too when did he play the anti gay card

  • Adwina Lambert

    no sacred cows…. only black fairies!! tee-hee!

  • CW

    First wow Popwatch it amazes me that you are just now talking about this as it aired Sunday and been a topic for discussion for several days now.

    Anyway The Boondocks didn’t go too far with this episode. It was quite funny but then again I pretty much feel the same way about Tyler Perry’s work. Tyler Perry’s work is simplistic, colorstruck, contradictory and stereotypical. South Park mocks Tom Cruise’s sexuality all them time and rarely gets people all up in arms so The Boondocks isn’t allowed to do the same thing with a Tyler Perry inspired character? I call BS on that one. We still have free speech if Tyler Perry can write “faith based family” movies and plays that always seem to revolve around some downtrodden black woman who needs Christ to find love (which I find insulting as a black woman) then Aaron should be allowed to skewer him and his works in the name of satire. Besides this isn’t the first time Aaron has skewered black male sexuality although the Gansterlicious character was a composite of several rappers and no one got up in arms over those episodes.

    • BC

      I am with you CW, for some reason, most of the black race seem to believe that Mr Perry is off limits. I say BS, the Boondocks have been clowning on people the 3 seasons it’s been on, why now is it that we want to cry foul. Let the brotha start showing our black women in a positive light and I will respect his butt more. “No Homo”…lol..

    • A Black Guy

      I strongly respect your thought as it was well put and possessed valid and logical reasoning. But McGruder didn’t only criticize Perry’s work and creativity quality; he went all out with attacking Perry. From watching that episode, you’d think that McGruder and Tyler had bad blood. You’re saying that JUST because Perry’s works “suck” and are “insulting”, which is only an opinion, by the way, gives McGruder the right, as a critic, to poke fun at Perry’s sexuality, work ethic, and ultimately his dedication to his stage/screen plays? No.. That’s wrong. Sadly, because I support McGruder and his messages, for the most part. This is obviously one of the excluded messages.

  • breakyo’selffoo

    It is SO obvious Tyler Perry IS a closet case homosexual to anyone who has ever associated with or have known “straight acting” DL men. Ive seen a great share of his films and the way he writes them is like a Black woman trapped inside a Black gay man. Just listen to him speak in an interview and anyone with a gaydar pulse immediately “gets” who he is. So the fact that Boondocks picked up on it is NOT SHOCKING!!!

  • Stinkmeaner

    As a loyal fan of the Boondocks I can tell you that they went even harder on BET. If you have the season 2 DVDs you will see the unaired episodes. So this is nothing new for them. The creative force behind the show always holds a mirror up to society and shows them what they really are. Tyler Perry does make terrible movies that enforce age old stereotypes. That is a fact. He shucks and jives in Mrs. Doubtfire rental, he always makes the man the villain and the sheep eat it up. It is about time someone besides Spike Lee had the balls to speak on it. Now the problem with this article is that the Boondocks, a Peabody award winning critically acclaimed, commercially successful show can only get shine on EW when they pull something like this. That is sad. Finally, if South Park (a brilliant show in its own right) did something like this no articles would be talking about them “going to far”, why? It is simple, white people write South Park and a black man wrote this episode. It is a total double standard. Shame on you Abby West and EW. It is complete bullsh*t.

    • hc

      Alright, chill dude. I think if you calculated the average no. of articles written per season South Park would still come out on top of Boondocks so…no need to lament the poor white man and the inequality he faces. Especially since one show gets a prime spot on Comedy Central and another airs at 11:30 Sunday nights on the Cartoon Network – that seems a little unfair. And EW did cover the whole Muhammad/South Park controversy, but for the most part it’s not really news that South Park mocks celebrities – they do it all the time. This time was only an exception because people threatened to kill them.

    • anna

      You’re wrong. There was a Boondocksarticle on EW.com when the new season started just a month ago.

    • kaje

      actually EW has consistently praised Boondocks in it’s magazine and online and has opened up similar conversations about South Park. Popwatch daily discusses what’s going on in entertainment and allows readers to chime in. If you haven’t noticed, it is summer and nothings going on in television. Get off your soapbox. Shame on you for not having your information straight before you blast someone.

    • mary q contrary

      Chill out, Colonel. They’re just recycling in this case, and I’m guessing feeling a little stale for missing the boat (i.e. the fact that everyone was discussing this earlier in the week). This is a non-issue at this point, and nobody here is being racist, anyway.

    • kwan

      why do people say TP makes stereotypical characters and don’t say the same for people like aaron mcgruder and spike lee if anything all 3 of these men are forcing you to see what’s in your community EVERY STEREOTYPE HAS SOME TRUTH TO IT don’t sit there and say you have never met a Madea or a Mr.Brown…we have drug dealers preostitutes bad mothers etc. just like any other culture TP and Mcgruder show’s you there are wyas out of certain lifetsyle’s. I don’t like south park but they get the same amount of complaint’s from people and controversy a BD maybe even more b/c they’ve been out longer no body was being racist

      • Roye

        I am black and I have never met a Madea or a Mr. Brown

      • Spec

        I am also black and lived in predominantly black neiighborhoods (middle to working class) all my life. And for all the fat, black old people I know, I have NEVER met a Madea or Mr. Brown.

        Whatever, I don’t even mind the stereotypes as long as you’re funny…which neither Mr. McGruder or Mr. Perry are. Sorry!

      • paul M

        I have met the madea and mr brown types. just cause you havent met any one out there like tht don mean that there not there. the reason why people are complaining about this is not because he is only balack is because he is also a christian. Most of his audience are christian. Madea is a role he plays. No has ever called jamie foxx gay for wanda or martin gay for shanae nae or big mama or the dude from ms doubt fire or juwanna mann. and i think if i offered you 1 million dollars to put on a dress and do a role in a movie every body here would be the first in line

  • Ed

    The Boondocks has done this before, remember Gangstalicious? Does that mean that McGruder thinks that rappers are gay? Or is going after the ultra-macho persona of Rappers and trying to show that they are using that persona to hide something?

    I was thinking about this and none of the main characters on the Boondocks is female, Grandpa, Huey, and Riley. Of the secondary characters they are male as well, Tom, A Pimp Name Slickback and Uncle Ruckus (no relation). So if Aaron was trying to say that Tyler Perry via the Winston Jerome character has ulterior motives for making his shows other then Jesus like for sex he wouldn’t be able to have any of the main characters or secondary character be the center of the episode so it does force him to make it gay sex if we wants to include his main character.

    Also it is a little strange to have a grown man play a female character, and often time drag queens are gay. So a lot of these elements fall together rather easily without stretching the premise.

    So you have these characters that have to hide aspects of who they are like the fact that they are gay and they cover it up in such extreme ways, like being a Gangster Rapper, or being a Drag Queen for Jesus. I think in a lot of ways it speaks to the fears and the homophobia in Rap Music and Religious Communities.

  • Strepsi

    Hypocrisy should ALWAYS be a topic of comedy.

    Regardless of Perry’s personal sexuality, acting in drag while making homophobic movies SHOULD make him a target.

    • Dede

      Amen! The first time I saw Tyler Perry on TV, even without the Madea costume, my GAYDAR lit up like the Fourth Of July. Nothing needs viscious satire directed at it more than the hypocrisy of self-hating gays. Just because you don’t feel comfortable being out, doesn’t mean you have the right to tell others that how the live and love is wrong.

      • kwan

        when did TP say he hates gay’s I’m just saying and when did he tell you how to live your life………WELL ALL IS FAIR IN TV’S AND SATIRE lol

  • Dysthymia83

    As long as the satire is justified, there’s no such thing as too far. Here, it clearly is justified as Perry is a hack.

  • jfms777

    Doesn’t everyone assume Perry is gay?
    Hell–he hangs with Oprah. That speaks for itself. What’s the big deal? Get over it.

  • John

    I have never begrudged Tyler Perry’s success but you get that famous you know you are going to be a target.

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