Tyler Perry Decoded: The Deals, the Brand, the Influence

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THE BLACK THEATER  Not since the days of Lorraine Hansberry and Langston Hughes has Black theater been as popular and as relevant. When Perry hit the scene in 1998 with his first screenplay, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” veteran playwright David Talbert had been one of only a handful of theater producers in what was known as the “chitlin circuit,” where theatrical musicals toured smaller venues throughout the south. How Perry flourished was in trademarking his stage plays by recording the performances and later selling them on tape. According to Forbes, by 2005 he’d garnered over $100 million in tickets, $30 million in videos and an additional $20 million in merchandising.

THE BLACK THEATER Not since the days of Lorraine Hansberry and Langston Hughes…