Tyler Perry’s ‘Temptation:’ A Movie That Punishes Its Characters With HIV

Judith and Harley TemptationOh my god. As if I didn’t already want to hate-watch the crap out of TemptationI just found out the ending and I don’t care about spoiling it for you because it’s not The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones, it’s trash. (Or “beautiful garbage,” to quote Courtney Love.)

In the movie (one of my favorite trailers of all time), the main character, Judith, contracts HIV after cheating on her typically nice but forgetful husband with a muscular young entrepreneur.

Not only does he have HIV, but he’s abusive! Oh nooooo. What the hell, Tyler Perry. Was abuse not enough for you? You had to throw AIDS in the mix? Is that not the most extreme version of reality? I get that it’s a movie, but that seems like harsh punishment, even for fictional people.

Why not give them gonorrhea, or herpes? Perhaps Temptation, based on Perry’s 2008 play, The Marriage Counselor, was influenced by his work as an executive producer of Precious, about a pregnant, HIV-positive, illiterate teen who was abused and molested by her mother and father.

Here’s more about who does and does not have HIV in the film, from Huffington Post:

Judith has HIV because she slept with Harley. Harley has HIV because he sleeps with everyone (unprotected, we assume). Melinda has HIV because she, too, slept with Harley, even though she was in a relationship with him and, as far as we know, remained loyal to him. Brice does not have HIV, because he did “the right thing.”

To recap, the two main characters (played by Jurnee Smollett-Bell and Robbie Jones) along with [“The Boy Is Mine” singer] Brandy Norwood have HIV. Kim Kardashian, Vanessa Williams, and the husband character (Lance Gross) do not.

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