Tyler Perry has said his new film studio will include a shelter for homeless LGBT+ young people and other marginalised groups.
The Madea creator has recently finished the first phase of work on a gargantuan new movie complex in Atlanta, Georgia, which stretches across 330 acres.
Speaking to CBS This Morning, Perry said he now plans to include a new compound to house people with nowhere else to go.
Tyler Perry wants to shelter LGBT+ youth and homeless women.
He told Gayle King: “I’ll tell you what I’m most excited about next is pulling this next phase off, is building a compound for trafficked women, girls, homeless women, LGBTQ youth who are put out and displaced… where they’re trained in the business and they become self-sufficient.
“They live in nice apartments. There’s daycare. There’s all of these wonderful things that allows them to reenter society. And then pay it forward again. So that’s what I hope to do soon.”
His film studio is located on a former confederate army base.
Perry added: “The property that slaves built, that was once a Confederate base.. think about the poetic justice in that.
“The Confederate Army is fighting to keep Negroes enslaved in America, fighting, strategy, planning on this very ground. And now this very ground is owned by me.”
The studio even includes its own replica White House complete with an Oval Office, where new BET show The Oval is filmed.
Filmmaker says he believes in ‘inclusion and equality for all people’.
Perry’s studio has previously lobbied against proposed anti-LGBT+ laws in the state of Georgia.
In 2016, when Republicans were seeking to pass a bill to protect businesses that refuse to serve LGBT+ people, Perry made clear: “At Tyler Perry Studios, we believe in inclusion and equality for all people.
“We do not tolerate bigotry, division, and discrimination. We have tremendous confidence in Governor Deal’s leadership and ability to continue to lead our great state forward and urge him to veto this bill.”
However, the actor’s portrayal of character Madea has long invited criticism.
Teen Vogue writer Dr Jenn M Jackson tweeted of the announcement: “It’s hard to celebrate Tyler Perry’s historic success when he got there by parodying big bodied black women, using thinly veiled misogynoir, expressing overt transphobia and homophobia, and privileging cishet black maleness over black women, femmes, and queers.”
Another Twitter user added: “So is Tyler Perry going to give displaced LGBT youth a job as well? It’s about time he represents a group he pretended didn’t exist for decades unless it was to display homophobia/transphobia.”
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