Tyler Perry just bought himself a Hollywood that is even bigger than the actual Hollywood. Let me explain.
Who is this Tyler Perry? Does his name sound familiar? Maybe it does because you met him once, when he was homeless, living out of a beat-up old car. You thought of giving him some help, but you were doing a course in socio-economics and were in the middle of a paper about the causes and solutions to poverty and were, at that particular moment, on the page about how giving handouts doesn’t solve the larger problem, so you just hurried on.
Because he is a really big guy. Stands at six foot five. And you were worried because the week before you were on the page about the link between poverty and crime.
Well, he is not homeless now. Not only is he worth $600 million, which includes several homes, his office, his place of work, he owns a 330 acre film studio complex, newly opened in Atlanta, Georgia (A state in America) called Tyler Perry Studios, but which I really really hope will be nicknamed ‘Madeawood’ very soon because one must take these opportunities early.
He started off as an actor, making plays in which he wore a wig and a dress and acted as a sassy, feisty grandma with a gun. We laughed at him then. We laughed at him so much.
Well, who’s laughing now? Still us. Because that was the whole point. Madea movies were funny after all.
Okay, that point is debatable. Some will say that Madea movies, and Tyler Perry sitcoms and the various other works he produced, starred in, wrote and directed were low-brow, unsophisticated humor, pandering to the least demanding parts of the palate, and that they depended too much on the archetypical or even stereotypical African-American tropes.
To them, I join millions upon millions of Tyler Perry fans in saying, “What? We didn’t hear from you. We were too busy laughing our bums off at how hilarious Tyler Perry productions are.”
It’s like that noted thinker and analyst, me, intimated last week. If you don’t like the jokes, that’s fine. As long as someone else does, the joke qualifies. Some people like Scorsese, some people like Spider-Man. It’s okay. We have enough screens for each taste.
Despite the naysayers, Perry has proven to be a testimony of how hard work, dedication, and consistency can pay off. Over his career, he has built up a massive pile of credits and a massive pile of money. Which he has put into ‘Madeawood’, thus threatening to make even more.
It’s going to be awesome because Tyler Perry movies are not the only ones that are going to come out of the studios. I was on Skype with Keesha, one of my social media friends in Atlanta and she said she was sure that several other filmmakers, and not only African American ones, are going to be hiring the facilities to make even more and more TV shows, movies, and, because this is 2019 going on to the next decade, streaming web-series. It’s going to be awesome.
Antione Fuqua, Spike Lee, Shonda Rhimes, Gina Prince-Bythewood, F. Gary Gray, Reginald Hudlin, Ava DuVernay, Kasi Lemmons… even Issa Raye, because you have not even begun to see what this woman can do, are going to explode onto our retinas in the coming years with stuff they made at ‘Tylerwood’, which is the only name I am ready to accept if ‘Madeawood’ doesn’t catch on.
It’s going to be great. A former homeless dude who believed in his art and worked his fingers to the bone to make a dream come true is now ready to make other dreams come true.
You should have given him at least a couple of dollars when you passed him in the streets all those years ago. Then you would also be able to claim to be a part of this because we are going to close by saying it is all thanks to those people who didn’t let him starve when he was homeless.