[THE WEEKLY READ]<br />
Petition Pushers

Oprah Winfrey as Sophia from The Color Purple and Tyler Perry as Madea

Dear Petition Pushers:

I’m all about the people airing out their grievances, but has it ever occurred to some of y’all that before longing on to Change.org you should say to yourself, “Maybe I need to go find myself some business instead?”

I ask this after hearing about the newly launched petition against OWN over the premiere of Tyler Perry’s The Haves and The Have Nots and Tyler Perry’s Love Thy Neighbor.

The prompt reads:

Remove Tyler Perry entertainment from OWN 

For decades Oprah Winfrey has used her television show to educate, empower, and uplift people of all races to be better versions of themselves. 

Tyler Perry is, as Toure writes, is "malt liquor" for the community! His entertainment is hurtful to the Black community. He perpetuates stereotypes and has no place on OWN. 

Help uplift women of all...

A little Oprah history: She started with plenty of trash before she sashayed over to the side of spirituality with side orders of celebrity gossip and book clubs. Don’t be surprised if history repeats itself. Until then, you’re going to have to deal because Oprah is not about to allow all of those melanin-challenged men who bashed her throughout her 25-year career as a talk show Goddess to son her about her cable network.

I am by no means a huge fan of Mister Madea’s television programming. I think his new soap opera is about as good as Dove tastes. Nevertheless, I maintain a desire to print out this petition and set it ablaze all the same.

Listen, while many of us are scratching our heads wondering how Oprah could get in bed with Tyler Perry, we have to take into account that she is a part of his core demo: country Black women.

I used to think she was giving an Oscar-worthy performance when she says in her OWN promo, “It’s not just funny, it’s Tyler Perry funny.” But you know what? She might actually think that mess is funny. That is her right.

Tyler himself recently explained: “It is OWN. It is the Oprah Winfrey Network, so I know how to lead, but I think anybody who knows how to lead, you should also know how to follow. It is her network, so I’m coming under her and what she wants to do. That’s what important is that I honor her and her network and what she likes.”

Quite frankly, I’m a bit exhausted by a bunch of folks trying to police everyone else’s viewing habits. Petition pushers shut down Shawty Lo’s reality show based on a trailer and Lord knows every other episode someone is trying to take all of VH1’s shows down. Everything isn’t for everyone and that’s fine. Yet, it ought to be said that sometimes it’s okay to simply watch what works for you and leave other people the hell alone.

People are crafting the stupidest petitions for the most mundane reasons. I’m not going to pull the “There’s other stuff you could be focusing on” card. Nope, not going to do it. What I will say, though, is that if you truly wanted to show Oprah the way to ratings based on your standards, you’d move to help her with the programming you feel is of better quality.

Need I remind these complainers that not enough people were watching the “positive” programming Oprah was trying to shove down people’s throws when the network first started. To that end, it’s up to the viewers to put Lisa Ling and La Toya Jackson on equal footing.

Until that happens, the only co-signs that matter to Oprah right now are the high ratings both of Tyler Perry’s shows are getting thus far.

To be fair, there are instances where petitions are valid and welcomed. Say, Lil’ Wayne’s idiotic rap lyric about Emmett Till or Rick Ross’ date rape line and half-assed apology. Know that these complaints aren’t on the same scale as, “I hate Tyler Perry’s knockoff Dynasty and Canal Street Madea,” though.

You have every right to hate the television shows you deem worthy, but your agenda shouldn’t be threshed upon everyone else’s. So please stop pushing a new petition every other second people. There are only so many damns the world can give.

Michael Arceneaux is the author of the “The Weekly Read,” where tough love is served with just a touch of shade. Tweet him at @youngsinick.