Amidst all of the chaos around the world regarding racial tension among Americans, black filmmakers, who’ve been known to open opportunities for black actors, have made a shift in their casting and creation.
A few months ago, Lee Daniels, best known for his hit show Empire, created a new series with a white lead actress, claiming the country needed to heal.
Now, Tyler Perry, best known for his films for black families, has gone a different route with an all-white staring cast for his new TLC drama series, “Too Close to Home.”
Both creators received backlash for their shift in production. Perry rejected the criticism, calling out the critics for “reverse racism.”
“That’s totally reverse racism, because it was coming from African-American people,” Perry said of the backlash, which was mostly on social media.
“I don’t know if it was because I should only be giving jobs to black people. Well, I think that’s ridiculous. If you look at the hundreds of black people I’ve given jobs to and even the ones I’ve made millionaires, people of color, I just think it’s unfair.”
“I’m just finding out more as I travel the country and world, the more I meet people, we’re all the same,” he told the Associated Press. “We all got the same dramas. So I’m not seeing color as much as I did anymore in the sense of our stories. Our stories are so similar.”
The series, set to return to TLC on January 4, follows a young woman named Anna who leaves Washington, D.C., after a scandal and returns to a trailer park community in her hometown.
“I know that world very well,” Perry said, reflecting on his own experiences of once living in a trailer park community. “The same stories I’m relating to and telling, it could be anyone black or white. I’m not trying to shine a light on a certain stereotype or certain people in a trailer park. It’s my own experiences from having spent time and sleeping there.”