Friday, June 21, 2024

Tyler Perry on His Two ‘Alter Egos’ and Being Inspired By Oprah

Oprah Winfrey-and-Tyler Perry

*Hollywood mogul Tyler Perry claims he battles two voices in his head quite often, and both alter egos have had to cut ties with Oprah Winfrey.

“This guy is cool…the other guy here is a straight thug,” Perry said during a panel discussion Wednesday with MediaLink.

“This guy is Barack Obama, and this guy is Donald Trump,” Tyler said, drawing a fine point on the differences between his alter egos. “I try to limit him to 140 characters. It’s tough.”

The entertainer, who launched his namesake production studio Tyler Perry Studios in 2006, also touched on how he grew his brand and called Oprah his “mentor.”

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Perry said he has drawn inspiration from her ability to create her own empire.

“Just watching Oprah do what she did and how she did it and ownership and owning her show and how she collectively build that brand to where it was, was definitely inspirational,” he said.

Later Perry plugged his multiyear deal with Viacom, which he signed last year and it runs through 2024.

Perry explained that the Viacom deal gives his work “more options” than at Winfrey’s OWN.

“OWN is one channel. Viacom has many, many channels,” he said. “I’m also really excited to work with [Viacom’s] BET for the first time…and bring something fresh and exciting.”

With a traditional cable group, where is the streaming opportunity?

Said Perry, “In that deal, we are talking about a Tyler Perry OTT (Over the Top) which we’re really excited about, streaming to consumers as well. However, if you look at the stats on my audience, we’re still there. We’re still in that cable world. That’s why my shows are able to do so well in cable. As time goes on, we’ll make the progression. But being with a company like Viacom, they’re already ahead of it, already thinking about it.”

Also, he said, “I’m really excited to get to work with BET and get in side-by-side with those guys and bring something fresh.”

The deal will see Perry produce approximately 90 episodes annually of original drama and comedy series for BET and other Viacom networks.

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