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Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry cannot win Oscars for 'Precious'

December 8, 2009 |  8:40 am

Precious Oprah Winfrey Tyler Perry

Huge controversy surrounds the involvement of Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry in "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire." They signed on as executive producers after the film was shot, thus offering their celebrity status as support to help boost the profile of a movie with an important social message. Are they therefore entitled to win an Oscar statuette if "Precious" wins best picture?

Official answer: no. "The rule is up to three producers get statuettes," a studio rep tells Gold Derby. "The producers are Lee Daniels, Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness."

Among those slamming Winfrey and Perry for their participation in "Precious" is Armond White of New York Press, who is chairman of the New York Film Critics Cirlce. Recently, he fumed in print: "Shame on Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey for signing on as air-quote executive producers of 'Precious.' After this post-hip-hop freak show wowed Sundance last January, it now slouches toward Oscar ratification thanks to its powerful friends. Winfrey and Perry had no hand in the actual production of 'Precious,' yet the movie must have touched some sore spot in their demagogue psyches. They've piggybacked their reps as black success stories hoping to camouflage 'Precious'' con job — even though it's more scandalous than their own upliftment trade."

Watch Winfrey and Perry discuss "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire" in this trailer.

Photos: Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry. Credit: Lionsgate

The comments to this entry are closed.


After seeing several different clips from the movie, I can say this movie does not appeal to me whatsoever. Normally I watch all kinds of foreign films that are just as gritty as the story of this film, but something about this one not only doesn't appeal to me but irritates me that there's so much hype about it. Granted not all movies appeal to all people, but I'm usually into those often sad, brutal recreations of stories about difficult lives. Not this time. As an American and one that lives in a large metro area with a great mix of peoples, this story just rubs the wrong way--it's too much of a sob story about sitations that yes, unfortunately happen all to often. What I'm trying to say is that these stories saturate and eclipse and often stick as the representation, the stereotype of the African American community. I'm a minority myself, more so than blacks in the US (in population and government represenation), and there were horrific events my parents and grandparents endured to come here yet they made it--they succeeded in normalizing their lives and their childrens' lives after the suffering they experienced. They didn't perpetuate problems and decline into worse poverty. What gnaws at me is the abundant opportunity in this country that is not taken advantage of and yet we are to take pity on those that not only don't use what's available, but actually attack each other within their families, within their community and expect everyone to understand how difficult their life is even though they have a great part in creating and perpetuating the problems. When I see movies about the social problems of my parent's birth country, about the historical wrongs done to the people by its own government, people, or outsiders, it sends me the message that my people know, are aware of the problems, are moving forward and the country as a whole as well as its expatriates are doing better as time goes on. Perhaps this movie might do something good in calling the African American community to help its own.

LadyM, I am very taken aback about what you had to say. Just like others before me have stated, this story depicts life as it truly is for some individuals out there. Question for you, did it ever occur to you that her tearing herself away from her mother and being able to keep her kids was her happiness. Precious came from a world where there is no fairy tale of being loved romantically. Her fairy tale was to just be loved, which she recieved from her children. Her true dreams were to be freed from her mother which she acheived as well. Open your mind to the possibilty that everyones perception of joy isant the same as your own. Joy for some people comes from knowing that they can survive on their own. As far as her not becoming romantically involved with the nurses aid enforces part of the meaning of the storyline, you dont have to have someone to love in order to succeed, which sadly alot of people think they have to. And in case you didnt realize, although HIV/AIDS is not curable, it is not a death sentence anymore. People with this virus are living longer healthier lives than people without it. No, noone wants to hear that they have been infected, but it teaches a valueble lesson as did the entire movie. We cannot control what hand we are dealt in life, but as long as we play it well, the possibilites are endless.

I am quite surprise by the comments of people like "DONNA & LADYM. althrough I shouldn't be. Some people are quite delusional about the lives of other people who really live life like this. It's not about "black people" balancing their lives!!! they are living in the depths of despair, no hope, and most of all as in Precious case no one to even love her.

I am Precious, I am one of many I was abandoned at the age of 6 in the process being sodimized by an uncle, place in "foster homes" where by the goverments discription,

I as well as my 2 sisters and 1 brother were in loving and caring homes. My Brother was put in a separate home where he was brutlty beaten for years!!!

My sisters and I were placed in foster homes 4 different times where I was raped and molested 2 more times as well as tied up to a 4 posted bed and beaten senseless.We were forced to sit at the dining room table and watch our foster Mother eat, while we went hungry. If we asked for food we were beaten. She would go to the local bakery and buy all kinds of bake goods, sit at the table and we had to litterly look down her throat while she chewed. when she was full she would put the rest in the bread drawer, and let it stay there till it was molded and "then" we were "forced" to eat the molded food.

My sisters were spared being raped and molested but were beaten.

My sister who was 2 years younger than me was ganged raped coming home from grade school and her foster mother rewarded her by beating her for it!!!! she later in her adult life turned to drugs and alcohol and died at the age of 39. Too soon....

Our screwed up life ate her up!!
She never recovered. My brother did the same thing he passed away 2 years ago much too soon.

It's only me and my Baby sister left, we are hanging in there. I am a professional Gourmet chef (now retired) happily married 35 years, and 3 beautiful grown sons whom I love more than life, Grandmother of 5.

My baby sister and I are true surviors and we are "PRECIOUS"

I personally loved the book and the movie. My teacher gave me 'Push' to read when I was in middle school 8 years ago. I was moved by it. The movie was nothing short of amazing.

I understand why people like LadyM and donna just dont get it. They simply cant. They didnt like it because it wasnt a fairytale with "love interests" and didn't make them cry and feel inspired to find love and sip cocoa in front of the christmas tree. People like them have no clue of the atrocities that occur right next door. Donna wrote "..didnt she deserve some portion of what happiness feels like...instead nothing but more struggle". Obviously she should stick to rated G movies with talking cars. Anyone with a brainstem can understand that the message of the movie was to see Precious as a survivor. It actually does mirror Tyler Perrys message in his Madea movies. Despite all that Precious endured, her spirit, sense of humor and determination were never defeated. The movie portrayed the raw truth about households and abuse that occur everywhere. Precious did find happiness no matter how unconventional it may seem. She survived all the abuse. She never wanted to abandon her kids. She had the instinct to protect her child. She didn't mirror or become her mother.

Unfortunately, Precious wasn't fiction. It was pretty subtle compared to half the stories in the newspaper here in NY. It's real simple. Those who liked Precious are people who are actually capable of understanding that life is rarely a Disney movie. For all the rest, stick to your delusions.

To all who have only seen the movie, it is also best to read the book, "Push" in which this movie is based off from. The movie stuck with what the book covered including Precious getting HIV/Aids. The only difference between the book vs. the film is there are altered parts added in or taken out. If you think this is like another "Color Purple" then you are all sadly mistaken.
Not everyone lives a happily ever after in this world; so you can like it or dislike it. Either way it's reality and it is real.

I feel like this movie was very intense! But lets, look at real life family secrets that many men and women even children. May have been through the same growing up but they don't talk about it. I am grateful, that I believe in the power of truth. It some how opens our eyes, at how cruel life can really be. finally, just keep your eyes open and head up to save someone like Precious, who my be someone close to you. I enjoyed the movie and I will be looking for part 2. Save our children protect our/their future. Love

i watch the movie "precious" greatly disappointed, and disgusted, this movie should have had more balance, and more positivies outcome for precious, this movie was very disappointing to me, it was sad, cruel and lacked any compassion from the mother, who comes across to me, as someone with very low self esteem, who is fixated at tryin to get precious to hate her self, as much as she hates her self, and her life, from her own mistakes. I also, feel this could have been a excellent movie, if there had been more balance in it, misery, all the way through, the best part, was her cutting ties with her mom, which also sad, it was clear, the mother has serious mental issues, and should have been dealt with by the social worker, after the truth of her actions came out. Precious, should have been allowed to have an love interest in the nurse aide, who clearly showed his interest in her, this was a part of her fantasy, why she was denied that, secondly, why the social worker, wouldnt help precious to find a place for her and her children, and further help her to get childcare, so she could further her education, why did she have to end up with hiv? more misery for precious, come on, where is the balance in this movie. I think the movie had great potential, but it came off to me, as plot to show, how much blackpeople hated themselves, as if they are uncapable or showing any kind of love
for themselves, or children. this movie showed the savages of blackpeople, which to me comes off as another put down, instead of showing how precious, remain strong, had the determination to push ahead, to better her self, getting a trade, going to an community college, dating the nurse aide, having some joy out of her life, why it had to be so negative, really surprised, to have heared Tyler Perry, had anything to do with it, as his productions, which I've watched them all, and they all have been great, this movie precious is just sad, and opens the door from others to make mockery of blackpeople, and the conditions of those who are less fortunate to have, or live like others...i wanted precious to win, to have at least some of her fantasies to come true...not hiv, this was just a no win situation movie, where no type of happiness was to come to her, she got her babies, which was good, but realistically, for how long, where was she to go? having hiv, with no cure in sight, what kind of life would she have? why she had to end up getting the worse end, when being raped was not her fault, too much misery,,,not enough joy...truly disappointed in this, the actress who played precious, was good, no doubt, but she would and could of been better, if in the end, she got the least some of it..she had sufferred enough...she deserved to have a boyfriend, love in her life, enjoying what it felt like to be loved, and dressed up, going to an nice place..didnt she deserve some portion of what happiness feels like...instead nothing but more struggle,,,i saw no balance in this movie,..

Stop being such a hater. Just because 'Precious' wasn't relatable for you doesn't mean it wasn't intense, honest, gritty, and Oscar-worthy. You are just one fish in a small pond...with a small brain. And I hate this article, it's so negative. UGH!

Thanks, Tom; maybe this will throw some cold water on all the Oprah-haters out there. It ain't about Oprah or Tyler; they just used their starpower to get a gritty-but-uplifting little indie movie seen by a much bigger audience. (Yes, I really did see it; I doubt Donna actually saw it. And if it matters, I'm white--just like the two "Precious" producers NOT named Lee Daniels.)

That movie precious was terrible and it was very overrated. nothing about it was worth looking at. it had no significance to it and from beginning to end it was dumb. i gave it a thumbs down twice and whoever put their names on it is to blame. shame on them and the crew.



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