1:19 AM / Monday July 4, 2022

8 Apr 2016

Winfrey, Perry talk friendship and ‘rare’ place in power

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
April 8, 2016 Category: Entertainment Posted by:

ABOVE PHOTO:  Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry speak at the OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network Upfront Presentation at ABC Carpet & Home in 2015 New York.  (Photo by Mark Von Holden/AP for Oprah Winfrey Network)

By Nekesa Mumbi Moody

associated press

NEW YORK — Friends who enter into business partnerships sometimes don’t remain so.

But Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey, who started working together about four years ago, still manage to be BFFs. The secret? Keeping their friendship a priority.

Before he started producing hits like “The Haves and Have Nots” for her OWN Network, Perry and Winfrey met in her Chicago home to discuss what their partnership would look like.

“We sat in the room before we signed any deals. He actually said to me, ‘How are you going to feel when people come along and say I saved the network?’ And I said, ‘I’m gonna say, “Wasn’t I smart?’’’” she said, laughing.


Perry is quick to dismiss such talk, giving Winfrey all the credit.

“Had she not put the things in place, then I wouldn’t be successful,” he said. “And also, when OWN was having some troubling times, people stayed with the OWN network … because it was the Oprah Winfrey channel, that was why the advertisers stayed, that was why it’s doing so well now.”

Winfrey notes that people often try to concoct story lines of friction between them, but they are exceedingly close: She credits their relationship staying intact with their ability to talk freely and be honest with each other, whether they agree or not.

“The most important thing for me, because it’s so rare, to have two people of color in a position to make their own decisions, to have the freedom,” she said. “It’s so rare to have two people of color in a position to do that who get along and support and want the best for each other, that to me is more valuable and evolutionary for the culture than anything, so it was most important for me to maintain a relationship of pure truth and honesty.”

Winfrey is godmother to Perry’s infant son, Aman: “I’ve seen a lot of pictures. He’s one of those parents.”

She recalls one extraordinary moment in their friendship that exemplifies their relationship:

“One day I was feeling down about something, I don’t remember what it was,” she said. “But he flew all the way to California, knocks on my door, surprises me … (and) says, ‘I just wanted to see your face,’ gave me a hug and went back. Isn’t that pretty amazing? Not a meal, not a glass of water. That’s who he is.”

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Leave a Comment

Recent News


Just the beginning

July 1, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email Over 150,000 people from around the country participated in the Mass Poor Peoples...


The fine print

July 1, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email While we do need to pay attention to Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s...


Community College of Philadelphia to pay off $1.4 million in outstanding student account balances

June 17, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email Community College of Philadelphia announced that it will pay off more than $1.4...

Color Of Money

Americans still have financial goals, just not sure how they will reach them

June 24, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email BPT If you have a vision for where you’d like to be financially...


Takeaways: Trump’s mind ‘made up’ on fraud ahead of Jan. 6

June 17, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: A video exhibit plays as the House select committee investigating the...

Go With The-Flo

Sherri Shepherd’s talk show, “Sherri,” to air in place of former “The Wendy Williams Show”

June 17, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Sherri Shepherd (Photo: s_bukley / Shutterstock) By Flo Anthony After 13...

The Philadelphia Sunday Sun Staff