Oprah Winfrey wants everyone to know that Tyler Perry’s not just the first black man to own his own studio, he’s the first person, PERIOD.
During the official grand opening of Tyler Perry Studios’ latest location opening in Atlanta, AfterBuzz TV host L. Marie interviewed Winfrey, who had a lot to say to celebrate this momentous occasion.
“I think it’s outstanding that [Perry] is a black man and that he, you know, has done this,” Winfrey said, “but the fact, first of all, who else has done this? Of any color? Look at any studio, and any studio head in Hollywood, they don’t own it! Nobody owns it.”
The new studio location has 12 sound stages spread across 330 acres. It is one of the largest film production studios in the nation.
To Winfrey’s point, all of the major film studios (Walt Disney Studios, Universal Pictures, and Sony Pictures to name a few) are owned by publicly held companies. Unlike the studio system of a time long past, traditionally run by a few individual people in the 1920’s, today’s world isn’t one where a person outright owns a studio. Certainly, there are celebrities who run their own production companies, such as Adam Sandler, Kerry Washington, and Elizabeth Banks. But studios? That’s less heard of.
“All of the major studio heads, all of the big muckity mucks, all of the people dada; nobody owns it,” Winfrey said. “They have a board, they are hired by people, but when they go home at the end of the day they don’t own it.”
Tyler Perry Studios officially opened back in 2006 after Perry’s switch from theatre to film with his 2005 hit, Diary of a Mad Black Woman. His studio has since created films such as Madea’s Family Reunion, The Family That Preys, Good Deeds, and A Madea Family Funeral.
Perry, a long-time friend of Winfrey, spent his early life in poverty. On his website, he mentions how listening to Winfrey on TV helped him get through some of the abuse he experienced, and states that her words encouraged him to turn what he was going through into plays.
“[Perry has become] a force for himself,” Winfred said in an interview with the AP, confirming that Perry has built his own empire.
That force is already one of the greatest Hollywood has ever seen, and now the foundation is set for a future even brighter than before.
For the latest from Tyler Perry Studios, be sure to check out the shows Sistas and The Oval, both premiering on October 23rd.