Tyler Perry hopes his Atlanta film studio will have an impact on future generations

Tyler Perry is a filmmaker, actor, and studio owner.

NewsEditor
NewsEditor
14 June 2022 Tuesday 14:09
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Tyler Perry hopes his Atlanta film studio will have an impact on future generations

Tyler Perry is a filmmaker, actor, and studio owner. He says he has achieved success in his career and that he is inspired by the people who work with him and his ancestors.

Perry spoke with Gayle King, CBS Mornings' co-host, Monday during Tribeca Film Festival’s "Tribeca Talks” directors series. They discussed Perry's difficult career path and his plans to continue his legacy through his production company.

Perry stated that "at this moment it really is about legacy" during the 60-minute interview.

Perry is a prolific filmmaker with more than 13 films and 22 plays, as well as seven TV shows. He has always focused on making work that resonates for Black people. Perry continues to tell his unique story through Tyler Perry Studios, an ex-Confederate base that is now owned by a powerful Black filmmaker.

Tyler Perry Studios is located in Atlanta and covers 330 acres on Fort McPherson. This was an Army base that slaves built, which was used once by the Confederate government during World War II.

Perry stated, "To have me the owner of the very land that people were plotting to keep 3.9million Negros enslaved, be owned by one Black men," Perry added. Perry also said that he thought about his ancestors and the thoughts they would have if they knew that. What would that feel like?

King stated that the land was bigger than many major studios like Warner Bros. and Disney combined. Perry explained that 12 sound stages are currently located in the land and they are named after "African Americans" Perry mentioned, which includes Oprah Winfrey and Denzel Washington. Cicely Tyson and Sidney Poitier.

Perry's vision was triggered by a visit at the Biltmore Estate, North Carolina. He realized that there weren't many Black owners of historic properties in the country. Perry also stated that he wanted to create something unique that would inspire future generations.

Perry mentioned his great-grandfather who was enslaved as one of the people who motivated him to succeed. He said, "I'm riding the wave they set in motion." "So, I feel like I'm meant to live well. It feels like I should have all that I desire. It's not just for me but also for all those who haven't gotten it.

Perry's legacy will be carried forward by the studio's workforce. He said that 99 percent of its employees are Black. The company hires many people, including those who were previously incarcerated or who used to live in shelters.

Perry stated, "It's more than what I do." Perry said, "It's about all the people that are affected."

Perry spoke with King about the political divide in America and the social injustices there. Perry said that Madea's beloved character, Madea, returned to the screen in February after her 2018 "retirement." "A Madea homecoming" was released on Netflix in February. Perry also stated that he was inspired by the constant stream of hard news, hate, anger, and rage, to create something to make people laugh.

Perry stated, "I am very concerned about how the world is heading... this country," and "the hatred of people just for being people."

Perry talked about his film "A Jazzman's Blues," a documentary that centers on a Holocaust survivor and jazz singer. Perry stated that he has witnessed "political movements" in opposition to critical race theory and banning of books and believes now is the right time to share his story.

Perry stated that Perry's legacy extends beyond the screen to his 7-year-old son Aman. Perry kept Aman out of public view because he wants Aman to create his own identity before people "start trying to tell him who his father or who he is."

He said that "when you give the world so many things, you have to keep some things for yourself."

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