His net worth puts him on “a clear path to future membership in The Forbes 400,” the magazine said in a recent, glowing profile of the movie mastermind.
“I love when people say you come from ‘humble beginnings.’ [It] means you were poor as hell,” said Perry, who was once homeless.
The news that Perry is in the rarefied air of billionaire status received some backlash on Twitter.
“I celebrate Tyler Perry for being a successful Black man that paved a way for himself and built his own table to sit at,” one person posted to Twitter. “However, I don’t celebrate mediocrity. I truly believe he panders lackluster, stereotypical, content to our community for profit & that I cannot get with it.”
Another questioned if he’s an artist or a businessman
“People get up in arms when you critique these big names, forgetting that we have to water ourselves/ our content down for viewer consumption or for a seat at the table,” another tweeted.
The actor-director-writer is set to get a big thank you for his work at the Emmy Awards on Sept. 20.
He and his foundation are the recipients of the 2020 Governors Award.
The prize, picked by the academy board of governors, honors Perry “for his unprecedented achievements in television and his commitment to offering opportunities to marginalized communities.”
“Tyler Perry has changed the face of television and inspired a new generation of content creators. He pioneered a new brand of storytelling that engages people of color both in front of and behind the camera, and his shows have resonated with a global audience,” said Governors Award selection committee Chair Eva Basler in a statement.
The award honors an individual or organization in the television arts and sciences whose achievement is “so exceptional and universal in nature that it goes beyond the scope of annual Emmy Awards recognition.”
Perry has so far created 22 feature films, more than 20 stage plays, 13 television shows and two bestselling books. The Atlanta-based producer was one of the first major filmmakers to power back up production in the wake of the coronavirus health crisis.
“Ownership changes everything,” he told Forbes of his studio. “I own the lights. I own the sets. So that’s where the difference is. Because I own everything, my returns are higher.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.