Tyler Perry Is Going Through Some Things Over AI

Actor says artificial-intelligence tech is 'mind-blowing,' but warns industry will hemorrhage jobs
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2024 10:37 AM CST
Tyler Perry Is Going Through Some Things Over AI
Tyler Perry attends the premiere of his "Mea Culpa," at the Paris Theater on Feb. 15 in New York.   (Photo by CJ Rivera/Invision/AP)

Just days ago, the world was introduced to Sora, OpenAI's new text-to-video generator—and there's already one big name experiencing conflicting feelings about it. Tyler Perry comes at the AI technology from two different perspectives, per his interview with the Hollywood Reporter: that of a business owner, and that of an actor, filmmaker, and employer. From a business owner standpoint, the 54-year-old says he's taken aback by Sora's power. "Being told that it can do all of these things is one thing, but actually seeing the capabilities—it was mind-blowing," he tells THR. Perry notes that AI could actually help his movie productions avoid having to construct elaborate sets or travel to distant locations.

"I can sit in an office and do this with a computer, which is shocking to me," he says. Perry adds that he's already used artificial intelligence in two soon-to-be-announced movies, which prevented hourslong sessions in makeup needed to age his characters. But Perry is also "raising the alarm" on the technology, per THR, as he sees how it will affect all the various players who work in the industry. "It makes me worry so much about all of the people in the business," he says. "I immediately started thinking of everyone ... who would be affected by this, including actors and grip and electric and transportation and sound and editors." Perry adds, "I'm thinking this will touch every corner of our industry." He notes that the debut of Sora even forced him to postpone a planned $800 million expansion of his Atlanta studio.

"All of that is currently and indefinitely on hold because of Sora and what I'm seeing," he says. Perry also offers an overall warning on weaving AI into moviemaking. "There's got to be some sort of regulations in order to protect us," Perry says. "If not, I just don't see how we survive." The Guardian notes that the use of artificial intelligence was a key concern during last year's writers and actors strikes in Hollywood, and that certain guardrails were put in place as a result of those negotiations. Still, Perry has quite the conundrum to wrangle with, per the AV Club, which asks, "Will the war for humanity's destiny be waged in Tyler Perry's makeup-slathered heart?" The outlet concludes: "Only the future knows for sure." Read his full interview with THR here. (More Tyler Perry stories.)

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