Tyler Perry has been named “TV Producer of the Year” by the Hollywood Reporter. The TV producer shared with THR during his exclusive interview for the honor that Oprah and Bill Cosby are his role models, and shared the piece of advice Lady “O” gave him that has stuck with him.
Who were your role models in the business?
Hands down, Cosby and Oprah. Because we had the same color skin. It let me know that it was possible. I could look at Steven Spielberg, whom I admire, and I’m blown away by what he does, but at that time, I didn’t think I could be Steven Spielberg. That wasn’t an example that was set for me. But seeing someone with my same color skin make it, be successful, own their product, own their show and have their own path made me go, “OK, there’s something here, and you can do it, too.”
Is there a piece of advice that Oprah gave you early on that has stuck with you?
Yeah. Sign your own checks. Watch your money. But she wasn’t even talking to me then, it was an interview with Toni Braxton or someone. Every month on the 1st and the 15th, I’m sitting right there at that desk with a box full of checks. And at this point, it’s probably about 2,000 checks. Some people, they’re in show business, but they’re all about the show and nobody’s paying attention to the business.