Tika Sumpter on ‘Haves and Have Nots’ Role: ‘You Have a Right to Turn The Channel’

Like any successful Hollywood mogul, Tyler Perry has been praised and chastised for the portrayal of women in his various TV shows and films. As the star of Perry’s The Haves and Have Nots, Tika Sumpter has experienced firsthand some of the backlash that comes when working with the writer/producer.

Despite some not-so-nice reviews, the OWN series has already been extended 32 episodes and during a recent interview with The Grio, Sumpter defended her boss against critics.

“You have the right to turn the channel. There are a lot of people who turn the channel on, who have made him this successful, so there is an audience,” she says.

“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.”

She also goes on to defend the show itself, which she claims isn’t a soap opera, and her character Candace.

“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.”

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