On the surface, mogul Tyler Perry is the epitome of the American Dream. At the beginning of his career, the six-foot six-inch tall man was literally homeless, living out of his car when he wrote morality stage plays starring his alter ego, Madea. Since that humble start, Perry has earned his celebrity with more than 20 films under his belt; an impressive list of acting gigs; several TV shows airing on several networks, and his own studio in Atlanta–the largest of its kind in America. These accolades should be enough to garner the respect and admiration of peers and fans alike, but this is hardly the case for this self-made star.
Reading comments on any of Perry’s media coverage or follow any number of hashtags focusing on Perry or his many projects, it become clear why he is one of the most polarizing people in Hollywood. It amounts to essentially two basic camps: On one hand he focuses the majority of his work to telling black stories his fans love; And on the other, his films and television series tend invoke long-standing stereotypes and poor production values that draw the ire of critics and naysayers alike. Perry has been raked just as much as he’s been celebrated. And it seems these two camps are getting larger as his media footprint continues to grow.