Tyler Perry Begs Actors to Stop Buying Billboards to Get His Attention: 'Please Stop'

Tyler Perry is sending out a very direct message to actors who want to work with him.

The 49-year-old screenwriter and director shared a photo of a billboard featuring actress Racquel Bailey that read, “ATTENTION MR. PERRY Racquel Bailey Is Your Next Leading Lady.”

Perry shared the photo on his official Facebook page, but not to applaud the actress on her creative outreach.

“Auhhh…. soooooo…… here’s the deal. This is not the way to get my attention if you’re looking for a role in one of my shows,” Perry wrote on Facebook. “Please DON’T DO THIS, SAVE YOUR MONEY!! This is the third time that someone has done this. PLEASE STOP! To audition is FREE!! I’m sure you can use that money for a better purpose.”

He continued, “I love that you want to work with me, and I love that you invest in yourself. But when you do things like this it puts my team on high alert and makes me look at you sideways. I know the message that you want to send is a positive one, but this comes across as the opposite.”

“Again, the best way to work for me is to AUDITION and it’s FREE! We post breakdowns all the time for actors. JUST COME AND AUDITION,” he added.

He next directed his message to Bailey, telling her, “And by the way, you were great in THE NIGHT OF! It was my favorite show a couple years ago. I ALREADY SAW YOU!! So just audition and keep your money!! Again, I appreciate your effort, but that’s not the way to work for me. God bless you dreamer. I have no doubt you will make it one day!!”

Bailey has starred in a handful of TV shows and short films, including The Jim Gaffigan Show and in two episodes of The Night Of, both of which aired in 2016.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Bailey paid $2,000 for two billboards near Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta to get his attention.

Despite Perry’s Facebook message, her gambit paid off when a casting agent called her and she was granted an audition for a pilot show Perry is working on.

While Bailey hasn’t heard back yet, she told AJC she was excited by the opportunity.

“I’m patiently waiting,” she told the newspaper.

A rep for Bailey did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

This wasn’t Bailey’s first time paying for a billboard. She paid $1,400 seven years ago for a billboard near Perry’s first studio when she was looking for work.

That chance didn’t pay off, but the mom of two said she got the idea after watching Halle Berry in the HBO biopic Introducing Dorothy Dandridge after Dandridge was told the only way to catch an agent’s attention was to plaster her face on billboards.

“I didn’t get the results I wanted the first time so as they say if you don’t succeed, try, try again,” Bailey said.

As for why she was so focused on Perry, Bailey said, “He’s one of the best. His caliber of work is something that I can definitely see myself in.”

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