“Tyler Perry & Ava DuVernay Talk Hollywood Racism, ‘Empire’ & Owning It – Produced By”

“I’m not the person to ask about racism in this town, coming from where I came from I never had to go through what I’ve heard a lot of people had to go through in this town,” said Tyler Perry today at theProduced By conference. “I got into this town and I didn’t understand it,” Perry told Ava DuVernay of his move from a very successful theater career in the early 1990s to meeting with agents and studios in Hollywood. The duo were talking before a jam-packed Sherry Lansing Theatre on the Paramount lot as a part of the 2-day PGA confab.

“I’m from the South where they tell you they don’t like your ass if they don’t like something,” he bluntly remarked to a big laugh from the crowd on the Tinseltown tendency not to be straightforward.

“This town, with so much madness inside, it will talk you out of what you feel is your instinct, what you feel you should do,” the Madea and The Haves And The Have Nots creator asserted. “The key is to learn how to be malleable and fluid inside a system that will constantly battle your instinct.”

“The great thing is I’m telling everyone in this world is if you get a deal where you are underestimated, that is a sweet thing,” he noted on keeping his projects under his control and ownership. “We put the film out on Oscar weekend and it made $25 million on opening weekend on this $5 million film,” Perry said as an example with his first movie the Lionsgate released Diary Of A Mad Black Women back in 2005.

“The biggest thing I found about my audience is it is not about race but about class,” the multimedia multitasker added, on what he sees among his fanbase domestically today…”



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