In 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic changed many industries, including entertainment, leading to shutdowns. While Hollywood remained shut down for months, a select few chose to film during the pandemic. One of those individuals was media mogul Tyler Perry. His choice became trending a headline when it was announced. Perry recently reflected on how he’s kept people employed and safe during the ongoing pandemic.
Tyler Perry made waves last Summer by deciding to shoot his various television series during the Hollywood shutdown. He even had the casts from his shows quarantine during the shooting process. The media mogul was recently interviewed by CBS This Morning’s Gayle King for LinkedIn News. They discussed several topics related to his career before the conversation turned to continue television production during the pandemic. The anchor called Perry’s handling of the situation with safety protocol while filming “extraordinary.” He spoke about his concerns over filming so many shows with people of color during the pandemic.
That was a moment where I challenged myself. And I was very, very concerned, very worried. Because I have so many people who are black and brown people are the most affected, especially when it comes to death or disproportionate to the death rate. And I didn’t want to put people in harm’s way, so I figured out, ‘How can I do this? What’s the best way to do this?’
Tyler Perry revealed his tactic for shooting his series during the pandemic and Hollywood shutdown. He even gave insight into thinking about casts and crew’s financial situations.
In trying to figure that out, I started a bubble and we’ve done over 200 shows, 200 episodes in that bubble without one positive person inside. Locking down here at the studio, having 400-500 people here at a time. Testing every three days. Wearing a mask. And being able to still shoot and also my dilemma was I can go away until there’s a vaccine… but what about all these people that work for me, bought houses, cars, have kids in college? I need to step up and do something.
As a consistent game-changer, Tyler Perry’s words spoke to his humility and care for others when contemplating filming his various television projects. The fact that he was concerned about people’s financial situation and COVID-19 safety made his final decision even more amazing. But looking at Perry’s track record, his final decision shouldn’t be a surprise. This was the same man who built and opened his studio, where films such as Bad Boys for Life and Coming 2 America filmed.
Tyler Perry’s determination to do thing his way have been met with mixed reaction. Some in the press and on social media have called him out for writing all his television shows and his portrayal of Black women in his work. On the other hand, he has been championed for his “studio outsider” approach with Eddie Murphy calling him a modern-day Rudy Ray Moore. Even some of his actors have expressed gratitude to Perry for employing them when no one would. But his concern for others’ wellbeing has extended outside of film and television as the multi-hyphenated creator has been a leading philanthropist for years especially during the COVID-9 pandemic. No matter what people say about his work or how he operates, Tyler Perry has managed to keep people working in a time when many are questioning whether they can afford to buy food or pay their rent.