I was having a discussion with family about getting to the next level and my struggles with my limited savings to promote books and eBooks when someone told me Tyler Perry had no money but was able to do more with no money.
I took offense to that statement.
Moreover I took even more offense to being compared to Tyler Perry. Tyler Perry doesn’t care about the quality of his work. I do.
Shawn James has had some success as a writer. But while struggles to get to the next level, he refuses to make the shortcuts and compromises Tyler Perry has made to achieve his riches. If the price of American success is degrading Black People and the image of Black people then Shawn James will NEVER be considered successful in America.
Of course Tyler Perry has had great success in White Supremacist AmeriKKKa. He promotes and perpetuates the racist images and stereotypes of Black people that White People are comfortable with. He’s going to be promoted and pushed to the next level because he’s giving White people and brainwashed Black people exactly what they want: Coonery, Coonery, and more Coonery.
Let me explain this to everyone: Shawn James is NOT Tyler Perry.
I refuse to sell Black people out for a fast dollar like Tyler Perry. I love my brothers and sisters too much to throw them under the bus just to get paid.
Since 1991, my mission as a writer, artist and entrepreneur has been to create positive literature that will inspire and uplift brothers and sisters. And over the past 20 plus years I have never strayed from that mission.
Nor do I plan to.
I refuse to sell slop to people and call it entertainment like Tyler Perry. I refuse to rush out a book or a screenplay to readers just to make a fast dollar off them like he does with his movies and his stage plays. I refuse to make money off the backs of Black people and give them absolutely nothing in return that enriches them.
Unlike Tyler Perry, I take pride in my work. If I produce a book, a screenplay or eventually a stage play or a film based on my writing, I’m going to do my best to ensure it meet standards for quality. Yeah, there may be a typo or two in a book I produce, but rest assured, I have made every effort to make sure that product is the best it could be.
While Tyler Perry exploits the desperation of Black people. He knows how starved Black people are for entertainment featuring people that look like themselves. He’s the only game in town with a brand name. He serves slop to the Black masses because he knows they have no standards. He serves slop to the Black masses because there is no one in the Black community with a strong enough brand to challenge him.
Damn, if Shawn had ten million dollars to produce a film. Or four or five million dollars to produce a couple of All About Nikki episodes. He’d give him the run for money that he deserves. Because I believe that Black people deserve better than the garbage they’re currently getting from him.
Tyler Perry could care less about the quality of his films. Ten years and dozens of films and stage plays later he has made next to no effort to improve in his craft as a playwright, a director, or a screenwriter.
While over the past fifteen years Shawn has worked hard to improve his craft as a novelist, screenwriter, and recently his efforts to write nonfiction books.
Shawn listens to his readers when they tell him about spelling and grammar issues. He tries to listen when they tell him about content. And even with his limited budget, he makes efforts to try to make his book covers better and the quality of his writing better.
When they ask him to write about a subject in a blog, he makes an effort to write on the topic.
Unlike Tyler Perry, Shawn isn’t afraid to ask for help. He isn’t afraid to admit he doesn’t know everything. In fact, he’s willing to take the advice of others. He knows that most people who offer advice are just trying to help him get better at what he does.
And he isn’t afraid to admit when he’s wrong. While Tyler Perry refuses to listen to anyone.
And he refuses to change. Which is why his product is becoming stale and declining in quality with each new film or stage play. Has anyone seriously looked at Tyler Perry’s work? Has anyone taken the time to examine it? The man can’t write a coherent story. His dialogue makes NO SENSE. And can the man end a damn story organically?
Nor does Tyler Perry care about the message of his films. He promotes the Black woman as a victim of the abuses of EEEEVIL Black men who need to be saved by a light-skinned Captain-Save-A-Hoe.
Seriously, isn’t that kind of sexist? I mean, isn’t the Black woman strong and independent? Can’t she learn a lesson where she takes responsibility for her actions? Why is it in a Tyler Perry movie does she need some light-skinned a dude to put on a magic cape and some Woody Woodpecker galoshes to save her from a situation SHE put herself in? Why is it she NEVER learns to take responsibility for HER actions? Why is she always a VICTIM?
And seriously, what is the deal with Tyler Perry and rape? Why does he think sex is a horrible thing? Why is it that he always correlates sex with violence? I just find it strange how he correlates Black women with sexual violence instead of sexual pleasure. Is he saying that Black women are sexually unattractive in his own sly way?
*end of rant*
Back to Shawn explaining why he’s NOT Tyler Perry.
In all of Shawn’s stories he promotes Black empowerment, Black leadership and entrepreneurship and personal responsibility. In his stories characters aren’t victims, it’s clearly shown that they make the choices they make and the reasons why they make them.
Moreover, he presents scenarios from an objective perspective. The main reason why I use revolving first-person perspectives is so the reader can draw their own conclusions about the action transpiring in front of them. I want my readers and one of these days my viewers to THINK critically about what they’re watching and what they’re imbibing mentally.
Tyler Perry could care less about what media Black people imbibe as long as he’s making money. Shawn James understands that the books people read, the moves have an impact on their lives.
So I make an effort to make sure there are positive messages and positive themes in his stories. I make an effort to present images of Black people that are balanced and functional. Black men who are leaders and Black women who are supporters. No one is a victim in a Shawn James story; people take responsibility for their actions and make efforts to learn from their mistakes. At the conclusion of the stories I write, we see how characters grow and change as a result of their experiences.
There is no Prince Charming/Captian-Save-A-Hoe/White Knight to save a damsel in distress in a Shawn James story; women stand on their own two feet just like the men. Moreover if there’s a man involved with a woman in a romance, they work together with the man in their lives to overcome the obstacles in front of them and achieve their goals.
I make every effort to show healthy, functional relationships where men and women are shown loving each other and caring for each other. Many who have read my work like A Recipe For $ucce$$ and All About Marilyn praise it for how it’s fair and balanced. How I present an objective view of the action transpiring in the story.
Shawn James is not Tyler Perry. I value my readers and I value my community. I want people to have not only positive images of Black people, but balanced humanized images of Black people. Again, when I present a book, a blog, screenplay or any other form of media to the public, I make every effort to make sure it’s the best quality it can be. I know brothers and sisters work hard for their money. So I work hard to give them the best possible stories I can for that money.