Tyler Perry has gray hair in the Netflix film 'A Fall From Grace.'
Source: Netflix

From Bad to Worse: Ranking 4 Controversial Tyler Perry Films That Totally Missed the Mark

Tyler Perry is a decorated director who should be celebrated as such, but he's not immune to mistakes. Here are his most controversial films.


Mar. 13 2024, Updated 7:14 p.m. ET

Since the release of his first feature film, Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Tyler Perry has become one of the most successful Black filmmakers of all time. The writer, actor, and director has built a diverse portfolio of films that have grossed more than $600 million at the box office, according to Forbes.

However, Tyler’s rise to fame has not been without controversy. The Madea creator has faced backlash for the portrayal of certain demographics in his movies.

Academy Award-winner Spike Lee, previously called Tyler’s work “buffoonery,” but Tyler chose to take the higher road. During an appearance on Who's Talking to Chris Wallace?, the Mea Culpa director defended his work while expressing an understanding of Spike’s criticism.

“There's a certain part of our society, especially Black people in the culture, that they look down on certain things within the culture,” Tyler said. “For me, I love the movies that I've done because they are the people that I grew up with that I represent.”

That said, Tyler’s movies continue to spark debates. Here is a list of the director’s most controversial films.

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4. The drama started with ‘Diary of a Mad Black Woman.’

tyler perry most controversial movies
Source: Lionsgate

Tyler Perry plays Madea in 'Diary of a Mad Black Woman.'

Diary of a Mad Black Woman received praise for its exploration of themes of forgiveness and redemption. However, some viewers expressed concern that the 2005 film romanticized abusive and dependent relationships – as Helen returned to care for her estranged husband after enduring years of emotional and physical abuse.

“I advise any young woman to watch Diary of a Mad Black Woman and you will understand why you should never depend on a husband to support you,” one person tweeted.

3. Was ‘Madea’s Witness Protection’ the worst Tyler Perry film ever?

tyler perry most controversial films
Source: Lionsgate

Denise Richards, Eugene Levy, and Tyler Perry in 'Madea's Witness Protection.'

Tyler’s 2012 film, Madea’s Witness Protection, was slammed for simply being a bad movie. Despite receiving a favorable audience score, the movie received a 19% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Similarly, Twitter users seem to agree that Witness Protection is the worst film Tyler has ever created.

“The only Tyler Perry film that I didn’t care for was Madea’s Witness Protection,” a fan wrote.

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2. Some say ‘Madea's Family Reunion’ was more of the same.

Following the success of Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Tyler released Madea’s Family Reunion. While the movie is primarily known for its comedic elements and heartwarming moments, it also touches on themes of domestic abuse, generational trauma, and resilience. Because of this, some argue that Tyler was desperately leaning into negative stereotypes about black trauma survivors.

1. Let’s talk about the wigs in ‘A Fall from Grace.’

A Fall From Grace is a compelling thriller about a woman who is accused of murdering her husband, but the wigs worn by the characters in the film are what stole the show. There are countless memes and TikTok videos dedicated to the stiffness of the hairpieces in the film, and Tyler cannot seem to live down the controversy.

The backlash was so loud that Tyler eventually promised to get better wigs.

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