Dr. Charisse L’Pree

Tyler Perry, actor, director, writer, producer and now studio head is listed by Forbes as the highest paid man in entertainment.  His movies, including the latest A Fall From Grace, draw huge audiences, but are regularly skewered by critics, viewers and fellow film makers alike.  His formula for success, appealing to black women and black church culture hasn’t changed much over the years.  Is that formula starting to show some wear and tear? 

On this episode of Pop Life, host Joe Lee is joined Charisse L’Pree, Assistant Professor of Communications at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School to discuss the filmmakers latest Netflix project, his production style, and the “sad black woman” trope that is prevalent in his storytelling.


What better way is there to build a bridge between what happens in school and what happens in life than using popular culture?  Especially when it comes to subject matter that we find troubling or difficult?  On this episode of the Pop Life podcast, host Joe Lee explores how the use of popular culture as a teaching device has grown from frowned-upon activity to mainstream staple.


With the recent positive representation of black actors, producers, and filmmakers at the 2019 Academy Awards, there were several headlines questioning whether #OscarsSoWhite movement is still relevant.  On this episode of Pop Life, Joe Lee discusses why the movement is still necessary despite the appearance of positive gains.  Is it a movement or just a moment?  Is Hollywood ready to take more risks with black creatives? 

Joe is joined by studio executive Dana Gills, Director of Production and Development for Lions Gate, and Dr. Charisse L’Pree, Assistant Professor of Communications at the Newhouse School at Syracuse University.


In 1999 the film The Matrix was released and changed the way we thought about science fiction. This year is the 20th anniversary of the groundbreaking film and to celebrate WAER has a special episode of Pop Life.

Joe Lee is joined by Charisse L'Pree , Assistant Professor of Communications at The Newhouse School at Syracuse University, to discuss the film. L'Pree is especially qualified on the subject as she is the host of The Critical and The Curious, which in it's 2nd season is focusing on Keanu Reeves

How is this movie different than other works of science fiction around that time? And how does a hacker named Neo make for such an attractice protagonist? You'll find out this week on Pop Life.


The documentary Leaving Neverland debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in January and premiered on HBO in March.  The 4 hour 2 part film, produced and directed by British film maker Dan Reed, details the stories of Wade Robson and James Safechuck who allege that they were sexually abused by pop icon Michael Jackson when they were 7 and 10 year old boys.

Joining Joe on this episode of Pop Life is Dr. Charisse L’Pree, Assistant Professor of Communications at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School.  Her work focuses on how media affects the way we think about ourselves and our perceptions of others.  She is also a self-proclaimed Michael Jackson “fangirl”.  The two discuss the documentary, unpack how it impacts our culture, and what it all means for Michael Jackson’s legacy.