How Tyler Perry Is Giving the Entertainment Industry a New Hope
The writer, director, producer and studio head has built an entertainment empire, including one of the industry’s largest coronavirus bubbles—making his work more impactful than ever
By all rights, this should have been Tyler Perry’s best summer ever. August was particularly auspicious, given the announcement that one of the entertainment industry’s richest and most prolific multihyphenates (actor-writer-director-producer-mogul–studio chief) would receive the Television Academy’s 2020 Governors Award at this year’s Emmys for “his unprecedented achievements in television” and “his commitment to offering opportunities to marginalized communities.”The first accolade was no surprise, given that Perry, 51, has put out 14 TV series (including House of Payne, The Oval and Sistas) to go along with his 22 movies (among them the lucrative Madeaseries) and 22 plays. Most of Perry’s works have been produced by his own Tyler Perry Studios, which
occupies a 330-acre estate in Atlanta and is one of the country’s largest production studios.
The second citation stems from the fact that the industry’s most innovative empire is owned and operated by a Black man who employs an incredibly diverse group of people to serve a largely Black audience. His projects have generated upward of $2 billion in box office and TV revenue.
By September, when Forbes declared Perry a billionaire, he had every opportunity to celebrate. He owns two private islands in the Bahamas and a 1,200-acre spread in Atlanta, where he’s building a 35,000-square-foot megamansion.