“The Boondocks” is one of Black culture’s most famous animated shows. Even though the satirical sitcom ended in 2014, it is still often referenced for the relevant topics it covered and its often controversial takes on subjects.
Recently, a Twitter user reminded fans of one of the series’ most controversial episodes. “Pause,” the eighth episode in the third season, aired in June 2010 and parodied Tyler Perry and his style of filmmaking.
A user with the handle @ThatIsJustMo tweeted a clip from “Pause” and wrote, “Boondocks hit the head on the nail to the formula of every Tyler Perry movie.”
Other users agreed. “Boondocks always hit the nail on the head with everything,” @Deseanofficial responded. “Mfs thought it was a show with no message just entertainment , it had a message every episode.”
“And somehow some if it still applies. The R. Kelly episode. The Chicken sandwich episode,” @TweetNameN chimed in, noting other episodes in the series were accurate in how they covered subjects.
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But allegedly, Perry and other critics believed the episode went too far. Not only did the episode poke fun at Perry’s popular screenwriting formula, but it also painted him as a closeted homosexual who used his religion as a come-up.
The episode was ultimately pulled from TV and media reports began to circulate that Perry called Turner Broadcasting furious over it, leading to the episode being banned. However, Perry never admitted to doing so.
During the episode, fictional iterations of Perry and his Madea character show up as Winston Jerome and Ma Dukes, respectively. Jerome is depicted as a cultish entertainment mogul who uses religious rhetoric and his film themes to seduce men behind the scenes and hide that he is gay.
Throughout the episode, Jerome is depicted as invoking Jesus and isolating his cast and crew from family and friends to brainwash them to bend to his will.
At one point, Huey and Riley are so concerned about their Granddad, they go on a rescue mission to save him.
Near the end of the episode, Jerome drops his polished accent and flat-out asks Granddad to have sex with him. “Look man, all bulls**t aside, can I please just have some a**?” the fictional version of Perry says.
Granddad replies, “Do you mean to tell me that this whole cross-dressing Christian cult crap is just so you can sleep with men?” To this, Jerome replies, “Uh, pretty much, yeah.”
Written by Boondocks creator Aaron McGruder and Rodney Barnes, the episode was expected to cause tension by insiders, according to a report the Los Angeles Times reprinted.
There was also speculation that Perry fired some of his staff and planned to sue ‘The Boondocks” over the episode, but he shot those reports down as false at the time.
“Just like the Spike Lee situation, I feel that ‘no response’ is the best response. I’m just gonna leave it at that,” Perry said, referring to separate criticism Lee lodged at him about his work.
“But I will tell you this … there is absolutely no truth to the rumor that I’m suing ‘The Boondocks.’ Those are all lies. I’m not suing anybody over that. And I haven’t fired anyone because of that show, either. I don’t know where all that came from,” Perry continued.
A reboot of ‘The Boondocks’ was announced in 2019, a month before the death of actor John Witherspoon, who played Granddad. In 2021, it was announced that Sony Pictures had “pulled the plug” on restarting the show.