Tyler Perry’s fans have watched his ascent from actor and writer to Hollywood mogul, and now the star of umpteen “Madea” movies can also lay claim to being a billionaire.
A new cover story in Forbes describes Perry as “Hollywood’s newest billionaire,” reporting that he’s earned more than $1.4 billion since 2005.
According to Forbes‘ breakdown, Perry “owns the entirety of his creative output, including more than 1,200 episodes of television, 22 feature films and at least two dozen stage plays, as well as a 330-acre studio lot at the edge of Atlanta’s southern limits. He used that control to leverage a deal with ViacomCBS that pays him $150 million a year for new content and gives him an equity stake in BET+, the streaming service it debuted last September.”
“I love when people say you come from ‘humble beginnings.’ [It] means you were poor as hell,” he told the magazine, adding, “Ownership changes everything.”
As Forbes points out, Perry spent $250 million investing in his Atlanta-based studio facility, described as being twice the size of the famed Warner Bros. backlot.
“I own the lights. I own the sets,” Perry explained. “So that’s where the difference is. Because I own everything, my returns are higher.”
Owning the land in Georgia upon which his studio sits, he adds, provides another level of satisfaction.
“I can go outside and take this dirt and put it on my hands and know that there were Confederate soldiers here walking this land, plotting and planning everything they could to keep us Negroes in place,” Perry said. “The very fact that I am here on this land, the very fact that hundreds of people — Black and brown people — come here to make a living, that is effecting change.”