Lil Rel Calls Out Tyler Perry For Writing Shows About Women Without Help From Women: “You Can’t Write A Show Called Sistas And You’re Not A Sista”
While taking part in Deadline‘s New Hollywood podcast with the African-American Film Critics Association alongside recent Oscar winner Matthew A. Cherry of Hair Love, they were asked about giving back to people who are trying to make it in the industry they’ve made it in. Rel shared that he keeps comics he came up with in mind, or even people who work behind the scenes in stuff like hair, for positions on projects. He also mentioned that he helps people pay for their passion projects.
When the topic came up, the star, who is appearing in the new drama The Photograph, brought up Tyler Perry’s name. And though Perry is obviously known for helping those in need, including struggling actors, we know that when it comes to writers for his shows, he feels he is the best, and only, person to do it.
“I love Tyler Perry and I’m proud of him, but I told myself I’m a say something because I don’t agree with that. I don’t understand,” he said. “You can’t write a show called Sistas and you’re not a sista. So you don’t want no suggestions or nothing?”
“I know we talk a good game about ‘This is what I’m doing, I’m doing this, I’m doing that.’ Once again, I’m talking, but I’m putting my money where my mouth is,” he added. “I don’t have what he got yet, but as I climb up here, I’m a do even more of that. We gotta do better man. It’s all talk, but if you’re really on that, then give people jobs, bro. You can’t base nothing on one writers’ room, brother. That means you didn’t hire good writers. Find more writers! That’s just real.”
Back in January, Perry caught some flack for sharing video of all the scripts he’d written for his television series, saying, “I don’t know if you know this but all shows on television have a writers’ room. Most of the time, they’re 10 people, 12, whatever that write on these television shows. Well, I have no writers’ room. Nobody writes any of my work. I write it all. Why am I telling this? I wrote all of these scripts by myself in 2019. What’s my point? Work ethic!”
When people complained that the quality of some of his work showed he didn’t have a writers’ room, and that it could help people to give burgeoning writers the opportunity to showcase their talent on his projects, Perry responded by saying he tried a writers’ room in the past, but his core fans weren’t feeling the results.
“What people don’t know is early on, I had a writers’ room and it was a nightmare for me,” he told Essence. “Not only that but I had writers writing shows [and] they were turning in scripts that didn’t speak to my audience and my ratings took a dip.”
He did budge though, claiming that he was considering employing a writers’ room for upcoming shows.
“As far as me and my shows The Have and the Have Nots, The Oval, Sistas, the comedies, I’m going to write those shows,” he added. “But there are other shows we’re developing at the studio where there will be writers’ rooms with other showrunners and giving other people opportunities to do that.”