Tyler Perry has denied that he is exploiting women’s suffering in his film. The filmmaker spoke on the accusation at the premiere for his latest film, A Fall From Grace. According to Page Six, Perry said that his exploration of women’s pain stems from his mother being abused by his father. “I’m always trying to send a message that you don’t have to deal with this s–t,” he said.

He added, “It’s not about making money off of a woman’s pain — it is about telling a story. And I wish that people, especially black women, would get off the fact of saying, ‘Oh, he’s making money off of black women.’”

Perry recently received criticism after revealing that he doesn’t have a writers’ room. He then explained is reasoning, saying that he once did and it was a “nightmare.”

“So, I don’t know if you know this, but all shows on television have a writers room,” he said in the clip shared on social media. “Most of the time, there are 10 people or 12 or whatever that write on these television shows.Well, I have no writers room. Nobody writes any of my work. I write it all. Why am I telling you this? I wrote all of these scripts by myself in 2019. Work ethic!”

In response to the backlash, however, he said in an interview with Level, “At the time, I had a bunch of writers who were nonunion, and I was unhappy with every single script they wrote. They were not speaking to the voice. They just didn’t get it. There was a Black woman lawyer I was negotiating with to get WGA [Writers Guild of America] writers on my show. I told her, ‘I can’t afford to pay those rates that every other studio pays. I need to structure differently.’ It looked like the deal was going to go through so I fired the four writers and prepared to hire new writers through the WGA.”

He continued, “Now we’re a WGA show and I’m paying WGA rates. Scripts they’re turning in? Ratings are going down. So now I have to go in and give notes on how to rewrite them. And if I still don’t like it, I have to pay them again for another rewrite. At one point, I thought they were submitting scripts that would need rewrites in order to get paid multiple times. And these are Black people.”