In a recent interview with The Grio, actress Tika Sumpter, from The Haves and the Have Nots applauded Tyler Perry for being groundbreaking and enlightened.

Although there was a petition to remove her show from the OWN Network, the show is the top rated program on the network.

“You have the right to turn the channel,” she explains. “There are a lot of people who turn the channel on, who have made him this successful, so there is an audience. When we start making judgments on what’s lowbrow to some people, then you’re making accusations that this group of people doesn’t know what’s really good. I don’t think that’s fair…Don’t condemn a bunch of people who actually go to these movies for what they like.”

From The Grio:

After premiering in May, The Haves and the Have Nots has done well ratings-wise, even prompting OWN to extend its show order to 32 episodes.

Reviews, on the other hand, haven’t been spectacular, many calling it a soap-opera-style cop off to legendary TV programs like Dallas or Dynasty.

Sumpter, who got her start on the daytime series One Life to Live, doesn’t classify the show as a soap opera, however she appreciates the noteworthy comparisons. Given they are “iconic” programs with proven longevity, she’ll take it.

Portraying a vixen, the actress also refutes the theory that all Perry’s programs carry some underlying moral high ground.

“What is morality?” She questions. “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.”

Sumpter also believes that as a black woman in Hollywood, her role in  Have Nots is groundbreaking.

“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,” Sumpter points out. “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.”

What do you think about Tika Sumpter’s comments? Are you a fan of the show?

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