Atlanta, Georgia–Tyler Perry has just made Black history with the opening of his new studio in Atlanta that encompasses 330 acres of land on a former confederate base. One of the main attractions, are the 12 sound stages, each named after influential Black icons in Hollywood.
“I know for a fact that when I drive in through these gates, onto this 330 acres and see these 12 sound stages, and see the highway sign that says ‘Tyler Perry Studios’ as you’re making to the exit in here, as I come in here and I see these hundreds of people working, these black and brown – I’ve been on sets where I’ve been the only black face on, only black face, as recently as 2019 going, ‘Where are the black people in this movie?’ Back behind the camera?
So, when I come to work here and every black person that comes to work here they go, ‘Oh my God, it’s heaven. Here we are. We’re represented.’ Where everybody’s represented. LGBTQ’s represented. Black, white, gay, straight, whatever. We’re all represented, working hand-in-hand, arm-in-arm,” (Newsone)
Sound stage names include:
Sir Sidney Poitier
Perry’s moves shed light on the disparities of ownership and representation that still plague Hollywood. Perry, 50, says he was tired of asking for a seat at the table in Hollywood, so he decided to branch out to build his studio. Perry’s studio is bigger than all the studio’s in Hollywood and Burbank combined.
Perry also has future plans to carve out a space for at risk mothers who need help getting back on their feet, as well as LGBTQ youth. In an interview the Gayle King, Perry relayed:
“Tell you what I’m most excited about next is that pulling this next phase off is building a compound for trafficked women, girls, homeless women, LGBTQ youth who are put out and displaced and having a compound that is a beautiful place, right here somewhere on these 330 acres, where they’re trained in the business and they become self-sufficient, they live in nice apartments, there’s daycare, there’s all these wonderful things that allows them to reenter society and then pay it forward again.”