When the Democratic candidates debate in Atlanta on Nov. 20, they will do so in a soundstage named for the richest black woman in the country.
That woman, of course, is Oprah Winfrey.
Winfrey, who needs no introduction, has built an empire worth billions over the course of her career in media and entertainment.
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She is among 12 prominent African Americans who have soundstages named in their honor at Atlanta’s Tyler Perry Studios.
“We’re going to be on the Oprah Winfrey soundstage,” state Democratic party chair Nikema Williams said last week. “This is still being built. It wasn’t set up to handle presidential debates. So all of the logistics are still being built out. We don’t even have a cap number on capacity yet,” Williams said.
The studio, which officially opened with a star-studded event in October, is the only major film studio in the country owned by an African American.
Perry — whose long resume includes his widely popular “Madea” movies — bought the land near Atlanta’s airport in 2015 for $30 million, the AJC has previously reported.
He said naming the soundstages was a way of honoring those who came before him.
In addition to Winfrey, the other soundstages are named for: Denzel Washington, Halle Berry, Sydney Poitier, Della Reese, Spike Lee, Harry Belafonte, Cicely Tyson, Whoopi Goldberg, Diahann Carroll and Will Smith.
“I am paying tribute to people who have inspired me, who all paved a brick for me to be here,” Perry previously told the Los Angeles Times. “Denzel is the greatest actor of all time. Will Smith is the biggest movie star in the world. Of course there is Oprah, and all that she has meant to me. They’re all tremendously important to me.”
Winfrey, who attended the opening of the studio, said of Perry in an Instagram post, “You’ve also created a dream of hope and possibility for everyone to know that no matter who you are or where you come from … Thank you for the naming of the soundstages. I love mine.”
The fifth Demoratic debate of the primary season will take place at 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 20 at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta.
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