Roxane Gay names Tyler Perry as one of her nemeses

Fans of novelist Roxane Gay’s Twitter feed have most likely heard her discuss her “nemesis,” occasionally in the plural. On Wednesday, Gay named Tyler Perry as one of them.

“One of my nemeses is a billionaire now,” Gay, 45, tweeted early Wednesday morning. By the afternoon, she decided to name names, replying to her own tweet with “[It’s] Tyler Perry guys! This wasn’t a mystery! He is a ‘billionaire’ now.”

“A pioneer in black ownership of IP and a studio. Bravo,” she added. “A pioneer in glorifying the degradation and demonization of black women, homophobia, and the lowest common denominator.”

The revelation may be somewhat confusing for Gay’s followers. Through the many references to her “nemesis/es” on her Twitter feed, she frequently refers to one or more of them as female, though she also distinguishes “primary” nemesis, presumably indicating the status of a secondary or even tertiary one.

In June 2019, Gay expounded on the concept in a Medium post, writing on the Greek origins of the word and noting that she had 10 people on her list, naming Rachel Maddow as one and CrossFit as another.

“They are nemeses because a loved one has a crush on them and goes on and on about it just to get under my skin,” she wrote, “or because they have a career trajectory I envy or they are vigorously mediocre or they have wronged someone I care about or they have wronged me.”

Perry was indeed bumped up to billionaire status by Forbes this week, who noted the 50-year-old has “a clear path to future membership in The Forbes 400.”

Reps didn’t comment.

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