By Ojie KING
Fine. I will admit that this man might not be winning Oscars or Emmys or Tony’s or any noted industry honour for motion picture or theatre productions for his works or according to most people, his films are probably seen exclusively by and made to an extent exclusively for African Americans or that he fails to represent African Americans in a positive light, choosing to present them in the most stereotypical manner as possible or as someone put it the other day “ he makes African Americans victims of other African Americans”.
With all that being sad (after all, you can’t please everyone, especially in the arts, which is very subjective), merely putting the name ‘TYLER PERRY’ on a poster, fills cinema and theatre seats and has people glued to their sofas. Or as Monique said in her acceptance speech for the 2010 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress referring her movie precious for which he was a producer for, “BECAUSE YOU TOUCHED IT, THE WHOLE WORLD SAW IT”.
You see at CreativityTurf, we talk about life being a journey that we can influence the direction and destination of where it takes us. What I admire about this man is that he literally decided one day (After watching Oprah- side note, people should cut Oprah a cheque for the direct or indirect influence she has made on the lives of many) that he was going to influence the direction of his journey the only way he knew how to.
How was that you might ask? He sat down, got his head out of the box and put pen to paper and allowed his imagination to run. Soon after, his first play ‘I know I’ve Been Changed’ was written and as they say, the rest is history. Presently, he has a portfolio that includes 17 plays, 14 motion pictures and three television shows. Of which, I can add that, he writes, produces and directs all of them and has full ownership of his films (rare feat in Hollywood), of which have grossed over $500 million in box office receipts world wide. So, not only does he not influence the direction of his journey, he is in the steering wheel. As if that is not enough, he became the first African American to establish a studio in 2006 and in 2008, it moved into its present 200,000 square foot site. This site consists of 5 sound stages, a back lot, a 400-seat theatre, post-production facility, a private screening room and a designated area of hosting events and entertaining.
A crowning feat for his achievements, was when in 2011, Forbes magazine published, with earnings of $130million, he had succeeded in becoming the highest earnings man in the entertainment industry (even out ranking super-director Steven Spielberg and super-producer Jerry Bruckheimer). Currently, his net-worth stands at north of $350 million!
Another interesting aspect of Tyler is that he maybe by the acting or himself, has some sort of relationship with his audience or rather I could call them fans, which is unlike that of any major director or producer in Hollywood. He makes it open for his fans to interact with him via twitter or face-book or his website, where atimes, he put up messages and asks for responses. So, in a way, he is giving the same love and adoration reserved only for actors and musicians. So much so that when he decided to cast socialite Kim Kardashian in his upcoming film ‘The Marriage Counselor’, fans were revolting so much so that one man sat down to type an open letter to Tyler expressing his disappointment in him.
Again, all this from one man who decided that one day to sit down and get his head out the box and ends up making millions from dressing like a lady!