If you’ve ever dreamed of getting a job in one of Tyler Perry’s writer’s rooms it appears you’re out of luck. Because this week the media mogul revealed to stunned fans and colleagues alike that he doesn’t have one.
“So, I don’t know if you know this, but all shows on television have a writers room,” Perry said in a video shared on both Instagram and Twitter which shows an impressive stack of completed scripts.
To his point it is a common television industry practice for major shows to have a team of writers who collaborate on creating story arcs and completing episode scripts, while the showrunner is at the helm making sure the team stays on track. But apparently, this whole time, Perry has been writing every single word of his content on his own.
“Most of the time, there are 10 people or 12 or whatever that write on these television shows,” he continued, before revealing, “Well, I have no writers room. Nobody writes any of my work. I write it all. Why am I telling you this? I wrote all of these scripts by myself in 2019. Work ethic!”
WORK ETHIC!! Come on. Let’s go get 2020!!! pic.twitter.com/BzADIi1rAa
— Tyler Perry (@tylerperry) January 6, 2020
Although it’s clear the post was meant to be inspiration, the reaction to Perry’s confession was mixed with many noting that with all the power that he has amassed over the years it’s shortsighted that he’s opted out of hiring other writers seeking an opportunity.
Your Work ethic is GREAT. But there are definitely a lot of fantastic black writers who could use the opportunity and paycheck to work in a writers room with and for you.
— Sampson (@OfficialSampson) January 6, 2020
And they are in Atlanta. This is the one thing that burns about being a screenwriter in ATL. There’s a major studio here, black-owned and not one writer’s room. When we get to LA, we still have to come back to ATL to film. But that is OK. We will build our own table as well. ✨
— Shaquayla Mims (@shaquaylamims) January 6, 2020
Last fall Perry, 50, opened Tyler Perry Studios, a 330-acre site on the former location of Fort McPherson in Southwest Atlanta. The venture makes him the only African American who wholly own a movie studio. It now serves as the focal point of his entertainment media empire, making his net worth a reported $600 million.
The first big event there was the 2019 Miss Universe Pageant where Zozibini Tunzi of South Africa was crowned. In addition, the most recent 2020 election Democratic presidential debate was also hosted at the facility. The upcoming sequel to the Eddie Murphy classic “Coming to America” was also shot there. Shows coming out of the production company include “Sistas,” and “The Oval” both which run on BET; and “The Haves and the Have Nots” which are broadcast on the OWN Network.
Perry has said in interviews and appearances that a business focus on ownership was what drove his success.
“No matter what I did, I was very adamant that I had to own it,” Perry told the Los Angeles Times in 2016, when the studio was under construction. “Even if I didn’t have the budget of the big shows or the movies, owning the copyright was so important so that I could eventually build something to this magnitude, to build what you’re seeing now.”