Tyler Perry plans to build a shelter for trafficked girls and boys and battered women

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Tyler Perry held the grand opening of his movie studio in Atlanta over the weekend. Tyler had earlier addressed the controversy around working in Georgia in light of its abortion ban: He said “Atlanta has been the dream… this whole state and city has been amazing to me and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.” At the time, he also noted that he’d invested $250 million in the studio, so I can appreciate that for him, at least, walking away from his dream of having his own studio in a city he loves would be impossible. If he didn’t have the studio, or the ties to the city, I imagine it would have been easier to stay away. He also voiced his opposition to the law, which has been temporarily blocked while a lawsuit against it moves forward.

Back to the studio: I was trying to wrap my head around its 330-acre size, 12 sound stages, and massive, life-size sets. I wondered just how much free space Tyler might have left and how he might use it. Turns out, he has a fantastic idea:

Tyler Perry‘s next big project hopes to bring help to people who need it most.

The pioneering filmmaker, writer and actor just opened a brand new movie studio in Atlanta, making him the first African-American to own a major studio outright. But achieving such a huge career milestone doesn’t mean he’s done trying to strive for the better.

“You know what, right now I’m dreaming about how do I build this shelter for trafficked girls, boys and battered women,” Perry, 50, told Essence at the grand opening of his studio on Saturday.

Perry previously opened up to Gayle King on CBS This Morning about his dream, explaining that he hopes to incorporate the shelter into his bra[n]d new 330 acre film studio in Atlanta.

“Having a compound that is a beautiful place right here somewhere on this 330 acres, where they’re trained in the business and they become self-sufficient, they live in nice apartments, there’s daycare, there’s all of these wonderful things that allows them to re-enter society and then pay it forward again. That’s what I hope to do soon,” he said.

[From People]

This is such an incredible gesture, and I’m in awe that Tyler is using his wealth to, in part, help others who have suffered intense trauma. Tyler was sexually abused by multiple adults and physically abused by his father when he was a child, so he knows the necessity of a safe space and support to start healing from abuse. I hope that his studio is successful, sure, but I hope even more that he is able to create the positive, healing, affirming shelter that he wants to create. That will make such a difference in the lives of the people who have the opportunity to stay there.

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19 Responses to “Tyler Perry plans to build a shelter for trafficked girls and boys and battered women”

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  1. Keekee says:

    I read many comments on instagram on how dangerous putting so many ‘damaged’, abused, addicted and troubled people together could be especially with do many rich movie stars going in and out.

    • SKF says:

      🙄
      Honestly, this is just infuriating. This is the commentary? I am sure, that if he does this, the shelter and such will be in a seperate and secure section of a massive property. It’s not like he’s going to shove them in the middle of a sound stage. I am sure that he will consult with some experts and work out ways to do this. And even if there are some initial issues, he can work on this and improve it as he moves forward. I can’t stand it when people are instantly negative about people trying to do positive things. It’s like nothing is ever good enough and the knee jerk reaction is to rip attempts at good deeds to shreds.

    • TQB says:

      This is the lamest concern trolling ever. Move along.

    • tealily says:

      Sounds like a wonderful opportunity for these people to support each other if you ask me.

  2. Christine says:

    It is a wonderful idea, but also maybe the entertainment industry is not the best setting to put victims of sex trafficking.

  3. stepup says:

    That’s great about the shelter. No shade.

    Too be nuanced, it would be great if he supported unions, so people trying to rebuild their lives after trauma can enjoy livable wages, benefits, and support. I could also do without the misogynoir in his movies. (Here’s a good starting place if you’ve never considered criticisms regarding Perry: https://www.theroot.com/tyler-perry-lee-daniels-built-careers-on-black-women-s-1791134272)

    A lot of people love his movies. I get it. Heck, my father loves Tyler Perry movies (granted, he’s a sexist octogenarian) — and representation is important. I’m just unwilling NOT to push back on two things I care deeply about: supporting the working class and the eradication of misogynoir.

  4. runcmc says:

    I was pretty shocked about how markedly negative and unsupportive comments have been towards Tyler Perry. Whether you like his art or not, he seems to be a legitimately good person. People yesterday were complaining about his sexism in movies, and now he talks about building a shelter to protect battered women and children. And what do we have? Two comments right away, both negative/critical.

    Society truly can’t accept a black man who’s had the door shut on him over and over building his own opportunities huh.

      • stepup says:

        To quote James Baldwin: “If I [love / respect] you, I have to make you conscious of what you don’t see.”

        Look, I get it. And life is complicated. So there is another side to this.

        Some articles to consider:

        1) http://www.rolereboot.org/culture-and-politics/details/2014-03-tyler-perry-faux-empowerment-black-women/

        2) http://www.crunkfeministcollective.com/2013/05/29/tyler-perry-hates-black-women-5-thoughts-on-the-haves-and-have-nots/

        I’m not bitter. I’m not a hater. I think the studio is a great achievement. Everyone is clapping for Tyler Perry. But we, the category of black women who are fighting for true social equality and lifting the veil on the sneaky ways misogynoir rears its ugly head — for those of us sick of the boxes that many white people and a lot of black men try to shove us into — Perry still has some work to do. (We all do.) And oftentimes, the people who need to hear these different takes the most don’t read, much less know about the sites, where these things are discussed. So, we bring it up in “mixed company.”

        I’m not saying he is a terrible man. I’m thrilled he is providing jobs for black folks (though not impressed with his anti-union stance). I’m also encouraging folks to examine the other side of the coin.

      • runcmc says:

        @stepup

        I understand we can’t see each other here but you should know I am also a black woman, so please don’t lecture me about what I feel. I didn’t defend any of his movies.

        My point is, why are we holding him to a higher standard than white Hollywood movie makers? Especially as black women, KNOWING the whole world demands excellence for us to eke out a little bit of success (MAYBE) while diminishing our accomplishments…while white women are praised for mediocrity. I’m sure you have a million examples from your own life as do I, but let’s look at the two British duchesses as an example of this as well.

        I just mean we need to actually stop and CELEBRATE someone who’s out there succeeding on his own terms instead of tripping all over ourselves because there’s a couple of extra hoops we feel he should have jumped before he had the audacity to build his own opportunities.

      • stepup says:

        @runcmc

        I wasn’t lecturing, just giving my opinion. Moreover, I was talking to celebitchy, who is white. I find a lot of white women don’t often come across different perspectives on this issue and wanted to share. I was sure to be exceedingly polite.

        Personally, I am not holding him to a higher standard. I call out all. This thread happens to be about Tyler Perry, so that is who I am focused on for this thread.

        And like I said, I think his studio is great. I’ve said that multiple times. I just believe there is another side. There is little harm done looking at the bad and the good.

      • stepup says:

        @run and @celebitchy

        I was running out this morning, and didn’t get to all my points. It bothered me all day. :-)

        @run, You bring up the duchesses. The difference is that Meghan isn’t a one-woman misogynoir machine. I don’t understand what the accomplishments of black women have to do with Tyler Perry’s misogynoir. I feel like that disparity is a huge part of the larger problem: We, as black women, are often expected to prop up our community’s men, no matter what, while taking a back seat. Na-ah. Not doing that anymore. I was raised in one of those conservative Christian black households, which Perry loves to recreate over and over and over…and over, where patriarchy ruled, (even though mom made the most). And this is a trope that Tyler plays on repeat; PLUS, he frames women who don’t adhere to the model as somehow wonton.

        Opening up the conversation more generally: There are certain black folks that some white people love to love. Tyler Perry is one of them. It’s important to think critically about why that is. Because usually, those white folks (and many black folks who seek white acceptance), prefer the black folks who sing the “blame the victim” aria — as Tyler Perry often is…except when it comes to himself, of course.

        And again: His anti-union stance is a problem! Black, white, Latinx, Asian…no matter: If you’re anti-union, I’m not going to be up here giving you unadulterated praise. No ma’am. Capitalism is a pyramid scheme. Granted, some version of it may be the best economic system we humans can cobble together at the moment, but that doesn’t mean the working class shouldn’t have support and living wages. There is a lot of talk about Perry and his anti-union ways. He’s screwed people over. Word on the curb (this is a gossip site, after all) he’s also not against taking credit for other people’s work. Think of that in comparrison to Lena Waithe, Issa Rae, Tiffany Haddish…They’ve all been in the business a lot less longer than Perry, and have done more to give a leg up to other black creators — and give them credit! And they’re certainly not going around singing the “bootstrap ballad.” They all worked hard. Absolutely. But they recognize that other, powerful forces are also at play.

        To be clear, (and I hate that I must say this), I’m not yelling and screaming. Just giving a different perspective to chew on.

    • Cee says:

      I wish we had a Like button.
      I AGREE!

    • Jade says:

      Yeah, this is disheartening.

  5. Lala11_7 says:

    What I will say about Tyler Perry is this…

    I will be SO HAPPY when I can CONSISTENTLY celebrate Black Excellence without the sweet being tainted with the VERY bitter…

  6. JanetFerber says:

    I love Tyler Perry and always have.

  7. eto says:

    Tyler is doing great things and I love to see it!

  8. stormsmama says:

    He is amazing.

  9. JustMe says:

    Don’t know much about him other than a few movies but I do wish people were more resistant to filming in a state with such restrictive abortion laws. Same as The Walking Dead etc. And please don’t come at me about how these movie/tv people need work too etc just wish more would speak out