Country singer Johnny Paycheck was charged yesterday with shooting Larry Wise in a dispute at an Ohio tavern. Paycheck, 44, was arraigned in Hillsboro, Ohio, Municipal Court on a charge of felonious assault and jailed in lieu of $25,000 bond, officials said.

Police Capt. Kenny Cumberland said Paycheck shot Wise with a small-caliber pistol at about 11:30 p.m. Thursday and then fled. He was arrested the following morning. Paycheck, a native of nearby Greenfield, Ohio, is best known for his 1978 hit, "Take This Job and Shove It."

Cumberland said Wise was released after treatment at Highland District Hospital. A police spokesman said officers are investigating the shooting and do not know why it occurred. The Trouble With 'Purple'

Steven Spielberg's "The Color Purple," which opened in Washington yesterday, is being criticized by some blacks who say the movie degrades them. "It portrays blacks in an extremely negative light," said Kwazi Geiggar of the Coalition Against Black Exploitation, a 20-member group that monitors films and television shows with black themes. "It degrades the black man, it degrades black children, it degrades the black family."

The film, based on the novel by Alice Walker, is already being touted as an Oscar nominee, but not everyone views the movie so favorably. The portrayal of black men was "very stereotypical," said Willis Edwards, president of the Hollywood-Beverly Hills branch of the NAACP. "We're happy that a lot of actors who happen to be black got to work and they did a fantastic job," Edwards said. "But for the black male, the movie is very degrading."

However, Los Angeles Assemblywoman Maxine Waters, a black who helped organize a special screening of the movie for the Black Women's Forum, said she found no fault with the film. "That movie could have been about any color," she said.

Attempts to reach Spielberg were referred to Rob Friedman, vice president of worldwide publicity at Warner Bros., who discounted any black community discord. "Only 20 people in the whole country does not a controversy make," said Friedman. Antiapartheid Donation

Rock singer and antiapartheid activist "Little Steven" Van Zandt handed over checks totaling $50,000 from his "Sun City" royalties to Coretta Scott King Thursday in Atlanta. The donation will go to the Africa Fund, a nonprofit organization that will use the money to help political prisoners and their families, exiles and educational programs.

Van Zandt, the former guitarist for Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, put together the "Sun City" antiapartheid record and video. It features rock, jazz and soul artists singing in protest of performers who have appeared in Sun City, an opulent resort in South Africa. End Notes

Today marks the fifth anniversary of the day Martha (Sunny) von Bu low, 53, a Pittsburgh utilities heiress, lapsed into a deep coma that doctors say is irreversible. She lies in a New York hospital bed. On June 10, her husband Claus was acquitted of two counts of attempted murder. Authorities accused him of causing his wife's current coma as well as an earlier one, in December 1979, from which she recovered . . .

The American Museum of Natural History in New York has received an early Christmas present: A 21,327-carat topaz from Brazil, believed to be the largest cut gem in the world, arrived at the museum Thursday. The gem, called the "Brazilian Princess," was given to the museum by an anonymous donor last month and will be placed on display in January . . .

Former Weather Underground leader Bernardine Dohrn has been denied admission to the New York bar. Dohrn, 43, who was on the FBI's "10 Most Wanted" list, surrendered in 1980 and was fined and placed on probation after conviction on charges stemming from violent protest to the Vietnam war. She was later jailed for refusing to help in a Brinks robbery investigation. "She is disappointed," said Harold R. Tyler Jr, one of her lawyers. "She continues to think she is now qualified and that she presents a good record." Dohrn has been a clerk in a Manhattan law office . . .

Former Massachusetts senator Paul Tsongas said yesterday from his home that he may write a novel while he recuperates from his lymph cancer, and is happy with the decision he made to retire from the Senate this year. Tsongas, 44, was released Wednesday from Boston's Dana Farber Cancer Institute after 10 days spent trying to gain back the 18 pounds he had lost since October.

"When I left the Senate, people could not believe it, yet this year has been happier than any six years I spent in the Senate," he said. "Normalcy after 15 years of fishbowl existence is marvelous. There has not been one moment of wishing I had run again. But the other part of it is simply financial. Unless you're independently wealthy, politics is an enormous financial strain." Tsongas, a lawyer, plans to return to work Monday at the Boston firm of Foley, Hoag and Eliot. "The vacation is over," he said.