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Brendan O'Carroll and Tyler Perry say people need to 'lighten up' after racism claims

Brendan O'Carroll: "It's very difficult to tell a gag without offending somebody"
Tyler Perry and Brendan O’Carroll at the premiere of A Madea Homecoming

Tyler Perry and Brendan O’Carroll at the premiere of A Madea Homecoming

Eugene Masterson

"This picture says it all," storms Brendan O'Carroll in answer to critics who accuse him of being racist.

The Dublin funny man was slammed by BBC viewers for making an "ignorant" joke during a joint appearance with Hollywood star Tyler Perry on Tuesday's The One Show.

And that sparked accusations of racism from fans on social media.

The pair appeared on the show to promote their new Netflix ­comedy A Madea Homecoming.

Brendan quipped: "He's very expensive, and so far we haven't had anyone of his colour in there[Mrs Brown's Boys]," while gesturing to his own face.

He continued: "So I don't know if we could have him in but… I'd love that, but more importantly, I'd love to do another movie with him."

Laughing, Tyler then repeated, "Nobody my colour," before ­adding: "Diversity rules!"

While Tyler laughed off the joke, viewers were shocked, taking to Twitter to condemn Brendan and call out the BBC for not issuing an apology on air.

But the two stars told the Sunday World people need to "lighten up". Brendan sent us a picture of Tyler holding him up at the Los Angeles premiere of the movie to show they're still good friends.

"It's very difficult to tell a gag without offending somebody," Brendan (66) tells us.

"I was doing a radio interview once and this guy phoned in who happened to be gay, homosexual. He said that he found jokes about homosexuals offensive. I said 'it's very difficult to tell a joke about homosexuals or Irish people or English people without offending somebody'.

"I asked him 'you tell me a joke that you would find acceptable to homosexuals. He said 'two homosexuals mug a woman in a lane, one held her down and the other did her hair', which he found hilarious.

"I said 'holding a woman is not funny, number one and number two not all homosexuals are hairdressers and not all hairdressers are homosexual'."

He adds: "Political correctness has to be defined by the individual. What you find acceptable I mightn't. What I find acceptable you mightn't.

"You don't have to pay in, you don't have to watch the channel, you don't have to watch the movie. What Tyler does and what I do is well known around the world. If you go 'I'm surprised about that' you need to cop on."

Tyler (53) is a billionaire thanks to his movies, many of which he too dresses up as a woman (Madea). He tells the Sunday World he agrees with Brendan.

"I think it is a very scary place if everybody wants censorship if they say something that somebody else doesn't agree with, or if they use a word that somebody else finds offensive.

"So I think it should be on a case-by-case basis to understand what intention is there.

"If you talk about comedy and comics and the things that make us laugh, when you try to start to censor, you are going to do a great disservice to what comedy is."

The movie was released on ­Netflix yesterday. In it Mrs Brown goes to America for her grandnephew's college graduation, she outrages an all-black gathering who think the Dublin granny has called them "a bunch of n*****s".

Character Uncle Joe, also played by Tyler, reacts in the scene: "Don't tell me I didn't hear what I heard. She said we was all a bunch of n*****s."

But Mrs Brown was only asking the shocked black family gathering: "Why do you all look like you have your knickers in a bunch?" She then tells the outraged cast to "hold on a cotton-picking moment".

Agnes only gets out of the race row by holding up her skirt to the family to emphasise she meant the word 'knickers'.

Tyler's character Madea gets so outraged she eventually lifts Brendan off the ground, an effect the American star repeated at the movie premiere on Tuesday night.

But Brendan adds: "There are certain things that you don't go after. I would never use that word you just spelled [n*****s]. I'm never sacrilegious, because it's very personable to other people."

"At the end of the day it's about an audience, and they pay my wages, they educated my children. They bought this house.

"So I don't want to be putting myself in a situation where I offend so many of them that nobody comes, but at the same time I won't be censored."

In the new movie Mrs Brown's grandnephew is offered the chance to run the family farm back in Ireland and Tyler pipes up when we suggest it might be a storyline for Madea to come to Ireland for a future movie.

"I think that idea is hilarious. I'm there, I'm on the next flight, let's make that happen," he exclaims.

Tyler confirms he hopes to make Brendan a household name in the United States after Mrs Brown's appearance in the new movie, which also stars Jennifer Gibney.

"I've seen several episodes for sure of Mrs Brown's Boys, I think he's brilliant," Tyler tells us.


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