Tyler Perry Talks Being “Ignored In Hollywood” And Shares A Moment Involving Oprah That Changed His Life

The grand opening gala for Tyler Perry’s ‘Tyler Perry Studios’ marked history over the weekend, making Perry the first black American to own a major film studio outright!

The Atlanta film complex extends over 330 acres with 12 sound stages, which makes it larger than Warner Brothers lots in Burbank, California, Walt Disney Studios, and Paramount combined.

Perry sat down with CBS This Morning’s co-host Gayle King in Atlanta, and they spoke about the historic accomplishment among a number of topics including, The New York Times characterizing him as, “The most successful mogul Hollywood has ever ignored.”

Perry agreed with the statement after being asked by King, “Do you think Hollywood gets you?”

Tyler Perry replied by saying, “No,” adding, “I clearly believe that I’m ignored in Hollywood, for sure. And that’s fine. I get it.”

When asked by King, “Is that fine?”

Perry confirmed, “It is. 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 by saying, “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.”

Further, some of Hollywood’s biggest names were in attendance over the weekend, including #Beyoncé, Viola Davis, Samuel L. Jackson, Spike Lee, and Oprah Winfrey.

During the gala, Perry told hundreds of guests about a pivotal point in his career back in 2005, when Oprah Invited him to her Legends Ball event.

He shared that while attending the event, he saw, “Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, Tom Cruise, and Sidney Poitier.” He says that he accidentally blurted out, “What am I doing here?,” not realizing that Yolanda Adams, who was sitting next to him, heard him. She responded to him, saying, “You belong here.” 

By the end of the night, Perry said, “I’m going to dream bigger.” He explained that by just being in Oprah’s presence and in her house, he saw what a black person could accomplish, and it just spoke volumes to him.

When Entertainment Tonight spoke to Oprah at Perry’s grand opening about playing such a pivotal role in Perry’s success journey, Winfrey shared, “You never know who is watching you or who is going to take inspiration from something you did or something you said. I remember him distinctly leaving the Legends Ball in 2005… and saying, ‘I’m going to dream a bigger dream’ and I went and said, ‘Man, you sure did.'”

Gayle King’s full conversation with Perry will air Tuesday, October 8, on CBS This Morning.

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