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INTERVIEW: Tyler Perry on Retiring Madea and Searching for Deeper Meaning in Witness Protection

Tyler Perry interview - Madea's Witness Protection (Getty Images)

It’s easy to dismiss the films of Tyler Perry, undisputed king of a niche multi-media empire of his own making, as broad, caricature-laden comedy populated by what Spike Lee famously labeled “coonery buffoonery.” But beneath the be-wigged, slapstick-y heft of Perry’s most famous character, Madea, and her often violent crusades in the name of family values — as seen in Friday’s Madea’s Witness Protection, the sassy grandmother’s seventh big-screen outing — lies a fount of subversive discussions of race, class, and self-examination. The only question is: Is Tyler Perry aware of it?
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