Tyler Perry Opens up About the Dark & Racist Backgound of His Atlanta Studio
After receiving yet another award at the 2019 BET Awards, Tyler Perry shares the truth about the land that Tyler Perry Studios was built on, particularly its dark and racist background which he hoped would inspire others.
Tyler Perry walked on-stage the 2019 BET Awards last Sunday to receive his Icon Award, and he made sure to share a powerful speech with the rest of the audience. The director shared about the land in which he built Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, and why he decided to build it there.
"When I built my studio, [it was in the] poorest Black neighborhood in Atlanta so the kids can see that a Black man did that and they can too."
A Great Irony
He added that the place was once Fort McPherson, a Confederate Army base during the Civil War when people were trying to keep the Blacks enslaved. He purchased the 330-acre land in June 2015, which now holds 12 sound stages for movie productions.
Perry also proudly shared that while it began as a place where soldiers were "plotting and planning to keep negroes enslaved, now that land is owned by one negro."
"I don't want to be an icon, I want to be an inspiration."
The director ended his speech by calling out "every dreamer in this room." To them, he said:
"Own your stuff. Own your business."
A Good Samaritan
With a net worth of approximately $600 million in 2019, Tyler Perry has been using a lot of his money to give back. There have been talks of him giving huge paychecks to his actors and actresses, giving extravagant gifts such as cars, and a lot more. However, there was one instance in December 2018 when he decided to do something for the City of Atlanta, particularly those that shop at Walmart.
With Christmas around the corner at the time, the director paid off $430,000 worth of layaway items in the superstore. The lucky Walmart customers were informed that they could pick up their items as the celebrity picked up the tabs.
Perry wasn't satisfied with just one Walmart store, however, and he decided to go to two. He shelled out $178,000 in one store in Atlanta and another $256,000 at a store in Douglasville.
Truly, Tyler Perry serves as an inspiration to people across the world, to work hard, persevere, and give back to the communities they love. For Tyler, it's his hometown of Atlanta and the Black community.