Tyler Perry’s not talking publicly, yet, about the fire that damaged a portion of his studio complex in southwest Atlanta. Neither is anyone else, at least not on the record.
Security at Tyler Perry Studios is extremely tight. Employees sign confidentiality agreements. When shows filmed there have posted notices for extras, the fine print has stated that only those selected in advance, who show up with legal ID, are admitted onto the property (without cameras or cell phones of course.)
A hefty confidentiality agreement posted with one notice banned extras from discussing their experiences and specifically banned them from speaking to news outlets.
Two people who have worked there as extras spoke to the AJC on condition their identities not be revealed, due to the strict confidentiality rules.
â€œThey make you sign a lot of confidentiality stuff at security,â€ one past extra said. â€œIf they find you took a photo, you will be kicked out asap. Perry is super strict about that stuff.â€
This person described the property as containing numerous buildings.
â€œThe buildings look like a little town but they’re just store fronts,â€ this person said. â€œInside are just different sound stages except the middle which has the kitchen and various offices.â€
This extra said not all buildings had been in use recently.
â€œThey’ve been filming â€œFor Better or Worse,â€ the extra said, referring to one of Perry’s television shows.
A second extra, who also described stringent security, said the property is a showpiece.
â€œYou go to work there and you have to fill out forms and sign a non-disclosure,â€ the second extra said. The buildings are named in honor of prominent African Americans, this person said.
â€œEverybody who’s been there is impressed,â€ the second extra said.
Perry himself detailed the tight security he demands, when he posted a message saying he had been stopped by police officers after making a left-hand turn from the far right lane â€“ a security precaution, he said at the time.
â€œI signaled to get into the turning lane, then made the turn because I have to be sure I’m not being followed,â€ Perry said he told the officer. Perry added that he usually is escorted by his own private security forces in an unmarked car, and if not he constantly scans the rearview mirror to ensure he is not being followed.
Perry described the incident as racial profiling in his message, but did not file a formal complaint with the Atlanta Police Department.
â€œThat’s not something we condone in any shape, form or fashion,â€ APD spokesman Carlos Campos said at the time. â€œIf Mr. Perry would like to file a formal complaint, we welcome that.â€
Repeated attempts by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution to get details from Perry’s publicist were unsuccessful.
- Jennifer Brett/The Buzzemail@example.com