The artists will be celebrated Dec. 4 at a gala to be broadcast Dec. 26 on CBS. As always, the president and first lady will attend the ceremony, along with an invited audience of entertainment and political names.
Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein said this year’s honors fest will salute individuals whose “extraordinary talent, creativity and tenacity have contributed significantly to the cultural life of our nation and the world.”
He called Guy “a titan of the blues” and “a tremendous influence on virtually everyone who has picked up an electric guitar in the last half century.”
Writer/producer/director/actor Tyler Perry arrives at a screening of Lionsgate Films' "Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family" at the Cinerama Dome Theater on April 19, 2011 in Los Angeles
*Tyler Perry went off on Spike Lee and other folk critical of his “Madea” films when asked about it yet again during a press conference for his new film “Madea’s Big Happy Family.”
“I’m so sick of hearing about damn Spike Lee,” Perry told reporters Tuesday in Beverly Hills. “Spike can go straight to hell! You can print that. I am sick of him talking about me, I am sick of him saying, ‘this is a coon, this is a buffoon.’ I am sick of him talking about black people going to see movies. This is what he said: ‘you vote by what you see,’ as if black people don’t know what they want to see.
“I am sick of him – he talked about Whoopi, he talked about Oprah, he talked about me, he talked about Clint Eastwood. Spike needs to shut the hell up!”
(L-R) Tyler Perry, actors Loretta Devine, Shad "Bow Wow" Moss and Shannon Kane pose at the after party for the screening of Lionsgate Films' "Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family" at Opera/Crimson Club on April 19, 2011 in Los Angeles.
EURweb’s Lee Bailey asked Perry to discuss an email he recently sent to his website fans expressing frustration with the hate he receives from within his own community.
“I was writing about just people and how hard people work to discourage people from seeing my work,” he told Bailey at the press conference. [Scroll down to listen.] “I don’t even understand it [but] this is where the whole Spike Lee [comment] comes from – the negativity, this is Stepin Fetchit, this is coonery, this is buffoonery, and they try to get people to get on this bandwagon with them, to get this mob mentality to come against what I’m doing.
“I’ve never seen Jewish people attack Seinfeld and say ‘this is a stereotype,’ I’ve never seen Italian people attack ‘The Sopranos,’ I’ve never seen Jewish people complaining about ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ or Dustin Hoffman in ‘Tootsie.’ I never saw it. It’s always black people, and this is something that I cannot undo.
“Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois went through the exact same thing; Langston Hughes said that Zora Neale Hurston, the woman who wrote ‘Their Eyes Were Watching God,’ was a new version of the ‘darkie’ because she spoke in a southern dialect and a Southern tone. And I’m sick of it from us; we don’t have to worry about anybody else trying to destroy us and take shots because we do it to ourselves.”
Listen to Perry’s response and read the email about his critics below.
A Message from Tyler Perry – THEY ARE TRYING TO KILL MADEA! COME
TALK TO ME LIVE!
You know I don’t dwell in negativity. I try and stay above it, but I wanted to say this to you. You and I both know that there are folks out there that work overtime trying to keep people from seeing my movies. Even though I don’t say anything, it doesn’t mean that I’m not aware of it.
They say all kinds of things about the films, Madea and me. They call me everything, but a child of God. I even had someone tell me in a press conference that I don’t have a “white” following. We all know that is not true. Had they been on tour with me they would know White folks, Black folks, Asian folks, Latin folks, Navajo folks, and everyone in between was there laughing side-by-side having a good time.
It’s crazy the things people print without any facts. What is also interesting is how hard they work to try and discourage you from going to see my films, as if you don’t know what you enjoy. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about! But it’s okay, you know why? Because I know that they don’t get it! They don’t get the spiritual side of this, they don’t get the folks that not only laugh, but also get something out of it that they can use to make their lives better. They don’t get that this is about more than making a movie and telling a funny story. They don’t get that it’s about uplifting and encouraging the soul. They don’t get that most of you have been with me long before they knew who I was, and they don’t get that you have my back. And to tell you the truth, it doesn’t matter if they get it or not, as long as you do. I thank God for you every day. You know what you enjoy, you know what makes you laugh and gives you a bit of uplift after you’ve seen it. So come laugh with me this weekend with Madea.
MADEA’S BIG HAPPY FAMILY opens in theaters this Friday. You know how important the first weekend is, so I sure hope you are planning to go out and see it. I promise you, MADEA’S BIG HAPPY FAMILY is funnier than them all. You will laugh ’till you hurt, so take some aspirin to the movies with you.
THIS LINE IS FROM MADEA (say it in your best Madea voice) ”All y’all that squirt a lil pee when you laugh, be careful!” ..LOL
I’ll be on the message board all weekend waiting to hear from you.
ALSO, BIG NOTE HERE!!!!
WEDNESDAY, April 20th, from 1:30 until 2:00pm Eastern, I will be taking your questions live at this link http://tylerperry.com/live. I want to talk about HOUSE OF PAYNE and Madea. Who knows, she may even take your questions. See you live Wednesday!