The prolific director and producer responds to backlash over the all-white cast of Too Close to Home.

By Derek Lawrence
December 30, 2016 at 11:27 AM EST
Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage

Tyler Perry, the prolific filmmaker known for spearheading projects that predominantly feature African-American actors, has responded to backlash over his most recent television project, which features an all-white cast.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Perry dismissed the criticism of his TLC series, Too Close to Home, as “reverse racism.”

“That’s totally reverse racism because it was coming from African-American people,” said Perry, who has directed 16 films and created numerous TV shows. “I don’t know if it was because they thought I should only be giving jobs to black people. Well, I think that’s ridiculous. If you look at the hundreds of black people I’ve given jobs to and even the ones I’ve made millionaires, people of color, I just think it’s unfair.”

Perry, whose films and TV shows have always included large African-American ensemble casts, explained why he decided to break precedent with Too Close to Home, which premiered in August and returns to TLC on Wednesday.

“I’m just finding out more as I travel the country and world, the more I meet people, we’re all the same,” he said. “We all got the same dramas. So I’m not seeing color as much as I did anymore in the sense of our stories. Our stories are so similar.”

Too Close to Home stars Danielle Savre (Heroes) as a young woman who returns to her old life in Alabama, having fled from Washington D.C. after her affair with the president was discovered.

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