Hollywood director Tyler Perry is defending the decision to cast predominantly white actors to star in his new TLC drama series Too Close to Home.
“I’m so sick of folks asking me why I have a show full of white folks,” Perry — best known for his Madea series of films, which feature predominantly black casts — said on the Tom Joyner Morning Show this week. “Nobody asked Norman Lear why he wrote for black people all those years. People are people. I’m writing a story about a girl that comes from a trailer park and whose family has a lot of dysfunction. That can happen whether you’re black or white.”
Too Close to Home, which premiered on TLC Monday night, centers on a young woman who is forced to return to her trailer-park roots after her political career is destroyed by a sex scandal.
Perry appeared bothered by the casting questions when pressed by a TMZ reporter.
“Are you really asking me about that?” Perry said. “That’s so ridiculous, man. People are people. People just need to let — it’s ridiculous. If you write a story about a woman and a man who’s having pain and issues and trying to get over things, it’s the same way for a black person as a white person.”
“People are people man. People need to let all that go.”
“I got white folks on my other show Have and Have Nots, but nobody noticed,” Perry told Tom Joyner. “If Donald Trump can pitch to black folks in an all-white neighborhood, why can’t you watch this show on TLC? What is going on in this country?”
Too Close to Home stars Brooke Anne Smith, Brad Benedict and Robert Craighead. The first of the series’ eight-episode first season aired on Monday.
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