Tyler Perry is a media mogul like few others. He is renowned for his incredible empire, built on the back of his signature character Madea. Perry currently owns the largest film studio in the country and has helped pioneer black films and jump-start the careers of some of our favorite stars. His success is paralleled only by his incredible generosity. It was recently revealed that Tyler Perry paid Cicely Tyson $1 million for one day of work and supported her until her last day, but that’s only one of many stories that highlight the filmmakers generosity.
Tyler Perry did not come from a happy childhood. Throughout his career, he has spoken candidly about the abuse and mistreatment he suffered at the hands of the people who raised him. His father, Emmitt Perry Sr., was vicious to his children, with Perry recalling that his father’s answer to everything was to “beat it out of you.” He discovered later in life that his father had a special animosity towards him because he found out that Tyler was not his biological son.
In adulthood, Tyler has expressed an appreciation towards his father that few could understand. Tyler says that no matter how bad his dad beat him, he always provided for him. Tyler always had a place to stay, food to eat, and clothes to wear. So when Perry became a success in his own right, he decided to repay his father by making sure he had everything he needed. He gives his father a monthly stipend and brought him a house. However, they do not speak. Perry says that he can only give his father back what he gave him, and since he never received real love from him, he does not extend that to his father.
Tyler’s generosity extends beyond his immediate family. The super producer has been known to help complete strangers in need. In June of 2020, the world was shocked by the senseless act that claimed the life of yet another innocent black man. Rayshard Brooks was life was taken in Atlanta, leaving behind a family in mourning which included children. Tyler Perry decided to step up and help the Brooks family. The Madea star paid for his entire funeral and set up college funds for his four children. The 27-year-old’s life was taken after being found sleeping in the parking lot of a Wendy’s. The producer also made news in 2019 when he covered the rent, funeral and school expenses for family after a single mother of four life was taken. Perry has also made headlines for buying groceries for strangers, covering medical bills and being a generous tipper.
One of the most beautiful things Tyler Perry has done in his career is spotlight some of the great black actors who were struggling to secure roles. This included giving people like Idris Elba, Mary J Blige, Teyana Taylor, Tessa Thompson, China Anne McClain, Jill Scott, and more their first starring roles.
He also created space for our legends, including Maya Angelou, Angela Bassette, and Cecily Tyson. Tyson passed away last year at the age of 96 and is one of the most beloved actresses of all time. Despite this, she was not always valued by Hollywood, something Tyler wanted to fix. This meant that when he asked her to come into film scenes for the movie, Why Did I Get Married? he made sure to pay her her worth and then some. Cecily Tyson pocketed a million dollars for one day of shooting. He told AARP The Magazine, “This woman had done so many amazing things, but she wasn’t well compensated for it,” he said. “She made $6,000 for Sounder, you know? I wanted to make sure she knew that there were people who valued her. It makes me feel great that I was in a position to give this incredible woman some security in her latter years.”
Tyler Perry knows a thing or two about being unappreciated in Hollywood. In 2019, the media mogul discussed how he feels he’s not recognized in Hollywood or given the recognition he deserves. Just last week, Perry talked about actors turning down role in his upcoming netflix movie, , A Jazzman’s Blue because they felt uncertain if he could pull it off.