Oprah and Tyler Perry Talk Friendship and Business

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Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry discuss working together.


Although they cater to separate audiences, Oprah and Tyler Perry are two powerful African-American media moguls. The two, who are also known for being best pals, have decided to join forces in business with Oprah’s OWN Network in which Tyler is giving the network exclusive rights to every show written, directed, and produced by himself.

This month, Tyler’s “The Haves and Have Nots” and “Love Thy Neighbor” are slated to premiere on the network.
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OWN is giving Tyler major promotion behind the two shows, with a behind the scenes special titled “Tyler Perry Comes to OWN: Behind the Scenes” and an intimate interview with Oprah on her “Oprah’s Next Chapter” series. Both shows are slated to debut on May 26, days before Tyler’s original series are slated to premiere. In a recent interview with Essence, Tyler and and Oprah sat down to discuss merging their friendship and business. The two stated they made the decision upfront to not allow whatever that happens in business to affect their personal friendship. Read excerpts from the interview below:

On two powerful African-Americans collaborating: 

Oprah: We both know how rare this is. Where else in the history of our African-American culture have two really, really successful people who can do whatever they want said, ‘Let’s come together and be even more powerful—let’s take it to the tenth power?’

On mixing their friendship with business:

Tyler: The most important thing about coming together was making sure we would not lose our friendship because of the business. We had to establish ground rules. The main one: Both of us have to continue to live in our truth. If she doesn’t like something, say it. If I don’t like something, I’ll say it. And we’ll figure it out and keep moving on…

Excitement about Tyler’s partnership with the network has expanded beyond Oprah, the network’s president, Sheri Salata, released a statement regarding the partnership. “We are delighted to celebrate Tyler coming to OWN with these new specials as we ramp up to the debut of our first scripted series,” said Salata. “Tyler’s fans, like Oprah’s fans, are incredibly connected and passionate. We can’t wait for them to see these shows.

Will you support Tyler on OWN?