Tyler Perry has given more insight into how he squashed his feud with Spike Lee.

In a new Variety profile celebrating his status as the outlet’s Showman of the Year, Perry talked about how he felt after hearing Lee’s criticisms of his work, which he called “coonery and buffoonery” in 2009.

“If any criticisms stung, it would have been his, because I had so much respect and admiration for him,” he said. “People’s opinions are their opinions, but that doesn’t negate the fact of the work that he’s done. And he’s due the honor of having a stage named after him and more than that.”

Perry said that Lee called him after he watched an interview Oprah had with Perry. In the interview, Perry brought up the public argument between writers Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston, leading to Hughes to call Hurston “a perfect darkie.”

“I opened the door. I said, ‘Come in here, so I can beat your ass,'” Perry said jokingly, adding that Lee replied, “‘Fair enough.'”

“And we sat and we had a conversation…He laid out his views and his opinons, which I respected. And he heard mine, and he respected them,” said Perry. “So we can both exist in the same world with very different views and opinions and still respect each other.”


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