After some criticized Tyler Perry for his BET Awards speech where he mentioned his Atlanta-based production studio, many who live nearby seem optimistic about new employment opportunities coming to the area.
The complaints came earlier this week after Perry gave his acceptance speech at Sunday's BET Awards ceremony. Perry received the Ultimate Icon Award.
During his speech, he said he built Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta on what was once Fort McPherson.
"When I built my studio, I built it in a neighborhood that's one of the poorest black neighborhoods in Atlanta, so that young black kids can see that a black man did that and they can do that, too. I was trying to help them cross," Perry proclaimed during the speech. "The studio was once a Confederate Army base, which means that there was once confederate soldiers, plotting and planning how to keep 3.9 million Negros enslaved. Now that land is owned by one negro. It's all about helping somebody cross."
11Alive Anchor Shiba Russell tweeted she was inspired by Perry's words. 11Alive is the station Where Atlanta Speaks, and the comments started rolling in. Not everyone felt the same way.
Some on social media criticized Perry. On Twitter, one person who goes by the name Pinky Swear said she lives in the neighborhood, and from her perspective, not one person there has received a job from the studio. She said the streets and roads haven't been fixed, and basically, Perry is in it for himself.
Others claimed that the sale was an under-the-table-deal.
The McPherson Implementing Local Redevelopment Authority was created after the sale, and its staff said there is plenty going on in the area to help people who live there.
There was a meeting held Wednesday night at the Fort Mac LRA, and most of the feedback was positive. Developers shared plans to help give the area a boost.
The Fort Mac LRA said it plans to build a new facility to house specialized training programs. It would allow people to get jobs after just a few weeks of intensive study. The Fulton County Commission voted to fund the project.
"It's taking a long time to make this happen, but that is always the cause in economic development especially in challenging situations," said Brian Hooker, executive director of the Fort Mac LRA.
"It's going to take a while to flourish. So, we need to sit back, let him do what he can, because he has the capacity to do it," Jacquelyn Dewitt added.
The Food and Drug Administration also decided to relocate to Fort McPherson, which developers say should help invigorate the area. As far as future housing plans- developers said they're continuously working on plans and financial support.
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