Tyler Perry has finally spoken out about his experience trying to purchase the Black Entertainment Television (BET) channel from Paramount Global, and the billionaire suggests that it wasn’t pleasant.
“I was disappointed about it for a number of reasons,” Perry said at Bloomberg’s Equality Summit per a report from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC). “The way it happened was disrespectful in a lot of ways.”
He continued, “Don’t try to get me to pay for something that’s not worth anywhere near the value.” Perry also “gave a firm no” when he was asked about his interest in securing ownership of BET if it goes up for sale again. “God bless them. I’m still working with them. I wish them the best,” Perry went on to say per AJC reports.
As ESSENCE previously pointed out, Perry still holds minority stake in BET+, and works with the network to house a large number of his productions. Perry and BET have been in collaboration for quite some time, as the network helped fund his first feature, 2005’s Diary of a Mad Black Woman. In 2017, Perry inked a long-term film deal with Paramount, with a TV deal that began three years later. Overall, it seems as if the partnership has been a positive experience for Perry, Paramount Global president and CEO Bob Bakish and BET Networks president Scott Mills.
As previously reported by ESSENCE, an August 16 report by Wall Street Journal stated that Paramount Global dropped its plans to sell a majority stake in its BET Media Group because ‘a sale wouldn’t result in any meaningful deleveraging of its balance sheet.’
According to the report, bids ranged from around $2 billion to around $3 billion, including Perry’s which was reportedly backed by Ariel Alternatives.