Name any well-known Black actor or actress in Hollywood, and chances are they have worked with Tyler Perry at some point in their careers. Viola Davis, Angela Bassett, and Taraji P. Henson are some of the most well-known actors in Black Hollywood. She died in 2009 of a heart attack. In the 2010 film Why Did I Get Married?
Tyson and Perry had a working relationship dating back to 2005's Diary of a Mad Black Woman until her death in 2021. Despite her involvement in film and television since the 1950s, the Oscar winner never received adequate compensation for her work. The filmmaker wanted to rectify the situation given her legendary status. He explained that he helped Tyson live happily in her later years, demonstrating how important she was to others.
I have never said this publicly, but I took care of Ms. Tyson for the last 15 years of her life. The only reason I mention this is because she wrote it in her book. This woman had accomplished so many wonderful things, but she was not well compensated for it, you know? I wanted to make sure she knew that there were people who valued her.
Cicely Tyson's undervaluation in Hollywood wasnt a rare event, especially for Black actors and actresses from Hollywoods Silver Age. So, getting the veteran actor to star in the 2010 comedy-drama served as another opportunity to thank her for her efforts. Perry wanted her to be recognized as one of the films' top-lined stars, but Tyson was not well-known enough to do so. He revealed to AARP how the Sounder star's underpaid work resulted in a
So, she did a one-day work on my 2007 film Why Did I Get Married? I paid her a million dollars. I loved working with her. And it makes me feel wonderful that I was able to give this incredible lady some security in her final years.
Perry's remarks underscored Hollywood's persistent undervaluing of Black talent, particularly Black actresses, while King Richards Aunjanue Ellis spoke on fighting for equal pay after Will Smith received a huge payout from Warner Bros. after the transition from a strictly theatrical to a hybrid release.
Perry mentioned that always being told films with Black stars would not be successful internationally. However, the success of Black-led films, including those by Perry, in and outside the United States proved that audiences enjoy them.
The actors who have a strong affinity for his work are still clamoring to join his projects. Perry admitted that many young rising actors rejected his upcoming Netflix film A Jazzmans Blues, blaming their employers for shoving them away from him and his work. But things turned out when he cast well-known and upcoming actors in the 1940s period drama.
Why Did I Get Married? can be seen on HBO Max and revisit Cicely Tysons' million-dollar performance. The film A Jazzmans Blues will be available on Netflix on September 23.