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By Tim Kenneally
LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) - Madea goes bye-bye?
A new petition published on Change.org is demanding that Oprah Winfrey's network remove Winfrey's friend and business partner Tyler Perry from OWN's airwaves, claiming that Perry "perpetuates stereotypes" about the black community.
Or, as the petition puts it more whimsically, Perry "is 'malt liquor' for the community!"
Perry's new series, "The Haves and the Have Nots," premiered Tuesday night on OWN to record breaking ratings.
"For decades Oprah Winfrey has used her television show to educate, empower, and uplift people of all races to be better versions of themselves. OWN has committed to be an extension of this work," the petition reads.
However, the petition argues, OWN's association with Perry tarnishes that legacy of education, empowerment and, um, upliftment.
"Where it is clear that neither Oprah or Tyler Perry are not experts on race and racism, they have also refused to utilize feedback from the conscious Black community and scholars on racism regarding the damage that Tyler Perry and his brand of entertainment perpetuate against the Black community," the petition continues.
Likening Perry to malt liquor, Vega's online campaign reads, "His entertainment is hurtful to the Black community. He perpetuates stereotypes and has no place on OWN."
As of this writing, the petition has amassed just 30 supporters - a relatively meager showing, especially considering that "The Haves and the Have Nots" was OWN's highest rated premiere in the network's history, with 1.77 million total viewers.
A spokeswoman for OWN has not yet responded to TheWrap's request for comment.