Spike Lee and Tyler Perry, two creative minds whose bodies of work have secured them legions of fans globally, have been depicted as arch enemies over the last few years in the film industry. Both men have uttered unkind statements about the other.
Now Lee, whom many actually point the finger of blame at for igniting the feud between with Perry, has seemingly extended an olive branch, saying during an upcoming “Oprah’s Next Chapter,” hosted by Oprah Winfrey, that the two may work together.
“My criticism of him was just the imagery,” he contends during the interview. “To me, it was just taste. He has a way to see stuff, I see it different. He’s doing a great thing. We’re cool. We got no drama, no friction, and one day we might work together.”
Back in 2009, the alleged feud between the two directors began brewing when Lee made some incendiary comments about Perry’s body of work during the 14th annual Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference. “I think there’s a lot of stuff out today that is coonery and buffoonery,” he said. “I see ads for ‘Meet the Browns’ and ‘House of Payne’ and I’m scratching my head. We’ve got a Black president and we’re going back. The image is troubling and it harkens back to Amos ‘n’ Andy.”
After the “Do The Right Thing” director made his disparaging remarks about the Madea creator, Perry let it stew for a while, then went for the jugular in May 2011 during a California press conference. “I’m so sick of hearing about damn Spike Lee. Spike can go straight to hell! You can print that. I am sick of him talking about me. I am sick of him saying, ‘this is a coon, this is a buffoon.’ I am sick of him talking about Black people going to see movies. This is what he said: ‘You vote by what you see,’ as if Black people don’t know what they want to see.”
During the height of their spet, Perry said that Lee has had diarrhea of the mouth, with unwelcomed criticisms directed at Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey and Clint Eastwood. “Spike needs to shut the hell up!” Perry said at the 2011 press conference.
Two years after his rant, Perry told Oprah that his issue with Lee has to do with their vastly different backgrounds. “We’re very different in the sense that I’m a Southern boy — grew up in Louisiana, spent most of my time in rural Louisiana,” Perry said. “He grew up in New York. His father’s a jazz musician, his mother’s an educator. But of course our stories would be different. It doesn’t mean that one is less important than the other. They’re just different stories.”
Meanwhile, Lee swears that he and Perry are cool and the gang and have no beef with each other. As a matter of fact, Lee claims he even visited Perry’s home telling Oprah, “I know he told you!”