It’s not just Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. How Tyler Perry came to Oprah’s rescue

In Sunday night’s revealing interview with Oprah Winfrey, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle revealed how billionaire filmmaker Tyler Perry stepped in to help the couple. Shortly after learning that they would cease to enjoy the protection of the British Royal Family, Harry and Markle, who were in Canada at the time, began to panic over where they should go and where they would be most. safe. Perry offered not only one of his homes in Southern California, but a full security detail. They stayed for three months.

What not many people know, however, is how much Perry helped Winfrey as well. The former talk show host has long served as a mentor to Perry, who watched her show grow and credits her with the inspiration to start writing. He first appeared on his show more than a decade later in 2001; Behind the scenes, she gave him a business lesson on the importance of “writing your own checks” and being in total control.

While this advice was crucial to Perry’s future success, it was also there for Winfrey. After ending her talk show in 2011 and starting her own OWN network, Winfrey struggled. The new network did not have the immediate success some expected and was criticized in the press for its small audience and lack of direction.

“It has always been described as ‘the OWN network in trouble’,” said Winfrey Forbes in 2019 in an interview on Perry. “I felt very depressed about it, actually the most distraught I have ever been in my life.”

She was talking about it on the phone with her friend Perry, and he decided to take matters into his own hands, board his private jet in Atlanta and fly to Winfrey’s house in Santa Barbara.

“He knocked on my door and said, ‘I just want to see your face and make sure you’re okay,'” Winfrey recalls. “Then he turned around and went home.”

He continued this gracious visit with a move that would change OWN’s fate and make it anything but a struggling network: he offered to write the channel’s first scripted series.

“He said, ‘give me a minute’. It was like half an hour, and he comes back with this idea for The haves and have-nots,“Winfrey said” He’s prolific. “

Perry ended up writing many more series for the channel and signed an exclusive deal with OWN which even saw him own part of the network. His series for OWN, including The haves and have-nots and Love thy neighbor, has become one of the highest rated shows on the channel.

When Perry finally left Winfrey’s network last year to start his own streaming service with BET, Winfrey gave him his blessing. After all, she had helped him show him the way.

“She inspired me from day one,” he told Forbes. “Look at examples like Oprah, own The Oprah Winfrey Show, and understand what it meant. It was very, very important to me.

Very important indeed, last year Perry joined Winfrey on the list of billionaires of the world.

Lee J. Murillo

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