Entertainment Svengali Tyler Perry has just announced his latest project: a new TV series about the behind-the-scenes world of male strippers.
Deadline reports that Perry–the one-man entertainment factory best known for the Madea film series–will produce the new show, titled All the Queen’s Men for BET+. The series will revolve around a beautiful, female entrepreneur who oversees a high-class strip joint in Atlanta. The series will film on location in the city as well, which is also the home of Tyler Perry Studios.
“I began my career in this direct-to-consumer business, so I know it well,” Perry said in a statement. “I know how much my audience value and seek our great content, anchored in our culture and experiences. BET+ is home to an extraordinary array of content including my movies, series, dramas, sitcoms and stage plays. I can’t wait to create even more great content for the BET+ viewers.”
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We’re already getting Magic Mike and P-Valley vibes from the premise, though when it comes to Perry’s history, we temper expectations. Throughout his career Tyler Perry has endured charges of homophobia in his work. His film For Colored Girls–an adaptation of a stage show–inserted a subplot about a closeted African-American man giving his wife HIV. Perry would also use a similar plot twist in his film Temptation. More recently, Perry came under fire for the portrayal of the character Jeffrey Harrington on the soap opera The Haves and the Have Nots. In an opinion essay for Ebony, Gerren Keith Gaynor slammed Perry for characterizing Jeffrey as a “sexual demon,” and for propagating homophobia within the African-American community.
In other words, whereas Magic Mike and, in particular, P-Valley, both embraced the homoeroticism of their respective premises, we have a feeling Perry’s new show will not if his existing career offers any indication. On the other hand, Perry has used his Atlanta studio space to open an LGBTQ youth shelter, so perhaps his tune has changed. Maybe Perry will use the new show as an opportunity to explore queer culture and homophobia within the African-American community. Now that’s a show we’d watch.