Veteran filmmaker Tyler Perry, 50, is officially a billionaire, joining ranks of Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, according to Forbes.
According to the American business magazine, Perry has a networth of $1 billion and has earned more than $1.4 billion in pretax income since 2005.
Forbes also reported that filmmaker owns the entirety of his creative output, which includes more than 1,200 television episodes, 22 films, at least two dozen plays and a 330-acre studio lot in Atlanta.
The filmmaker told the magazine that he learnt the value of ownership at a young age. He said;
“My father was a subcontractor, and he would get paid on Fridays and be so happy that he had made $800,” he recalled to Forbes. “But I would watch the man that owned the house sell it and make $80,000. So I always knew that there was more power in the man that owned the house rather than the man that actually was working on it and building it. So I always wanted to be the guy that owned the house.
“Ownership for me was easy because I was underestimated. They said, ‘Sure, you can own it.’ They didn’t think it’d be worth anything.”
On lack of diversity in his movies, Perry said;
“I wanted to foster an environment where minorities and women and LGBTQ, anybody who wanted to come and work and do a great job was welcome. What I found is, if you invest in the underdog, if you invest in the people who haven’t had the opportunity, the level of gratitude and understanding for what is happening for them is so powerful. It’s just wonderful.”
The mogul joins a group of Black billionaires that includes Robert F. Smith, Michael Jordan, Oprah Winfrey, David Stewart, Jay-Z and perhaps Kanye West. It was also reported that his movies alone have grossed nearly $1 billion to date, and he owns the rights to all of them.
Forbes reported that Perry used his ownership of all his creative output to broker a deal with ViacomCBS that pays him $150 million a year for new content and gives him an equity stake in BET+, the streaming service it debuted last September. He has homes in Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles and Jackson Hole, Wyoming, as well as two private jets.