Film mogul Tyler Perry is having a moment of what can only be described as poetic justice. Earlier this month, he opened his new mega-production studio on what was once a Confederate army base. And on Thursday (October 24), he will debut, back-to-back shows on BET: “Sistas” and the White House-inspired “The Oval.” Speaking with Deadline in an interview published Wednesday (October 23), Perry said, “I can feel the ancestors at my back when I’m here, when I’m walking the land and when I’m taking it all in. I completely feel it, man. It’s overwhelming to me.”
The symbolism of owning the former Fort McPherson base is not lost on Perry, especially considering the series he’s creating on the land, which all center Black people. “I feel strongly that it’s so poetic, in the sense that there were Confederate soldiers and generals plotting how to keep Black people enslaved and now the land is owned by a Black person,” said the “Madea” creator. “I’ve been given stewardship over this place and these 40, or so, homes that were built in the 1800s by the hands of slaves.”
Just as “Sistas” was inspired by the single, Black women with whom Perry has worked over the years, he credits one of the most powerful Black women in the industry for inspiring him to step into his own. “All I can equate it to is seeing Oprah for the first time on television and feeling like I was represented, or she could be a friend, or my aunt, or seeing someone who’s intelligent and can speak to anyone and interview anyone,” Perry reflected. “So, when people see this studio, where it is, when they see what I’ve done, I just want them to know that they belong in the room and it’s possible.”
Read the full interview on Deadline.