Tyler Perry had to cross a lot of hurdles to get where he is today, but, according to the media mogul, racism is not one of them. Speaking with Ava DuVernay at the annual Produced By conference in Los Angeles, Perry says he’s “not the person to ask” about racism in Hollywood.
“I’m not the person to ask about racism in [Hollywood],” he said candidly. “I’ve never had to go through things others have to get things done.”
Perry has, however, faced issues of classism and just general hating on his style as a filmmaker.
So, at a grand opening gala on Oct. 5, in AtlantaTyler Perry unveiled to the world his most expansive project to date with the unveiling of the 330-acreTyler Perry Studios complex on a former Fort McPherson site.
An A-list of national celebrities and leaders are expected to attend the opening of Tyler Perry Studios – people whom Perry said have had a major influence on his life: Oprah Winfrey, the Clintons, Halle Berry, Will Smith, Denzel Washington, and Cicely Tyson, to name a few.
“It’s bringing Hollywood and all the eyes of Hollywood to Atlanta to see that we are a major player in film and television, and now we have the facilities to rival Hollywood – so come, bring your productions,” Perry said.
Perry talked about his journey from living out of his car 25 years ago to becoming the owner of a major studio, his feelings about the Fort McPherson Local Redevelopment Authority, his hopes for building a stronger relationship with the surrounding community, and his thoughts about possible development outside the studio’s fence.
“There’s a certain class of people that I come from who know what I’m talking about, who get it,” he said. “There’s this other class who simply say, ‘What is this s—?'”
He explained his first experience with theater was sneaking into shows at intermission because he could not afford admission. “When the critics say, ‘His movies look like it’s just one act,’ that’s why. I would only see the second acts,” he said.
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