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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Tyler Perry is getting sued again…Don’t you Negroes Know How the Entertainment Business Runs?

I have no love for Tyler Perry. Personally, I believe his movies are pure coonery. But I have even less love for shiftless Negroes who want to make a fast dollar on the success of others.

On the heels of Tyler Perry’s Success of the Movie Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor comes a brand new lawsuit from a second person alleging that Tyler Perry stole their story. This one is being filed by William James (no relation) who says that Tyler Perry stole the script to his play Lover’s Kill written in 2009.

Only Tyler Perry’s stage play the Marriage Counselor was first produced in 2008. And I bought the DVD to that wretched mess for my sister as a gift from Amazon in 2009. So that means the final draft was written probably around oh, 2007. A good lawyer will ask William James to produce a WGA certificate or a U.S. copyright certificate with a date on it before 2007.

Someone is adding two and two together and coming up with five. Sounds like Mr. James (no relation) is trying to catch a case in the hopes Tyler Perry’s people will break him off a nice little settlement to squash his bogus lawsuit. Hustling the legal system for some small change.

This is the second person to come out and say Tyler Perry stole material from them. The first author T’lo Redness wanted to say that Tyler Perry stole the idea for the movie Good Deeds from her self-published book Bad Apples Can be Good Fruit. She’s suing for a whopping $225,000.

If she only knew that screenwriters are usually paid three to five percent of the production budget on a film that’s greenlit.

Now according to Mr. James (again, no relation) he says he gave his script for Lover’s Kill to an associate of Oprah Winfrey who knows Tyler Perry. And that’s how he alleges Tyler Perry stole his script.

Good Gravy.

Let me get this straight: He gives his script to a dude who alleges he is an associate of Oprah Winfrey who knows Tyler Perry and the assumption is that he’ll read the script. I thought this kind of story only happened in the movies.

William James may have well taken his script and thrown it in the trash. Because that’s not how the business works in real life.

I’ve been in the publishing business for over twenty years and in screenwriting for over seven years. And screenplays are not submitted by you giving them to an associate of a famous person who knows whatever big name producer.

Here’s a fact for all you aspiring screenwriters out there: Producers like Tyler Perry don’t read unsolicited material. Their lawyers won’t let them touch it. Why? Because it leads to lawsuits like this one.

Most screenwriters don’t send scripts to production company like Tyler Perry’s. Why? Because it’s considered unprofessional. Usually when people send scripts unsolicited to a production company they wind up either returned to sender unread, or they wind up being put in the trash.

Chances are Tyler Perry never even touched William James’ script. Most material sent to production companies goes through a business office where it’s screened for lightning rods like unsolicited screenplays, books like the one T’Lo Redness alleges she gave him or other materials people think will make a “great” film.

Associates of people like the one William James ran into usually have to go through this business office to submit their scripts. Where they’re stopped cold by an assistant who takes those unsolicited scripts and dumps them in the trash once they leave.

Scripts get into the hands of producers one of two ways:

Through an agent,

Or by a production company contacting a writer directly. Usually this doesn’t happen unless a writer has a million sales on a book or a producer or director requests them specifically.

When it comes to screenplays, it’s not who you know, but how you know to follow protocol. When representatives of the production company contact a writer directly about their script, they usually send them a signed written release absolving the production company of all liability. This release has to be signed and sent back with a copy of the script. Without this release, a production company will not read a script.

Writers usually make a copy of the release and keep it for their files. And then after they file that release away, they wait as the long process of rejection begins. It takes a lot of no to get to yes in the world of screenwriting. That’s why writers like myself don’t quit our day jobs. There are no shortcuts in the film and TV business, and the road to success in the entertainment business is slow. Very slow. It often takes years for a project to get greenlit and approved for production. Again, that’s why writers like myself don’t quit our day jobs.

Instead of suing Tyler Perry for a little bit of change Brothers and sisters like T’lo Redness and William James need to learn how the entertainment business works. When Black people get involved in frivolous lawsuits like this one, all it does is make Black people look like we’re a bunch of shiftless, lazy incompetent coons scavenging the bottom of the barrel for some change. Stop running ghetto hustles like catching cases for dollars because it doesn’t make sense.


  1. That's why you aint thit, and your not a good writer, that's why your writing all this bull, get your facts straight before you comment on somebody elses business, you are a poor excuse for a man, and once more, if I were you I would learn how to write, that's why people don't want your work because its shit, and I think he knows how the business goes they used his script didn't they, so mine your business dumm ass,so you just keep kissing Tyler Perry ass, and go clean your nose, get that shit off your of it, with you broke ass, they let anybody put up a web page.

    1. I don't agree with the comments about Tyler Perry; but Shawn James is actually defending Tyler Perry. On the other hand, how in the world can you criticize his writing (which is good) while your post is full of grammatical errors EVERYWHERE!
      Classic example of "the pot calling the kettle black"!

  2. This little comment shows you how jealous someone is.

    You present facts to a coon and they come at you with insults. It's because they can't refute the argument. And from this statement, they lack the brain cells to write a coherent sentence. When you use profanity as a noun, a verb, an adverb, a pronoun and an adjective it's a sign you are IGNANT.

    This man's script was NEVER stolen.
    How can he prove Tyler Perry read it if he has no rejection letters or a signed, written release? These are documents that a person who has submitted a script somewhere would have in their possession to reinforce their case?

    I've been in this business long enough to know to NEVER give anyone a script without a signed, written release. It's my record stating that they read my script. Unsolicited scripts either wind up in the TRASH or returned to the sender unread. This has been the policy for the past 50 years. People in the entertainment business are paranoid and afraid of getting sued. So they do almost everything through their agents and their lawyers.

    Did this coon not read the part where I said I have no love for Tyler Perry? How am I kissing his ass?

    Some of you Negroes are just savages. I have to wonder how you manage to get the brain cells to even understand how to breathe.

  3. I do have to wonder if this is Halle Berry trolling my page or her man Oliver Martinez. Ever since I wrote about her and her two different baby daddies I've been having issues with trolls.

  4. Keep it coming brother you have my support all the many blacks are so brainwash by the white control media,if slavery were to be present again many blacks wouldn't even know what hit people today are very lost and stupid,it's sad how bad we hate each other so much and keep thinking these non-blacks are our friends when fact is these people want to see all of us dead. Black people wake up we are on own worst ememy let's try to be smart about society and for once let's try to get along with each other.

  5. Now let me say this, you don't have my support, we are not brain wash, I don't care if you don't have no love for Tyler Perry, the way you talk about your own people is a shame, if I wanted to learn, I wouldn't want to learn from you, and just maybe your not a good writer, and they do take your scripts, see people are greedy it don't matter if your black or white, money is green, see the way you talk about William, its a shame, I believe he's just trying to get there just like everybody else, instead of talking about him maybe you should help him so it won't happen again, lets lift up each other in the name of Jesus, and stop talking about each other like they don't have feeling, now if you can start lifting up people maybe instead of tearing them down, God will bless you, talking bad about people won't get you veiws only haters, so keep writing on your blog, and start saying good things about people, do you know William James, because if you knew him you wouldn't talk about him like that, because I know him, he is a God fearing man, and from what I can see he will help anybody he can, and he's a very good writer,God has bless him with the gift of writing, look up the court papers yourself, because its out there I've seen them. if you knew him you would want to be part of his family, and how do you know your not, you have the same last name, and I know Tyler stole his script, because I believe him.

  6. Good Gravy.
    From the incoherent sentence structure I can tell I'm probably dealing with a female. Because this mess of words is just pure emotion.

    If they read this blog they'd see how i'm trying to help everyone. The information I posted in between the lines about William James' case detail what to do when submitting a script to production companies things like:

    1. Registering your work with the U.S. Copyright office.

    2. Getting an Agent so you have legal representation when dealing with these production companies. Querying agents will save you lots of time and money. If Mr. James had submitted a query letter to a contact in Tyler Perry's production company (proper protocol) , he wouldn't be in this lawsuit right now. Because they'd have to send back that SIGNED WRITTEN RELEASE BEFORE HE SUBMITTED A SCRIPT TO THEM.

    3. Not submitting anything without a signed, written release.

    William James being a "good man" has nothing to do with following procedure and protocol. I learned all about submitting scripts to publishers and production companies way back in 1997 by doing research in the library and online, and I do my best to teach other writers about the right way to submit so they don't waste their time and money.

    You don't submit unsolicited material to a "dude" who SAYS he is an associate of Oprah Winfrey to give to Tyler Perry. That's not standard business procedure.

    Without a copyright certificate, and signed, written release you have NO PROOF to take to court to even say WHO READ ANYTHING OR IF THEY EVEN GOT IT.

    Here's the deal: No one wants to steal William's script. Prodcos like publishing houses get sent 50-100 of them EVERY DAY, not to mention the thousands of query letters they get every week from everyone from grandma to rookie writers looking for a break. It's a TRILLION TO ONE SHOT anything gets read; most of it gets RETURNED TO SENDER unless an agent submits it.

    It costs money and countless hours to raise the $25-$30 million needed to finance production of a movie. Some movies don't get greenlit for YEARS after the script is written.

    If anything it's cheaper to just pay $30,000 for an option to buy your script in anticipation of getting financing for that film, then pay you the remainder on getting the greenlight. Pay for a screenplay is 3 to 5 percent of the production budget.

    Or they could just buy the script for a flat fee. Stealing it isn't worth the lawsuits and the headaches.

    The point of this blog isn't about my writing, or whether it's good or bad. It was always about teaching readers about proper procedures for submitting material to a production company.

    The entertainment business is a shark tank full of predators. So a smart writer comes armed with legal tools to defend themselves.

    Now you can come here with shaming language but God knows that I'm doing things to help Black people. He understands that there are NO SHORT CUTS and you have to WORK HARD to get anywhere. I know the business and I know how the business works. God can't bless you if you come through a side door.

    Talk bad about me and my work all you want, it's not going to help Mr. James with his credibility issues in court. There he looks like a dude looking for an out-of-court settlement.

    1. I do agree with you, Shawn. Although, please do not place an entire gender under one individuals way of expression.
      I do want to thank you for informing people of the correct and incorrect way of submitting a piece of work. It's good to know that there is someone looking out for aspiring writers.

      Managing to get a story or manuscript published is hard enough on top of the work that was/is poured into it from the writer.

      Tyler Perry is a writer himself. I don't believe he would take anothers work. Especially with the potential that it could have happened to him.

  7. I'm glad they don't steal, right, I looked up the court papers he has copyrights, he gave his script to Harpo Studios, and they will steal your work.

  8. Harpo Studios and Tyler Perry Studios are TWO DIFFERENT PRODUCTION COMPANIES. There is no PROOF that Tyler Perry or any of his associates READ THIS SCRIPT. He submitted the script to a dude at Harpo Studios in Chicago, not Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta. Again, He should have gotten an agent or an entertainment lawyer to represent him BEFORE submitting ANYTHING to anyone.

    Without a SIGNED WRITTEN RELEASE, there is NO PROOF he or his associates TOUCHED that script. In court the bases are pretty much COVERED. He doesn't have a legal leg to stand on.

    You can't refute the argument. Nor can you dispute it.

  9. Moreover, the date for the copyright on the script would have to be before 2007 to be a valid argument. The Marriage counselor was first produced in 2008.

    He says he submitted "Lover's Kill" in 2009. Two years AFTER Marriage counselor was written. Dude doesn't have a leg to stand on in court.

  10. If you seen the movie, then you know its nothing like the play, I have read his script and its just like the movie, and everybody know Tyler is Oprah's boy and they are very good friends, all you hear about is Oprah and Tyler, he may have his own studio but he but works, Oprah's is signing his checks now. listen I know your not that native, everything Oprah gets in move she gives it to Tyler. I know I use to work there.

  11. And if you know the court of law, in federal court, all you have to prove he had access, you don't have to prove he read the script.

  12. Even tho he did, if you can just pull your head from under water for just one minute, and look around then you will know that people do things for a lot of diffrent reasons, I think he's going to win, he has the proof, I'm trying to turn you on to something, they are making plans to settle. just like they did with the Good Deeds case, they settled.


  13. You can't prove access. No Jury is going to buy that he gave it to him to give to Tyler Perry. It's two different production companies. That's a fact that's going to destroy his case.

    You may have used to work there, but the legal protocol wasn't followed. That's what's going to matter in a court of law. Now who you know, but how the business protocol was followed.

    I'll also point out he says Lover's kill was a NOVEL. How can he adapt a script from a NOVEL that was published two years after the play he says it's based on was published?

    Without the paper trail to prove direct contact he has NO CASE. He needs documentation like a written release with a signature on it from someone in Oprah's employment to prove they had that access. I gave it to a dude is not access. It's hearsay at best.

    All my TV scripts for all About Nikki are registered with the U.S. Copyright office. My feature script All About Marilyn is also registered with the Writer's guild of America. And this is BEFORE I self-published them. When I submitted scripts to screenplay contests and had to check a box to prove I was releasing them of liability so I could have a record that I submitted to them. In addition I had a receipt saying that I submitted to them. A paper trail I keep filed to this day. Even though There's an All About Marilyn and All About Nikki book in print.

    The lesson to learn here is to NEVER submit a script without a registered copyright. And to NEVER pitch an idea to a prodco without a registered copyright or a SIGNED WRITTEN RELEASE.

  14. Again, all you have to prove he had access and they can prove that, trust me, I told you I know the case, go back and look at the play, it has nothing to do with the movie, keep your ears and eyes open, I am the person who gave it to Oprah and Tyler, I put the script in their hands, now tell me onces more how he can't prove.

  15. Oh tell me again what T.V show or movie is yours so I can watch it.

  16. No signed written release means there's no paper trail. You need that signed written release to prove that Tyler Perry Studios got the script and read it.

    You going to court and saying you gave it to them means nothing. It's your word against two celebrities. People give celebrities a benefit of a doubt. When it comes to a jury, you just can't win.

    Have you read twitter and facebook? Madame Noire? AOL BlackVoices? Dude has NO credibility with a civil jury. He comes across like a hustler looking to get a case for some settlement cash.

    I never published my screenplays to get produced. I was looking for feedback. And I got lots of positive feedback from readers all over the world.

    I published them in print and in eBook so kids could learn how to write screenplays and teleplays. On that front I've sold thousands of scripts in digital format on Kindle and Nook and are selling with audiences all over the world.

    That's something I can take to a producer when I pitch stating I have an established audience if I wanted to. Plus I have an established paper trail such as registered copyrights, and receipts from royalty sales from retail stating that the scripts were mine. Learn how the business works!

  17. Well I hope he win, and you really can't say what the courts will say, with his past, he get sued at least 5 time a year for the last 5 years, and he paid them all off but one, he is known for stealing, that's cause for them to here the case alone.

  18. So Anonymous goes from believing him to handing the script personally to Oprah and Tyler. You must be a big agent or a big personal assistant that would be entitled to a referral fee. If the argument sounds shaky, it doesn't matter how passionate you get about the situation. Funny how Mr. James is suing for the movie (worth more money) and not the play it was adapted from.

    Alot of his movies adapted from his plays are not exactly alike. Movies have more varying scenes and plays are more intimate.

  19. Its funny how men will fall for anything, God said the truth is the light, it will come clean in the wash. and like I said before, watch the play, its nothing like the movie, his record is bad, because he have stolen almost everything thing he claim he wrote. Everything that looks good don't always come from God

  20. Good Gravy, more shaming language.
    God has nothing to do with this.

    Greg makes a good point, it's funny how he's suing for the movie and not the play it was adapted from. You'd think he'd be going for all those royalties from that point on. He'd be entitled to all those roylaties from The Marriage Counselor, as awful a play as it was.

    And adaptations work like this: They can use some of the material or NONE of the material. They can change the cinematic version to meet the director's vision. There have been movies based on books that are nothing like the book.

    Sometimes a prodco will just buy the rights to somethiing for the name. Like when they bought the rights to an article about nightlife for the movie Saturday Night Fever.

    But in the case of this script it's so generic, it's hard to say Tyler Perry stole it. The story in Temptation isn't distinct. There's no distinct dialogue patterns like in a Tarentino or Spike Lee movie, It's a story that's been done in a dozen movies like The English Patient.

    Funny how you the person who is a key witness in the case is arguing with a blogger when the entirety of this comments section can be admitted in court as evidence.

    If Tyler Perry has paid off five people that reinforces my argument about William James looking to catch a case. Most guys looking to catch a case will take a settlement for some easy money. Enough to blow on some rims, tires, Air Jordan Tennis shoes, 40 ounces Black & Milds, KFC, and a pound of chip-chop ham Then be broke in a few months.

    And I'll point out if Tyler Perry stole every story he produced he must not have stolen much. Almost all of his movies with the exception of The Family That Preys have the exact same story. And all of them are terrible.

  21. There's a difference between "talking about your own people" and "telling the truth." Many find the truth insulting because it's what we don't want to hear.

    I don't mind Tyler Perry. He's been an inspiration to me more than once and his words are encouraging. Do I wish he'd produce other movies beyond Madea? Sure. But that's his forte. I won't knock him for it because I've enjoyed many of his plays and some movies(they're 'family gathering'-flicks when we all need a hearty good laugh).

    I find myself happily in the middle of the two extremes. There's the zealous, Perry purists and then there's the one's who believe he's out to destroy the entire race (or something like that). I can acknowledge his accomplishments and mistakes at the same time. No one is perfect.

  22. Is Perry out to destroy the Black Race? I don't think it's that extreme.

    But like many brothers he doesn't understand what it is to be laughed with or laughed at. He's hearing the laughter and doesn't know he's being laughed at.

    So many Black people want fame that they're willing to sacrifice their dignity and self-respect to get it. And I believe Tyler Perry is one of those people to do that.

    Do I hate the brotha? No. I just hate how he plays to the lowest common denominator and represents Black people in modern day minstrel shows.

    I write comedy. And when I do I try to make it so everyone can laugh with me. There's no need for people to be presented acting so ignorantly for a laugh. I can still write jokes that allow Black people to maintain their dignity and self-respect.


  24. Dear Mr. James, I appreciate your blog. I stumbled upon it while searching information about submission of original material. Since November 21, 2013, I have unsuccessfully attempted to upload an amateur film to Essence Magazine Black Women in Hollywood Short Film Contest. However, the link has a snitch. The deadline is December 5th and each attempt to contact Essence Representatives directly or via Twitter to inquire about the upload snitch proves fruitless. I am very proud of the film attempt(filmed in South Italy). I thought about express forwarding a key with a letter to Essence Magazine. Then I read your advice about how material simply gets trashed so I quickly squashed that idea. I also have loads of unpublished material. I am utilizing a Calalloo Press venture that seems promising. Do you have more suggestions Sir? Thank you sincerely, Anna

  25. Purple:

    Contests are only one venue to get your work out there, and you shouldn't put all your eggs in that basket.

    Essences' site could just have a glitch. You might have to change the format to MP4 or Flash, or. WMV to get it to upload. Or find a connection with stronger bandwith.

    I used to go the screenplay contest route, but realized it was a waste of money and time.

    If you have unpublished material you could always self-publish it in papeback and eBook like I did with the All About Marilyn and All About Nikki Screenplay books. I've gotten a lot of positive feedback and praise on those books and people enjoyed the story. I'm trying to build an audience with those books so I can have something to bring to producers telling them there's an audience for the show and the movie and to get financing for the project.

    Unsolicited material sent to agents gets trashed. This is why you have to query them before submitting material. A one page letter will save you a lot of grief.

    People in the industry do look at films at festivals. You could submit there. There are always festivals playing all over.

    And You could always upload to YouTube, Dailymotion and Vimeo. Vimeo is a venue where aspiring indie filmmakers often upload projects to get feedback.

    You have loads of options, So keep persevering.