Tika Sumpter’s New Role Irks Fans


Actress Tika Sumpter is the latest thespian to come to the defense of Tyler Perry. Tyler is behind the OWN channel’s latest hit show ‘The Haves and Have Nots, which Tika co-stars in.

Since its premiere, the nighttime serial has come under fire for its depiction of black women, particularly Tika’s character Candace Young, who is a lady of the night, so to speak.

In a recent interview, Tika defended Perry’s depiction of black women on the Haves and Have Nots, and dismissed the recent online petition to have the show removed from OWN’s line-up.

Excerpts from the interview are below.

Tika on her character [Candace Young] being a single mother and prostitute: “The thing I love about Candace is she’s really trying – even though she doesn’t go about it the right way– she’s really trying to do it for herself. She’s not relying on a dude to pull her out of the gutter. She’s using the opportunities she’s getting, definitely, but she’s not leaning on him as a crutch and I love that. She’s standing on her own two feet. Whether she’s fighting dirty, she’s fighting for her life, for her career, she’s standing on her own.”

Tika on the lack of morals shown by her character: “What is morality? What’s the barometer? Who’s saying this is moral and this is not? Are you talking to a pastor or are you talking to a teenager? It depends on whom you’re talking to and what is the measure… Candace is totally comfortable using her body. The body is a temple to some people, but to her it’s a tool.”

Tika on the petition to have the show removed from OWN’s line-up: “You have the right to simply turn the channel. “

Tika on her unwavering support for Tyler Perry: “He empowers people every day by employing over 400 people in his studio. He’s the only black man with a studio; I’m talking about a studio lot…He’s come from no connection in this business to where he is now, a mogul. And if Oprah believes in him, that’s a great thing. She wouldn’t surround herself with people who are not enlightened and not smart.”

Tika on the new opportunities being afforded to black actresses thanks to the success of Scandal: “People want to see women of color, smart women, feisty women, whatever. They want to see these women, and they don’t want to have only one option. Whether it’s brown or Chinese, white. There doesn’t have to just be one type of person on TV; there needs to be a variation, and I think that’s what Olivia Pope did – or Kerry did – for us.”

Tika can next be seen in Tyler Perry’s ‘A Madea Christmas,’ as well as ‘Ride Along,’ ‘My Man is a Loser’ and next year’s full season debut of ‘Being Mary Jane.’


  1. Candace is totally comfortable using her body. The body is a temple to some people, but to her it’s a tool.”

    Lord have mercy. That’s probably the most ignorant, socially irresponsible statement I’ve heard in a while. I can just see some broken, immature, looking for love in all the wrong places, little girl looking to that statement as inspiration. Do better, Tika. You would have been better off defending the role by simply saying while it’s not everyone’s reality, it is some people’s.

  2. Why can’t black women play an array of characters? Why can’t we be the saints (Crystal) and the sinners (Alexis). Diahann Carroll once bragged of being the first “black bitch” on television. She was proud of it. No black woman had ever played such a complex character and Carroll’s portrayal of Dominique Deveraux is legendary because of it. She helped add some much needed spice to Dynasty and is credited with helping it eventually beat Dallas in the ratings.

    Let Tika play a low down dirty conniving slut if she wants. Those are the best and most memorable characters. No one remembers the good girl of guy. All these years later people remember Alexis and JR. No one remembers Bobby or weak ass Crystal.

    Only when black women can play any kind of role in Hollywood they want will we truly be able to say we have made it.

    And please, don’t anyone mention what white or other non-black folks will think of us if they see these characters on TV. Who cares what they think. If all the Clair Huxtable, mammy, best friend roles haven’t made them love and respect us by now, maybe we should stop seeking their love and acceptance.

    Do you, Tika.

  3. Only white women can play hoes like Samantha Jones or Kelly Bundy, black women only play Clair Huxtable type.

  4. Yes, Dana!

    I actually love her character, Candance, it’s a role. But, at least she’s in law school. I have known so many bourgeosie chicks, conservative dress, credentials and know which fork to use and be not too much different than Tika’s character! It happens, some call them “sugar daddies”… “my friend”…conniving and deceitful…or just sleep with every person who can help them get to the next level. Some women sleep with any and everybody without having any claims. I like that Candance is messed up, deeply flawed, unabashed about her lifestyle ( with a God-fearing mother and a saint of a brother, what happened to her? If she escapes a premature death, she will become a high powered attorney, capable of making her own loot. I believe the message (images) that Tyler is sending is that whatever you do, do it well, watch the company you keep, you don’t have to hang around sports arenas and clubs, or become a celebrity’s babymama to gain access to the rich and powerful. He stated that his mother worked for rich people and he saw many of the scenarios he writes about with this project. Tika’s character isn’t a black character, it’s an old and familiar story!

  5. People really need to stop. I have no issue with the character at all. Now if you want to petition something – petition the bad acting by all – white & black on this show. Black have the right to play ANY character they choose to play. Have 12, 185.67 seats.

  6. If you judge an entire race of people based on the characters they depict on television you had issues before tuning in. Candace is a role Tika landed and she play’s that role very well.

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