On Saturday night, Tyler Perry made Atlanta come to be known as ‘Black Hollywood’ as he opened a sprawling 330-acre namesake studio in the Fort McPherson area that drew just about every major African-American star. The gala event was attended by a bevy of Black celebrities, including groundbreaking black artists who were given a special tribute by Perry that included Oprah Winfrey, Denzel Washington, Spike Lee, Will Smith, Halle Berry, Sidney Poitier, Whoopi Goldberg, Cicely Tyson, and Harry Belafonte.
The opening was a star-studded affair as well and was attended by celebs such as Oprah Winfrey, Beyoncé, her husband Jay-Z, Cicely Tyson, Sidney Poitier, Viola Davis, Samuel L. Jackson, director Ava DuVernay, and political heavyweights like John Lewis, Stacey Abrams, and Bill and Hillary Clinton. The studio has several soundstages and each is named after legends like the late Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis, Della Reese, John Singleton, and Diahann Carroll, who died Friday, one day before the ceremony.
The studio opened by Perry is a massive achievement for a Black artist as Hollywood is predominantly run by studios owned and controlled by White men. In a moving speech at the BET Awards in June, Perry had revealed the historic significance of his studio’s lot that was once a Confederate Army base. He has said, “We all get to stand here equally—black, white, whatever—this is the American dream.”
Happy Sunday. Congratulations to Tyler Perry on the opening of his studios. I could feel our ancestors’ presence. Surrounded by my heroes, I watched Denzel, Queen Oprah, Spike, Whoopi, Sir Poitier, Will, Halle , Dame Cicely and our angels John Singleton and Diahann Carroll honored. The Armand de Brignac crashed against each soundstage as fireworks lit up the sky. Generations of blood, sweat and tears, success, excellence and brilliance. It makes me so proud, so full, I could not stop crying. Thank you my Virgo brother for so much love and passion put into every detail. My prayer today is that you will take it all in. You inspire me to dream even bigger.
Several celebrities posted moving tributes and congratulatory notes on Perry's achievement. Beyoncé shared a heartfelt message for Perry on Instagram in which she wrote that she “could not stop crying” at the gala. Kelly Rowland, Lance Gross, Halle Berry, Michelle Williams also posted fitting tributes and best wishes for Perry on Instagram. Check them out below.
@tylerperry I am so grateful to have witnessed Black Excellence, History, and Greatness! The ground we stood on, the room! And EVERYTHING this Lot represents! I am humbled, inspired, and so encouraged! Thank You for being a force! So beyond grateful for you #whatanightitwas
Last night was surreal - Overwhelmed with pride for @tylerperry, creator of the first black-owned major film studio in our HISTORY. To have shared in this moment in some small way, standing beside the most iconic talent in celebration of his accomplishment, was an absolute honor that I will never forget. Last night Tyler dared us to dream a bigger dream for ourselves, and today I dare each of you to do the same!
Tonight was beyond amazing! Shocked, Humbled & Grateful explain how I’m feeling at the moment. If you weren’t inspired after this experience tonight something has to be wrong with you! @tylerperry watching you honor powerhouse legends in this industry was beautiful. But for you to include me in the gesture really blew me away. Sir I thank you again. For not only everything you’ve been to me but everything you are to all. It’s amazing to watch you make strides! Thank you for my star on your studio grounds!
When you’re scrolling through IG and see yourself in @ava story WOW grateful to be apart of this historic and epic moment Thank you @tylerperry and Cassie Davis and I love singing with my girl Rhonda Davis from Mississippi Mass @rhondachambersdavis #TASHA #colorPurple #TylerPerry #Oprah #ImagineThis #TylerPerryStudios
#ImagineThis Headed for a triple dose of inspiration this morning! Still celebrating @tylerperry and the opening of @tylerperrystudios! It’s absolutely breathtaking!! ——————————- I thought I’d wear @houseofchapple this mornTing!! @bflyyexperience and @colordujour woke me up earrrrrrrly this mo’nin!! @stylistjbolin thank you for pushing me!! @anrfashions @_mekstyles_ @noir.funk @alyshaantoinette DREAM TEAM!! ———————— Photography: @dreanicolephotography
With the studio, Perry has become the first black person to own a film and TV studio of this magnitude. He had purchased the former 330-acre Fort McPherson military base in 2015 for $30 million which is now converted into the studio.
(Source: Instagram/IndieWire/Vanity Fair/The Hollywood Reporter)