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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.
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.