Tyler Perry is entering a new phase — not just in his career as a media mogul who owns a 330-acre studio bearing his name, nor in his tax bracket, after being designated a billionaire by Forbes. Perry, who has consistently stayed above the fray for much of the time he has been a celebrity, is getting political.

“We’ve all been drafted on the worst reality show that’s ever been produced, and none of us have been paid for it,” Perry says. “For the last four and a half years or so, we have been dragged through the wringer, and it is completely exhausting. So many people are exhausted at the division, at the hate, at the pandemic — people are just exhausted and angry and frustrated. And if the people who bring hope [and] positivity give up, then the world has lost its balance.

“Negativity screams, and positivity whispers. So we just need more whisperers to help people,” he adds. “I know this sounds cliché and some people may think it’s bulls—, but the truth is, I’ve lived long enough and experienced enough good and bad to know that good wins when everybody pushes in that direction.”

It’s hard to stay positive in 2020, a year rife with so much political and social turmoil. The leadup to the impending election has been particularly charged, with added weight given by the coronavirus pandemic and renewed focus on racial injustice in America. Perry has made headlines on both fronts, becoming one of the first major Hollywood players to find a safe way to get back to production during the worldwide health crisis and donating time and money to social justice causes. For these efforts, he has been named Variety’s Showman of the Year.

Read the full interview here.