Tyler Perry has confirmed he is “beyond interested” in buying a majority stake in Black Entertainment Television (BET) to make it Black-owned again.
Perry, who has been partnered with the network and its parent company Paramount since 2017, also helped launch BET Plus as a joint venture between BET and Tyler Perry Studios in 2019.
During an interview with Entertainment Tonight on April 4, the 53-year-old stated that he plans to acquire Paramount’s majority stake if presented with the opportunity.
“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 that is possible, I’m very, very interested in taking as much of it as I can.
He said, “If it’s possible, I’m gonna take as much of it as I can.”
Perry added that it was important for the network to be Black-owned again like its original founders Bob Johnson and his wife Sheila.
“Part of it is — and 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 because when, 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,” Perry explained.
“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,” he added.
“I think there was sadness when Bob sold it, and I think there’ll be happiness when it’s Black-owned again,” he continued.
Other black entrepreneurs, including Sean “Diddy” Combs and Byron Allen, are also reportedly interested in buying a stake in the network.
Check out Perry’s full interview below: