Tyler Perry makes news again for his lack of employing a writers’ room for his various series.
TV Line reports that during BET’s airing of The Tyler Perry Show: Sistas After-Show Edition, Perry defended his decision to write the entire series himself. In particular, Perry hit back at critics who made fun of a viral clip from the series in which a character said he liked having his “prostate tickled.”
“Out of all the things happening in the world, you’re worried about a character on this show saying he liked getting his prostate tickled?” he said. “OK, listen. To all of you who think I need a writers’ room, let me just say this: We do have writers’ rooms on some of my other shows, and there will be other writers’ rooms to come.
However, he said he’s not doing the same with Sistas, especially since in his estimation, it was his writing that propelled the series to its number one ranking among Black Americans 18-49.
“In the past, I had writers’ rooms, and the ratings tanked,” he said. “People know my voice. They know how I write. And have you ever thought for a minute, just one second, that I’m specific in what I’m doing? That I am telling the stories that the audience wants to see? Don’t worry about it. I got this. That’s why the show is number one.”
It is true that Perry has committed to hiring writers for upcoming TV projects, which his president of production confirmed in 2020. But Perry’s latest comments add to the saga Perry has had with his growing audience regarding his writing and lack of writers’ rooms. Fans have taken Perry to task for refusing to advance his writing and for not hiring new talent to his series. Even Perry’s Hollywood peers have urged him to hire writers. Lil Rel Howery famously commented on a 2020 episode of Deadline’s New Hollywood Podcast on how Perry was writing Sistas without any Black women writers to give their perspectives.
“I love Tyler Perry and I’m proud of him…but I told myself I’m going to say something because I don’t agree with [the lack of writers’ rooms]. You can’t write a show called Sistas and you’re not a sista. So you don’t want no suggestions or nothing?” he said. “We gotta do better man. It’s all talk, but if you’re really on [helping Black creatives], then give people jobs, bro. You can’t base nothing on one writers’ room brother. That means you didn’t hire good writers. Find more writers.”