Tyler Perry has caught no small amount of flak for casting reality TV star Kim Kardashian in his upcoming movie The Marriage Counselor.
And now the writer/producer/media magnate has spoken out in defense of using the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star, whose resume is a little thin when it comes to officially scripted fare. Perry has posted a lengthy missive on his blog, detailing his reasons for casting Kardashian.
The takeaway from Perry's pro-Kardashian manifesto? He's doing it for the kids -- specifically, to get them into the theaters to see his movie and absorb its message.
The Madea auteur begins his justification with a little ice-breaker, acknowledging the flood of angry emails he's received over the casting decision with a joke.
Y'all gave me a new movie title, Tyler Perry's 'Diary of a Mad Black Woman Cause You Hired Kim Kardashian, Don't Make Me Take Off My Earrings and Boycott Yo A**,' Perry quips. Some of my ladies are upset. OK, all jokes aside, can I have my say? Will you at least here me out?
According to Perry, he cast Kardashian, 31, in the film because of the sway she has over the youth audience. Perry noted in his post that, after writing the script, he read through it and realized the importance of exposing a younger audience to the message of the film.
YOUNG FOLKS NEED TO SEE THIS!!! Perry said of The Marriage Counselor, which trails an aspiring relationship expert whose own union becomes imperiled by outside influences.
Perry added that, as he was casting the film a couple of months ago -- long before I even heard about Kim's marriage or divorce -- he asked a producer which performers are admired by the nation's youth. After being shown a photo of a young crowd piling up outside of one of the Kardashians' Dash boutiques, Perry had his answer.
I thought, 'What better person?' Tyler recalled. She literally has millions of young people following her. I thought and still do think, that it would be very responsible of her to be a part of this film.
Adds Perry, If one of those young people see this film and find the strength to live a better life and not go through what these characters went through in this movie, then we have all done what I feel I'm being led to do here. I hope you understand. I really do!
In the film, Kardashian plays Ava, a co-worker of the film's female lead character, Judith (portrayed by Jurnee Smolett), who's constantly trying to influence Judith on everything from her shoes to her hair.
Since word of Kardashian's casting broke, a multi-front campaign on internet outrage has sprung up. Threatening to boycott the film if Kardashian wasn't axed from the production, many complained of Kardashian's supposed lack of moral fiber, in light of her 72-day marriage to NBA player Kris Humphries.
Former The Talk co-host Holly Robinson Peete, meanwhile, joked that the worldwide community of blacktresses were upset because Perry had eliminated a potential job for them by casting Kardashian.
Perry addresses the moral issue at the end of his post, asking, And lastly, because I believe that my films speak from the inside out, why wouldn't Kim Kardashian be invited into a film about Faith, Forgiveness and the healing power of God? What is wrong with that??