Entertainment Industry

« Previous | Company Town Home | Next »

Turner Broadcasting tries to make peace with Tyler Perry


Turner Broadcasting is trying to avoid a house of pain with producer Tyler Perry.

Perry, who has two shows on Turner's TBS cable channel ("House of Payne" and "Meet the Browns") was furious about a recent episode of the animated series "The Boondocks" that ran on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim programming block. Cartoon Network also is owned by Turner Broadcasting.

PERRYThe episode in question -- "Pause" -- which first ran June 20, lampooned Perry, the creator of several hit movies, some of whom star him as Madea, an eccentric grandmother whose antics often land her in hot water. The show, which is executive produced by Aaron McGruder, who also created the now-defunct comic strip of the same name, featured a thinly veiled version of Perry named Winston Jerome. In the episode, Jerome is shown to be a closeted cross-dresser who uses religion to hide his lifestyle.

Soon after the episode aired, Perry got in touch with executives at Turner including entertainment chief Steve Koonin and Phil Kent, the chief executive of Turner Broadcasting. Perry complained loudly about the episode and even threatened to rethink his relationship with the company, people familiar with the situation said. A spokesman for Perry declined to comment.

Kent, who is a low-key executive but also a former talent agent, put his skills to work and acknowledged to Perry that the actor-producer should have been given a warning about the episode. The show, which has aired twice, is not scheduled to air again on Cartoon Network, although the company would not say if it has been banned from the channel.

KENTSenior executives at Turner knew the episode had the potential to cause headaches when the script for it first came in more than a year ago, people close to the show said. McGruder had wanted the show to be the season premiere, but instead "Pause" was moved (some say buried) further into the season.

In the original script, McGruder did not make much of an effort to alter the identity of the subject of his scorn; he had to be told to change the name of the character so it wouldn't so closely resemble Perry's. He came back with a name that was a play on Perry's legal name, but that didn't fly either. And, hence, Winston Jerome was born.

The debacle over this episode of "The Boondocks" probably won't do much to ease already tense relations between Cartoon Network's Adult Swim and TBS. Both channels compete for the same young male demographic, which often has led to spats over turf. For example, repeats of "Family Guy" that were strong performers on Adult Swim ended up on TBS too, much to the chagrin of Adult Swim. Also, while much of Turner Broadcasting is excited about having landed Conan O'Brien as host of a late-night show, the folks at Adult Swim are worried that its ratings could be hurt by the show.

-- Joe Flint

Photos: Top, a scene from "The Boondocks" featuring a parody of Tyler Perry's work. Credit: Cartoon Network. Middle right: Tyler Perry. Credit: Frantzesco Kangaris/Getty Images. Bottom left: Turner Broadcasting Chief Executive Phil Kent. Credit: Time Warner

Comments () | Archives (21)

Tyler Perry just leave it alone. You have a right to write, produce, and publish what you want and so do they. Albeit was a little distastful but it was still funny... Boondocks funny not Mudear funny. So, keep doing what you do. All yall there to make money. And i aint gone none of it, so be grateful and keep doing each other ,"pause" no homo. I mean keep doing you. sorry couldn't help it.

I think it would be great if Perry re-thought his relationship with Turner. His shows are awful and would be best taken off the air.

Turner should be the one rethinking.

Wait up. You're saying that Tyler Perry got his panties in a wad because he was "outed" by "The Boondocks"?! He's upset because the truth got told and he wasn't there to obfuscate? Poor baby.

Tyler knows nothing about branding.. He's learning as he goes along. Thats what happens when you sellout to make millions. Boondocks do what they do and so does Tyler. Tyler man up and go spend your money, shutup and continue to continue to charge broadway ticket prices to the same community that made you popular.. Free cars for Gail and Oprah but $100+ ticket prices for the poor little ole ladies in my church who made Madea a hit.

Geez, why give McGruder the satisfaction?

The Boondocks come across more than a soapbox tirade than a genuinely funny, entertaining show.

Well, well, well. This is the land of free speech, isn't it; wake up Tyler because you do not have the monopoly on creative writing. You portray black women in a poor light anyways, as gun totters and abusive language.

Out of all the well qualified full-figured women in the entertainment sector, why is it necessary for Tyler to cross-dress as a woman? Which is a contradiction to the scriptures (using religion as a smoke screen in his plays and movies). So he should not be offended about boondocks episode; it is a land of free expression and speech. Grow up Tyler.

This just in: Thin-skinned egomaniac outraged at being portrayed as thin-skinned egomaniac!

Tyler's being a big baby bully...boondocks is truth better left unsaid said.

Dear Tyler Perry,

The truth hurts don't it!?! EXPOSED!!!!

Tyler Perry needs to come out the closet. He knows the entire episode was true. That's why his panties are in a bunch.

wow what idiot wrote this artical?
do you not know both channels are owned by warner? atleast google or something bro.
this is just sad.

Froste, I think you're the idiot, the writer mentions it in the nutgraph (second paragraph). Learn to pay attention before you go on criticizing writers.

I've tried to watched Tyler's shows, but I've yet to find them funny. I have, however, laughed at a few Boondocks episodes. TBS should be the one rethinking the association with Perry.

What's the big deal. Tyler makes fun of lot of people in his plays movies and series. In Madea goes to jail he made fund of Jermaine Dupree. He has used the Color Purple (Miss Celie) Whitney Houston Michael Jackson R Kelley just to name a few. What makes him off limits to people joking about him. It is all part of comedy. He is just a little to sensitive. If Boondocks cannot air that episode again then Tyler should not be able to make fun of anyone else in any of his shows.

There is no vanity in comedy. Get over it, put your wigs, body suit, and makeup on, and get to work.

UGH! Ok, so let me get this straight. TP is allowed to portray women as stupid, co-dependant, over zealous, religious idiots. But the Boodocks is not allowed to express their opinion on Tyler Perry's ignorance. Whatever happened to FREE SPEECH.!?!?!?!? You don't have to like what is being said but you cannot deny anyone's right to say it.
What is wrong w TBS!?!?!?!?

I have seen this episode maybe 5 times and it's really harsh, inflamatory, mean spirited, and just about the funniest piece of cartoon comedy I have seen. Tyler Perry should not worry get mad or feel insulted as any display of those emotions will give some validity to what was displayed. He should continue business as usual. Did Ronald Raegan throw a fit when richard pryor came out in drag and portrayed him as such? This episode did make me a fan of the Boondocks, however I will continue to support Mr. Perry's works as well.

I believe that the Boondocks need to be taken off the air and Turner need to understand who is the king of Wednesday nights. Tyler has brought money and major attention to TBS. What has the Boondocks brought but controversery and confrontation.

hello mr. tyler perry

hello tyler perry my name is charmayne charley and i'm a 24 year old native american that always loved your movies and shows. i'm a big fan of your play writes and i watch them all that time, sometimes i've even react to some of the actor and actress that play in your shows or movies. i love how you play that madea and uncle joe characters, i've always wanted to been an actress myself.i like have most of your movies and and i watch them all the time.


Recommended on Facebook

In Case You Missed It...

Photos: L.A.’s busiest filming sites