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I am always energized by people who create things, especially when they do it to claim space for themselves. Tyler Perry is one of those creative powerhouses. He recently told Gayle King that he is “ignored in Hollywood.” His solution? Launch his own studio, which had its grand opening celebration this past weekend:
Tyler Perry is a history-making media mogul, but he says he understands why Hollywood doesn’t treat him as such.
“I clearly believe that I’m ignored in Hollywood, for sure,” Perry told Gayle King of “CBS This Morning” in an interview that aired Tuesday. “And that’s fine. I get it.”
Tyler Perry Studios, one of the largest in existence, opened last weekend in Atlanta.
The 330-acre complex contains 12 sound stages and is reportedly larger than the Burbank, California, lots owned by Warner Bros., Walt Disney Studios and Paramount studios combined. . . .
The actor/director/producer, who opened his first own studio in 2006, is the first African-American to own a major studio outright.
Tyler told Gayle, “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 with, and we speak a language.”
CNN reports that his studio is on part of the decommissioned Fort McPherson, which Tyler purchased four years ago.
DListed has a recap of the opening celebration, and it sounds like it was pretty epic. According to The Hollywood Reporter, stars including Viola Davis, Ava DuVernay, Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg, Halle Berry, Samuel L. Jackson, Tiffany Haddish and Stacey Abrams were there to celebrate. DListed also reported that the Clintons and Spike Lee (who once beefed with Tyler) were there, too.
The studio has a replica of Medea’s house and the White House, which Tyler built for his BET series, The Oval. The Chicago Crusader has even more pictures of the (jaw-dropping) sets. They include courtrooms, a Southern mansion and historic district, a prison yard, and courtrooms. Each of the 12 sound stages is named for an iconic African-American artist: Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg, Will Smith, Halle Berry, Denzel Washington, Spike Lee, Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis and Diahann Carroll.
This is so amazing. Tyler commented to Gayle, “Every black person that comes to work here, they go, “Oh, my God, it’s heaven. Here we are. We’re represented.” I think it’s fantastic that Tyler has been able to build his own studio so that he’ll be able to make the movies that he wants to make while providing opportunities for African-Americans both behind and in front of the camera. I’m angry that he’s been ignored by Hollywood, which doesn’t “get” the work that Tyler is trying to do, telling the stories of African-Americans, but I think that his solution of creating his own studio was a genius way to claim his space as a filmmaker and to have complete freedom with his projects.
Update by Celebitchy: Here’s a video from inside the party. It looks amazing!!
Photos credit: Getty