The stars were out Saturday when Tyler Perry invited hundreds of A-list celebrities to celebrate the grand opening of his studios in Atlanta. The director, screenwriter, producer and playwright made history as the only Black man to own a major movie studio in the U.S.
Perry invited many of his frequent collaborators to his fete, which took place on the 330-acre lot, including Oprah Winfrey, Cecily Tyson, Taraji P. Henson, Jill Scott, Whoopi Goldberg, and Keshia Knight Pulliam.
Other Hollywood heavyweights came, including Spike Lee, Ava DuVernay, Beyoncé, Jay Z and Halle Berry, along with politicos such as John Lewis, Bernice King and Stacey Abrams.
Back in June, Perry explained during his BET Awards acceptance speech that “when I built my studio, [it was in the] poorest Black neighborhood in Atlanta so the kids can see that a Black man did that and they can too.”
“The studio was once a confederate army base,” he said of the land, known as Fort McPherson, which was previously used as a Confederate Army base during Civil War, when the south fought to keep Black people enslaved.
According to his website, Perry purchased the land in June 2015, which now holds 12 sound stages for movie productions. He dedicated each soundstage to a Black person who’s made strides in Hollywood, including the late Diahann Carroll.