Tyler Perry Says He's Ignored in Hollywood: 'I Know What I Do Is Important'
Tyler Perry knows his worth — even if he feels Hollywood doesn’t see it.
The prolific director, producer and actor just opened Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, rivaling the size of Burbank’s Warner Bros., Walt Disney Studios and Paramount studios combined. But even though he has a string of huge hit films to his name (including 2005’s Diary of Mad Black Woman), Perry told Gayle King on CBS This Morning that he’s not taken as seriously in Hollywood as other filmmakers.
“I clearly believe that I’m ignored in Hollywood, for sure. And that’s fine. I get it,” Perry, 50, said. “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, and we speak a language. Hollywood doesn’t necessarily speak the language. A lot of critics don’t speak that language. So, to them, it’s like, ‘What is this?’ ”
He continued, “But I know what I do is important. I know what I do touches millions of people around the world. I know how important every word, every joke, every laugh [is]. I know what that does for the people where I come from and the people that I’m writing for. So, yeah, I get that.”
Perry’s studio opening took place over the weekend with a star-studded party celebrating his accomplishment. Perry became the first African-American to own a major film studio outright with its opening, and celebrities and pals like Oprah Winfrey, Ava DuVernay, Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, Halle Berry, Will Smith, Whoopi Goldberg, Spike Lee and Viola Davis all stepped out to celebrate.
Rowland, 38, and Williams, 40, posed together on the red carpet at the celebratory event, and were even seen hugging and smiling with one another. Although she didn’t walk the red carpet with the rest of the night’s guests, Beyoncé, 38, did make a surprise appearance at the celebration.
Perry is currently juggling nine shows in production, including The Oval, a White House drama starring Perry as a presidential butler, and Sistas, a show about a group of single black women, both premiering this month on BET.