Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry may have been friends for well over a decade, but in the past six months their friendship has taken a turn for the worse. A source close to the Hollywood besties tells Daily Mail online that the once inseparable pair barely speak to each other unless it’s regarding business.
Apparently, partnering together on Winfrey’s OWN Network caused the major rift in their friendship. In case you didn’t know, the 46-year-old movie mogul has three series on the OWN, including “For Better or Worse” and “Love Thy Neighbor,” along with the record-breaking drama “The Haves and the Have Nots.”
“When Tyler first brought his shows to OWN in 2012, it was a love affair between the two of them. Oprah was very involved in watching Tyler develop them creatively and they even shot promos together with her as Miss Sophia from The Color Purple and he as Madea,” the source said. “But that relationship has soured in the last six months because Oprah finds Tyler difficult to work with and he doesn’t take constructive criticism well at all.”
Drama allegedly ensued late last summer when 62-year-old Winfrey suggested Perry hire some additional script writers to help develop his shows, particularly the top-rated drama “The Have and the Have Nots,” which he did not adhere to. “That’s when Oprah finally got to see a side of Tyler she hadn’t experienced yet. He resisted her feedback, the same way he resists the feedback of critics and media people who chastise his work, and became extremely defensive with her.”
The source claims Perry told Winfrey to have several seats when he clapped back saying, “Aren’t the shows delivering ratings for the network? Well, then let me do what I do and you can keep your focus group research to yourself.” Of course, his road to success wasn’t without trial and error.
In 2006, Perry first launched his sitcoms “House of Payne” and “Meet the Browns” (2008) on TBS where he scored huge ratings. The network even created a new fully-staffed urban division just to manage his programming. However, by time he launched his third sitcom, “For Better or Worse” in 2011, ratings had dipped drastically and TBS cut the cord. At that time, he approached Winfrey about partnering with OWN, where he’s done quite well for himself.
“Tyler didn’t leave TBS because he wanted to go to OWN. His deal with TBS wasn’t renewed because his shows had stopped generating ratings and Tyler wouldn’t take network feedback to help save them when they tried to offer it. So when his contract was up, they weren’t interested in re-signing it. Oprah basically had to remind him, “You needed me as much as I needed you when we decided to do this partnership and don’t forget that,” said the source.
Things went from bad to worse when Winfrey caught wind of a feature story on Perry in the December 2015 issue of New York Magazine titled, “The Brand Keeping Oprah in Business.” Ouch! “She knows Tyler is a micromanaging control freak and she felt that he was aware of the story’s title and didn’t make sure it was killed. She believed it was done in spite and has told Gayle and her other close friends, she’s putting space between she and Tyler,” the source continued.
Rumor has it Winfrey even excluded Perry from her annual Christmas holiday. “Gone were the days of them having long phone conversations and texting late into the night —she just didn’t want him there. She is not happy with the place their friendship is in and decided she didn’t want any awkward moments on vacation,” a source said.
While it’s no secret that doing business with a close friend can be a relationship killer, it’s unfortunate that these two almost lifelong friends haven’t found a way to put their pride aside to make it work. What are your thoughts on Winfrey and Perry’s feud? Sound off in the comment section below.