When Tyler Perry shared he is the sole writer of many of his TV shows, including Sistas, many people were concerned and upset about a Black man writing about the experiences of Black women…authentically.
Recently comedian and actor Lil Rel Howery even questioned Perry writing a show about young Black women saying, “You can’t write a show called ‘Sistas’ and you’re not a sista. So you don’t want no suggestions or nothing?”
ESSENCE caught up with the cast of Tyler Perry’s Sistas on the red carpet at the 51st NAACP Image Awards. We asked them how they felt about the show being written by a Black man and if they felt their portrayals were compromised because of that.
“We have a director/executive producer/creator who loves women,” said Mignon, who plays the spitfire character, Danni. “If you’ve ever taken the time to listen to one of his interviews, you that his number one inspiration is his mother.”
In fact, in interview with ESSENCE, Perry shared how he feels about the Black women characters he creates—even though there are many critiques of them. He said, “What I realized years ago is that I was speaking to my mother subconsciously through all my writing.”
Perry continued: “I’m very very proud of the women that I write. I grew up in the household at the hip of my mother and my two sisters. I watched them go through so much stuff, in relationships, so many things that men did to them, that I gained a tremendous sympathy, especially for Black women.”
Back at the Image Awards red carpet, Mignon continued showing her support for Perry. “I think critics who criticize him and his writing, I think… I’m just going to be honest with you. I think there is a culture of hateration. There’s a culture of being critical and I think there’s a reason for that. So many of us aren’t following our dreams. It’s so easy to not be in the ring and be on the sidelines and critique.”
Check out the video above for the full response.