Tyler Perry Explained Why Courting Black Audiences and Securing Ownership Was Important to His Career Success

Throughout his career, Tyler Perry has felt like an outsider in Hollywood as he carved out his path as a multihyphenate away from the traditional film industry. But he wouldn’t have it any other way given his billionaire status. Before his multiple TV and film projects and sprawling studio complex, Perry was all about making content on his terms. After all his success, the A Jazzman’s Blues director explained why courting Black audiences and securing ownership was important to his career.

The idea of finding his niche was instilled in the media mogul from a young age. Tyler Perry recently revealed to AARP that his late mother had a distrust of white people from growing up in the Jim Crow South. Her distrust informed Perry’s outlook on creating content for Black audiences rather than pursuing Hollywood or Broadway. The A Madea Homecoming star explained how gaining success amongst his race was better than courting outside approval.

I grew up in Louisiana, and my mother grew up in the Jim Crow South. She didn’t have a healthy trust of white people. Because of the things she had endured — horrific things — she wanted me to know the value I had within me. I never felt like I needed to look outside of my own race for success. I knew that if I mined what was in our community, what I had in me, it would work.

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