“We can very much say that there are conversations,” Perry said, “I’m beyond interested”
Tyler Perry has his eyes on BET.
The writer, director and actor is “very, very interested” in acquiring Paramount’s majority stake in the television network if presented the chance.
“Rumor? No, it’s not a rumor,” Perry, 53, told Entertainment Tonight. “I’ve been there for four years now and have tremendous success. I wasn’t expecting this to happen, so, yes — if that is possible, I’m very, very interested in taking as much of it as I can.”
“Part of it is — and I’ve read about Byron Allen and [Sean “Diddy” Combs] and everybody wanting to bid and so on and so forth, and I think it’s really great,” Perry said. “This is what I love about it. When [BET co-founder] 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.”
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He added that ownership of the company by a Black person “means a great deal.”
Perry explained, “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 Viacom and Paramount [have] 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?'” he continued, “I figured, ‘OK. See, that’s my kind of person.'”
“We can very much say that there are conversations. I’m beyond interested,” he said, joking,
and there will be a resolution in 22 years.”
He teased, “Everything could align.”
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According to The Hollywood Reporter, Perry has had a deal with Paramount since 2017, which is up again soon. If Perry is able to acquire BET, he would then own the conglomerate that airs several of his series.