Tyler Perry flies home to Georgia to vote in person: ‘Too important to miss!’
Georgia-bred entertainers including filmmaker Tyler Perry and hip-hop stars Jermaine Dupri and Jeezy added their voices to the decisive Georgia runoff elections Tuesday, which will determine which political party will control the U.S. Senate.
Perry, who opened the only Black-owned major film studio in the country in Atlanta in 2019, put out a public plea on Twitter this week after never receiving his absentee ballot. Several came to his aid with instructions, including democracy advocate and former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, who is credited with turning Georgia blue in the November presidential election. She urged Perry to vote in person if he could.
And he did. The “Madea” star flew back to his home state Monday so he could vote in the state’s Senate runoff elections because it was “too important to miss.” On election day, Perry posted a video saying he remedied the issue by voting in person and encouraged others to do so too. “Get out and vote, get out and vote, get out and vote,” he said.
Appearing on CNN, “I Do” rapper Jeezy advocated for fellow Black Americans in his state and across the country.
“I had humble beginnings, and I understand my influence,” he said. “For the longest time, my culture feels like we’ve been alienated from politics. So now we have a say. So I just want to make sure we all understand that our vote counts, our voices count and our numbers count.”
Dupri, the mega music producer who has worked with Jay-Z, Aretha Franklin, TLC and Alicia Keys, also told CNN that activism isn’t new to Georgia: “We all have been active one way or another without actually getting paid to do this, without actually even doing interviews and all this type of stuff. It’s just something that we do in the city.”
The hip-hop all-stars are just a few who helped clinch the presidential election for Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris.
On the Tuesday ballot are incumbent Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler vying against Democratic challengers Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock, respectively. If Democrats prevail in the two races, their party would unseat the GOP-led Senate and its majority leader, Mitch McConnell, also giving the upper chamber’s tie-breaking vote to incoming Vice President Harris.
Grammy-winning rapper Cardi B, who lives in Atlanta and has openly criticized Donald Trump, his administration and Republicans, took to Instagram Monday to explain why she thinks McConnell should go and his role in blocking a vote for $2,000 stimulus checks amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s time to step up and vote! We don’t know where the world will be this year, next year or maybe 5 years from now but we can’t have people like MITCH make decisions on people he don’t relate to or even give a damn about !!!” the “WAP” rapper wrote, sharing a video decrying McConnell’s political decision.
Those local efforts have also been backed by many in Hollywood, which has long been a financial booster for Democratic candidates. In fact, the Georgia races have drawn an unusual level of interest from an entertainment industry that has deep and growing ties to the state.
The heightened stakes of the Georgia runoffs have drawn an unusual level of interest from an entertainment industry that has deep and growing ties to Georgia.
Abrams and her Fair Fight initiative have been rallying voters for months and have been joined by celebrities to increase voter turnout and fight voter suppression. Fair Fight has put on a series of star-studded fundraisers to boost finances and visibility, including December’s “Broadway for Georgia” and “Celebrity Autobiography” fundraising events.
It all came to a head Tuesday, as celebs took to their social media accounts for last-ditch efforts to rally voters. Viola Davis, Kerry Washington, Audra McDonald, Lady Gaga, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Mark Ruffalo were among those who weighed in.
Here’s a look at what they had to say:
It's a date
Get our L.A. Goes Out newsletter, with the week's best events, to help you explore and experience our city.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.