Tyler Perry said the bidding process for BET was ‘disrespectful’

Paramount Global ultimately pulled the plug on the sale when it didn’t get high enough bids

In his first public comments since Paramount Global decided not to sell a majority stake in BET in August, Tyler Perry Wednesday night expressed dismay about how the bidding process went.

“I was disappointed about it for a number of reasons,” Perry said during a Bloomberg Equality summit at The Gathering Spot in Atlanta. “The way it happened was disrespectful in a lot of ways.”

He didn’t get into specifics but did say: “Don’t try to get me to pay for something that’s not worth anywhere near the value” Paramount said it was.

Perry’s remarks came during a panel moderated by Shartia Brantley, head of inclusive programming for Bloomberg.

Perry still has a minority stake in the BET+ streaming service and provides content to Paramount Global properties such as BET and Nickelodeon. “God bless them,” he said. “I’m still working with them. I wish them the best.”

When Brantley asked if Perry would reconsider if Paramount placed BET up for sale again, he gave a firm no.

Perry was one of several Black entrepreneurs who wanted to buy the majority stake in BET when Paramount Global put it up for sale earlier this year. He was working with private-equity firm Ariel Alternatives, a subsidiary of asset-management company Ariel Investment, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Other suitors included Byron Allen, who owns Atlanta-based The Weather Channel among other media properties; Sean “Diddy” Combs, who owns Revolt TV, which has production offices in Atlanta; and the trio of part-time Atlantan Shaquille O’Neal, TV producer Kenya Barris and rapper 50 Cent.

Paramount Global received bids for the stake ranging from around $2 billion to around $3 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal. The buyer would have received the VH1 and BET cable networks as well as BET+.

Paramount was seeking to sell most of BET to garner more cash to shore up its primary streaming service Paramount+.

Perry at the event did not provide a time table on when he would start building on the 37-acre site he closed on last December adjacent to Tyler Perry Studios. He has plans to open restaurants, a 7,000-seat theater and a museum there but hasn’t decided yet on a builder. He did note that the on-going actors strike has slowed the process as Tyler Perry Studios has been largely dormant since the actors hit the picket line in mid-July.

He has current movie deals with both Netflix and Amazon.