The fifth debate in the Democratic primaries will be hosted in Georgia, and the location is relatively unconventional. According to CBS46, Tyler Perry Studios will be hosting the debates on November 20, where former Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Kamala Harris, Senator Cory Booker, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Andrew Yang, and Tom Steyer will face off.
According to the Atlanta Courier-Journal, Tyler Perry’s new $250 million film studio is the first in the United States to be owned by an African-American. Perry’s studio features its own version of the White House, for his upcoming television show, The Oval.
The news that Perry’s studios will be hosting the debates was confirmed by former gubernatorial candidate and prominent Democrat Stacey Abrams on Twitter. Abrams wrote that Perry’s studio “is a model for Georgia’s vibrant film industry, an engaged corporate citizen and an exceptional location for our #DemDebate.”
This is the first time a film studio has hosted the debates. Normally, they are held at convention centers or on college campuses. According to the Atlanta Courier-Journal, Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms lobbied the Democratic National Convention to allow Perry’s studios to be the location for the fifth debate, even writing a letter to the DNC in order to persuade their decision.
“With people of color being the cornerstone of the Democratic Party, Atlanta remains set to provide a large portion of votes for our eventual nominee,” Lance Bottoms wrote.
The DNC was also considering Georgia Representative Lucy McBath’s suburban town of Sandy Springs. “I understand this decision, but the DNC missed a great opportunity to energize and recognize the importance of Georgia’s 6th and suburban swing districts like it in Georgia and around the nation,” Sandy Springs City Councilman Andy Bauman told the Courier-Journal in a statement. “City Springs would have been a fabulous venue for this debate.”
Perry’s studio will be the location of the debate, but the event will be moderated by The Washington Post and MSNBC. The interviewers for the debate will consist entirely of women. The Washington Post’s White House reporter Ashley Parker, NBC White House Correspondent Kristen Welker, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, and NBC News anchor Andrea Mitchell will be tasked with interviewing the presidential hopefuls.