Tyler Perry finally explains to an inquisitive public why he currently has no writers room.
Perry, 50, said he grew increasingly more “unhappy” while working with inadequate union and nonunion writers who didn’t understand his voice or his audience. That inspired Perry to abolish the “writers room” altogether and pen the material to all of his TV shows by himself.
Perry faced an avalanche of criticism for boasting to his 5 million Instagram followers that he does not have a “writers room” and has written the scripts for all of his current TV shows.
Speaking to Level magazine, he explained why he felt forced into writing all of his TV show scripts.
“So, when I first started my career, I got a deal with TBS. When it was time to staff, I went to DGA, SAG, and IATSE (all unions representing directors, actors and stagehands), and I told them, ‘TBS isn’t paying me the money upfront — I’m financing these shows myself,'” he said.
“At the time, I had a bunch of writers who were nonunion, and I was unhappy with every single script they wrote. They were not speaking to the voice. They just didn’t get it.”
When Perry finally negotiated with the Writers Guild of America for union writers, the prolific TV show creator fired the nonunion writers. Perry was furious when the press said he fired them because they tried to form a union, which he says is unequivocally false.
Moreover, Perry claimed the new union writers also failed to reach his target audience. Ratings began declining and Perry once again had to step in, this time to tell them how to rewrite the scripts, which presented another problem.
“If I still don’t like it, I have to pay them again for another rewrite,” Perry said. “At one point, I thought they were submitting scripts that would need rewrites in order to get paid multiple times. And these are Black people.”
Find out what Perry thinks about reestablishing a writers room in the future by flipping the page.