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.
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Tyler Perry is known to work hard. After changing history with the grand opening of his expansive Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, the acclaimed director decided to share what got him there…his strong work ethic, pen in hand.

Last week, Perry shared a video on Instagram, showcasing stacks of scripts for his hit shows, The Haves and The Have Nots, The Oval, Assisted Living, Sistas, Young Dylan, House of Payne, Ruthless and Bruh. He captioned it: “Work ethic! Come on. Let’s go get 2020!” In the video Perry said in part, “Most of the time, there are 10 people, 12 or whatever that write on these television shows. Well, I have no writers room. Nobody writes any of my work. I write it all.”

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Critiques of Perry’s solo writing room came swiftly after he shared the news that he is his writer’s room with some claiming that he’s ignoring talented writers. The director told ESSENCE last Saturday that he’s not opposed to having a writer’s room. In fact, he’s tried it, but his ratings started to decline.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JANUARY 13: Mariah Carey and Tyler Perry attend the premiere of Tyler Perry’s “A Fall From Grace” at Metrograph on January 13, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage)

“What people don’t know is that early on, I had a writer’s room and it was a nightmare for me,” Perry explained while promoting his first Netflix film, A Fall From Grace. “Not only that, they were turning in scripts that didn’t speak to my audience and my ratings took a dip. My audience knows my voice. They want to hear from me. They want to hear what I’m saying.”

“I don’t know what people are complaining about because I am writing specifically for my audience…specifically for them,” he continued.

Perry said many missed the point of the video, which was to touch on work ethic and not to erase other writers.

“As far as me and my shows—The Haves and The Have Nots, The Oval, Sistas, the comedies—I’m going to write those shows, but there are other shows that we’re developing at the studio that will [have] writer’s rooms, with other showrunners and [we’re] giving lots of people opportunities to do that,” Perry shared.

Check out the video above to see how Perry responded to his critics.

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