Tyler Perry Opens His Own Studio

Growing up, the name Tyler Perry seemed to be a familiar one, which probably wasn’t the same for some of my friends who grew up in a strictly white household. Apparently, this was also different for a lot of people in Hollywood. 

In an interview with Gayle King, Perry talks candidly about the fact that he is often ignored in Hollywood because of the stories he tells through his work. “My audience and the stories that I tell are African-American stories specific to a certain audience, specific to a certain group of people that I know, that I grew up, and we speak a language, Hollywood doesn’t necessarily speak the language. A lot of critics don’t speak that language. So, to them, it’s like, ‘What is this?’”

Perry responded to this struggle after a lot of hard years fighting in the industry by buying 330 acres of land in Atlanta, Georgia and turning it into the first fully black-owned production studio. Ava DuVernay, another history maker in the black community, tweeted that Perry’s 330 acres could fit the studio lots of Disney, Warner Bros, Paramount, Fox and Sony inside all at the same time with an extra 60 acres to spare.

Via Tyler Perry’s Instagram

The opening night of the Tyler Perry Studios was a historic event attended by hundreds of black legends. Some of the notable guests included: Beyoncé, Patti Labelle, Cicely Tyson, Colin Kaepernick, and Oprah. There were also some stars from some of his movies or shows who have not been given the appreciation they deserve such as Lamman Rucker, Kyla Pratt, Denise Boutte, but on that night they received it. These guests all came out to show their support of Perry and the things he has done and that he plans on doing in the future with his new studio. 

Via Tyler Perry’s Instagram

Amongst the attendees was influencer and YouTuber Brittany Nicholson. Brittany is the cousin of one of the authors of this article, so we were able to get a quote from someone with first-hand experience. When asked about the experience Brittany said, “Being present at the grand opening was truly inspiring on so many levels. The carpet was filled with the very best in entertainment and they were all so full of joy, excitement, and genuine support of Tyler Perry. It was incredible.” To learn more about Brittany and what she’s doing to change the world check out her Youtube channel and her Instagram.

Via Tyler Perry’s Instagram

During the opening of his studio, Perry responded with, “When I built my studio, I built it in a neighborhood that is one of the poorest black neighborhoods in Atlanta so that young black kids could see that a black man did that, and they can do it too.” In a day and age where young Black people are deprived of their needs or dreams, this is something that could change their whole perspective. All it takes is one person to thrive for the rest to follow. In his speech, he also mentioned how he had built the place that was originally owned by Confederate soldiers and now it is owned by one Black man. When the young Black community looks to Tyler Perry, they will see that we can be just as successful, if not more, than the White man and be our best selves.

In the interview with Gayle King, Perry also says that he’s not done with his dream for the studios. He says that somewhere on his 330-acre property he’d like to build a compound for trafficked women, girls, homeless women, LGBTQ youth who are put out and displaced. He wants to create a place where they can be trained in the business and become self-sufficient. He plans on providing these people with nice housing, daycare services, and everything that they would need to re-enter society and hopefully pay that kindness forward to others in need.

Needless to say, Tyler Perry has really changed the game for Black people. We now have a place for us to thrive and be appreciated. Not everything in this eurocentric world is given, and when Tyler Perry realized that, he gave us this. 

Thank you, Tyler Perry.