Tyler Perry Taking “Military Effort” Level Of Safety To Reopen Studio – Wearing Masks, Testing Four Times During Production

Tyler Perry

Tyler Perry Taking A “Military Effort” Level Of Safety Reopening His Studio – Wearing Masks, Testing Four Times During Production

In April, media mogul Typer Perry paid tribute to his long time Crew Member, Mr. Charles Gregory, who lost his battle to the Covid-19, and urged black people to take the virus more seriously,

“Dear Black People, while everyone can contract this virus it is black people who are dying from it in much larger numbers. This thing is real, black people.”

After losing a team-member who worked on some of Typer Perry’s most well known projects like, “House of Payne” and “Madea Goes to Jail” Tyler Perry says, it really hit home for him and his team,

“After losing a crew member, it hit home with all of us. It was a wake-up call” 

Georgia’s early move to reopen the State, started speculation around Tyler Perry Studios, and if he would be opening soon.  Tyler Perry has been moving slowly and cautiously with the reopening of his Atlanta based lot.  His first plan of action was to cut the amount people in the facility down, by only having 100 of his essential workers on the clock, and having them all be tested,

“Last week, I took 100 of my essential employees — including security guards and gardeners at the studio — and we did a test with a private lab. Thank God, out of the 100 essential workers, all tested negative. My goal is to find a path forward to protect both the health and the livelihoods of my cast and crew.”

Tyler Perry even says that lunch will be in a location the size of the football field to ensure everyone can be six feet apart,

“We’re doing our meals in our largest stage, which is the size of a football field, to have people completely spread out in different sections and different corners of the building, having different catering pods.”

In Tyler Perry’s most recent interview, he spoke on how much money he is spending to make sure his 90% African American studio has top of the line sanitation and procedures,

“It’s an enormous undertaking and an enormous cost to the budget. And I just have to say that Scott Mills at BET and Bob Bakish [at ViacomCBS] were completely understanding of what that meant [financially]. But they also understand being the first to go back is one thing, but also being a company that has 90% African American workers — and we are the most affected by COVID-19 — it had to be done right. So just for them to step up speaks a great deal.”

Tyler Perry is not taking any chances when it comes to keeping his crew safe. His Atlanta based crew will be tested before they come in to work, and traveling cast members will be bested before they get on a plane entering Atlanta.   Crew will be tested one more time, once everyone comes to the studio and an additional four times during the shooting schedule/production. He shares a few more steps he’s taking during the filming of intimate scenes,

“We’ll still be wearing masks. We cut our crew size down drastically. What we do when we’re doing intimate scenes, it’s called a closed set, which means a bare minimum of people on set. So that is what we’ll be doing for every setup.”

The mogul, is also willing to do without super intimate scenes right away, like in most of his productions,

“I think it has to go away unless there’s adequate testing. And the testing that we’re using through Dr. Del Rio of Emory has a 98% accuracy rate. We wouldn’t just run in immediately and start shooting scenes where I’ve got four women in close contact with each other like [on] ’Sistas.’ It would be after our fourth day, when we test again, that we would get into some of those scenes.”

Tyler Perry says that he is taking a “military effort” to ensure the safety of his cast and crew, he details the strict testing and quarantine guidelines, all members of his team will have to go through,

“It’s really a military effort and no better place to do that than a former military base. People pull up in their cars to get the test, and then they park. All the cars will be wiped down inside, sanitized and parked in the parking lot. Then their bags will come on to a belt, where we will have them open them and show them how to clean their bags and all their other stuff before they go into the rooms. We’re giving packing instructions before they come — to come with minimal things and wipe everything down — and then [cleaning again] as they get there, just as an added measure of precaution that we’re not bringing the virus in. One of our stages will be our receiving area, where everything will come into and get sanitized before it goes into our quarantined area.”

Tyler Perry

Tyler Perry says that it is very important to get his team back to work safely.  He says that he’s seen most of staff’s lives elevate, during their time at TPS, and would hate to see their lives crumble, because they are afraid of contracting the virus at work,

“Some of my crew members have been with me for 15 years. And in that time, we’ve bought houses and put kids to college and I’ve seen their whole lives elevate, and I would hate to see that all crumble and fall apart because everybody is afraid to go to work. But finding a way to do it safely was really important to me.”

He adds,

“Listen, I’m on set with them every day; I’m right in the trenches with them. So I’m not asking them to do anything that I’m not doing myself. It would be really easy for me to go to my house in Jackson Hole and sit until there’s a vaccine at the top of the year or into 2021. But what about all the people that work for me and their families and their kids and the bills that they have to pay?”

What are your thoughts on Tyler Perry’s drastic measures to keep his team safe?

Authored by: Demi Lobo