Tyler Perry is a rare triple threat– an African American director, producer, and writer. With two new shows,’The Have and The Have Not’s’ and ‘Love Thy Neighbor’ premiering on the OWN network this week, the media mogul sat down with friend and new business partner Oprah Winfrey for the latest installment of Oprah’s Next Chapter. The 43-year-old discussed his critics (including Spike Lee), creating roles for black actresses and how he tried to help Whitney Houston. Peep the excerpts below.
Why He Decided To Join OWN:
People in this kind of position don’t usually do this and then if you add black people in this type of position can’t come together, there are too many egos. It can really tear the seam of the heart of the friendship apart.
Criticisms That He Receives:
Everything that is written people think that it is written specifically for them. What I find is it is how it speaks to you and what is specific to you and if people go into the movie looking for something to complain about or something to be anti what they believe or what they hope or what they think, of course they will walk away with those feelings.
On His Feud With Spike Lee:
We’re very different in the sense that I am a southern boy grew up in Louisiana, spent most of my time in rural Louisiana. He grew up in New York, his father is a jazz musician; mother is an educator but of course stories would be different. Doesn’t mean one is less important than the other, they are just different stories. I don’t hold on to things with people, people can say whatever they want to say.
On Toure Calling His Films ‘Malt Liquor For The Masses’:
I completely get it and understand it. Why would I be upset at people who don’t get it? When I tell you I have these messages by the millions from people of how movies work have spoken to them and their families. So the ones who don’t get it, aren’t as important to me as the ones who do. Although in some of the critics I look for truth. If I can find truth in it, then I’m okay with it. If someone is genuine enough to give me a real critique and help me grow, I am open to that. I will not change what I do and the way I tell stories and who I am for anyone because that would be ridiculous and suicidal.
Creating Roles For Black Actresses:
Makes me feel great that I can do it, that I can have people working that are having difficult times getting jobs or having difficulties in Hollywood. It makes me feel great that I can be some sort of catalyst. Its a burden. I began to feel the weight of everybody needing and wanting in the hope of your the hope…. It becomes a bit of what can you do for me, what can you do for me.
How He Tried To Help Whitney Houston:
I felt a huge responsibility for her from the first day we sat down in that restaurant and had a conversation where she was so open with me, I felt a responsibility to do all I could to help her. I sensed — like most people who deal with people who have addiction issues–that there is a death day coming.
Why He Gave Bobbi Kristina A Role On ‘For Better Or For Worse’:
I wanted to keep an eye on her and make sure she was good. I know what it’s like to lose a mother and that child is having a lot of pain in her life. I wanted to see how far I could get my arms around her and try to help her.
I know that I have to give her space. She is a young woman and she is trying to find her way in a lot of this, so every now and then I will give her space and let her figure out what she needs to do and where ever she wants to go..”
Tyler Perry’s ‘The Have and The Have Not’s’ premieres Tuesday at 9 PM and ‘Love Thy Neighbor’ premieres Wednesday at 9 PM on OWN.