Tyler Perry on why he wants to buy majority stake in BET

Abu Mubarik April 10, 2023
Tyler Perry recently spoke about the Oscars slap -- Photo via @tylerperry on Instagram

Tyler Perry has disclosed that he is interested in buying a majority stake in BET following the news that Paramount was exploring a sale. Addressing reports concerning his interest in the channel that has been home to some of his shows, he disclosed that he is “very interested in taking as much of it…” as he can.

He subsequently dispelled claims that he wasn’t interested in having a piece of BET in a recent interview on Entertainment Tonight at Tyler Perry Studios.

“Rumor? No, it’s not a rumor,” Perry said. “I’ve been there for four years now and had tremendous success. I wasn’t expecting this to happen, so, yes … If it’s possible, I’m gonna take as much of it as I can.”

Perry is not new to BET. His shows like “Sistas,” “The Oval,” and “House of Payne” among others all air on the black-owned channel. His deal with Paramount to air his shows is reportedly ending soon, and should he acquire a majority stake in BET, it will give him control over the brand that airs his shows.

The actor, producer, and writer explained in the interview that his strong desire to purchase the station is for it to return to black ownership.

He said, “I think there was sadness when Bob sold it, and I think there’ll be happiness when it’s Black-owned again. Even though Shari (Redstone) and what is it? Viacom and Paramount? They’ve done a phenomenal job with it.”

“They didn’t let it fall by the wayside; they didn’t let it go into dust. They nurtured it and took care of it, and to see Shari at this position saying, ‘I think it should be returned to a Black owner?’ I figured, ‘OK, see, that’s my kind of person.’”

In addition to Perry, other blacks interested in purchasing BET include Byron Allen and P. Diddy. Despite this stiff competition for ownership, Perry says he is happy black figures are interested in buying BET. He adds that returning to black ownership is what is important.

“I’ve read about Byron Allen and Puffy and everybody wanting to bid and so on and so forth, and I think it’s really great,” he said. “This is what I love about it — when Bob Johnson sold it in 2000, I think it was, there wasn’t one Black person who could buy it. So now, to see all of these Black people, men and women, who are able to be in a position to buy it? Man, that makes me feel really, really excited.”

Last Edited by:Annie-Flora Mills Updated: April 10, 2023


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