Tyler Perry is one of the most notable names in Hollywood. Along with acting, he’s built an empire of movies and TV programs with loyal fanbases, and now he’s opening his own massive film studio in Atlanta. Yet, he’s very open about how welcoming Hollywood has been during his time in the industry, noting he feels he’s often “ignored.”
In an emotional interview with CBS’ Gayle King, Tyler Perry spoke out about his legacy, his family and his growing up experience, an experience that led him to learn to want to make people laugh. In regards to his career, he talked about feeling ignored by those in his industry, noting,
I clearly believe that I’m ignored in Hollywood, for sure, and that’s fine. I get it. 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?’
During his hugely prolific career, Tyler Perry has acted, he’s been a writer, he’s a major producer and he’s directed plenty of times. He’s been responsible for 22 movies that have hit the big screen, but he’s also a big name in TV and has even produced plays. He’s everywhere, yet, the majority of the movies he has directed, including the popular Madea movies, have been critically panned.
Although there are bright spots among the critical numbers, often for Tyler Perry's acting performances in movies like Vice and Gone Girl, the industry is not always kind to Perry's work. Audiences have embraced his movies and TV shows however, and ultimately Perry says that is what he believes is important.
But I know what I do is important. I know what I do touches millions of people around the world. I know how important every word, every joke, every laugh [does]. I know what that does for the people where I come from and the people that I’m writing for. So, yeah, I get that.
Tyler Perry’s new studio will feature a dozen sound stages and more than 330 acres to help him create new programming. Not to mention, each have been named after famous black icons in Hollywood. It’s based out of Atlanta, where Tyler Perry has based his operations for some time. It’s also what made him the first black American to own a major studio outright, according to Gayle King.
Ultimately, at the end of the day, people like Madea and OWN programs like The Haves and Have Nots, and Tyler Perry has devoted a career to giving people what they want. Although it should be noted that Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral retired the character he played for a long time in notable fashion.