"We have to, as Black women, continue to stand by each other. I don't know that I would've made this film if it wasn't for Lena," she says.
The exemption could level the playing field for some Black filmmakers, but only briefly.
Tyler Perry Explains Why He Doesn't Have A Writer's Room: 'I Had A Writer's Room And It Was A Nightmare'
"Not only that, they were turning in scripts that didn't speak to my audience and my ratings took a dip," Perry tells ESSENCE.
The hip-hop take on Shakespeare’s most famous story examines the star-crossed lovers' tale through the eyes of Tybalt, Juliet's cousin.
Gaines, who penned "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman," passed away in his sleep at his Louisiana home.
"Through her work and her life, she set us free."
"Although her passing represents a tremendous loss, we are grateful she had a long, well lived life", Morrison's family said in a statement.