#GLS14 :: Tyler Perry – Leader & Artist

Tyler Perry

Born into poverty and raised in a household scarred by abuse, Tyler fought from a young age to find the strength, faith and perseverance that would later form foundations of his work. Recipient of the 2004 Black Business Professionals’ Entrepreneur of the Year award, he leads a massively successful entertainment empire, employing 350 people from his 30-acre Atlanta studio, with five sound stages and a post-production facility. As a part of his inspiring body of work, including the now-legendary Madea franchise, Tyler has produced, written, and directed a dozen stage plays, five TV series, and 15+ feature films—staring in several of these projects, as well as recently completing a part in David Fincher’s next film, Gone Girl. Perry hasn’t forgotten about those who helped him along the way, and is intimately involved in supporting charities focused on civil rights, homelessness, and rebuilding the lives of disaster survivors in New Orleans and Haiti.

  • You have this artistic side to you and leadership side to you. Which skill set comes more natural to you?
  • For me they were both born in the same place. They were both born in my childhood growing up. I had alot of trauma, so I had to go into these worlds in my head and escape. Now I have this great imagination.
  • They’re two sides of the same coin.
  • From a practical standpoint, do you separate the artistic and leadership sides from each other?
  • I try to separate the writing and artistic side from the leadership side.
  • If a very talented artist can’t be on time and organized, can they work with you?
  • I would walk away from a person like that.
  • When you do go to your creative place, what do you to push new levels of creativity?
  • What is very important to me I need to clear the noise and clutter.
  • I try to leave people with a message, so people know that it’s not just about making them laugh.
  • How do you inspire people like your employees?
  • I was always told that I wasn’t going to be able to do anything. When I created this world in Atlanta, I enter saying “We’re all welcome.” I like to give shots to
  • I will pass over the person most qualified for the job with a bad attitude for the person less qualified with a good attitude.
  • Your dad used to beat you and your mom would take you to church. What was that like?
  • My dad was violent and angry. He married my mother when he was 19 in Louisiana. My father despised me because I was an artist and different.
  • Every Sunday morning my mother would wake me up and take me to church right after being beaten by my dad.
  • God doesn’t make any mistakes. Had it not been for my mother, I don’t know where I would be.
  • The thing that has sustained me through everything has been my faith in God.
  • You said, “It takes an enormous amount of energy to get through abuse, but it takes the same amount of energy to forgive that same person.”
  • The exact same amount of energy that it took for you to go through the pain and struggle is the same that it takes to forgive them.
  • What I realized was that I was connected to the anger from him. It was my fuel.
  • Everything in my life was based around success to prove my dad wrong.
  • Forgiveness is the best you can do.
  • Who is Madea?
  • I wanted to make Madea based on the funniest people I know. Madea is a combination of my aunt and mother.
  • It’s not just about making them laugh, but it’s about using the laughter as anesthesia to send a message.
  • Good Deeds
  • How do we find our way ahead on racial reconciliation?
  • Every generation is going to better in regards to racial reconciliation.
  • If people would begin to open the doors to other people and realize we all have struggles, but we are the same.
  • You have alot of critics. How do you deal with your critics?
  • Rather than focus on critics, I’d rather focus on the 12 million people on Facebook who have personal stories.
  • Everyone knows you came from no money, but you have tons of money now. But you’re so generous. What drives your philanthropy?
  • My mother had a heart for giving, so I’ve learned from her to give what I have been given.
  • As we wrap things up, let’s talk about church. Why do you have a tough time participating in a local church?
  • When I make so much money, there is a different expectation when I go to church.
  • I wish people would allow more celebrities to attend church, and there be no judgment.
  • I’m not giving up on the local church. I’d just rather watch online and not be bothered by people.
  • By the end of your career what kind of legacy do you want to leave?
  • People will forget what you said to them, and what you did to them, but they won’t forget how you make them feel.
  • I want to leave a legacy that makes people feel good.

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