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.’