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No, Tyler Perry did not buy BET

The episode is instructive of the pitfalls that exist in today's media ecosystem.

ATLANTA — The rumored/reported purchase of BET by Tyler Perry has made waves this week on social media, but it has one slight drawback: As of now, it's completely unsubstantiated.

The episode is instructive of the pitfalls that exist in today's media ecosystem, as laid out in a brief Twitter thread by journalist Philip Lewis.

An original report catches on, blogs or social accounts with huge followings on platforms like Instagram spread the report and if the report turns out to be lacking it's very hard to put the horse back in the barn.

But here's what we know in this situation.

Where things stand with Tyler Perry possibly buying BET

  • Tyler Perry already owns a 25% stake in BET thanks to a 2019 production deal with Paramount, according to Bloomberg.
  • In March, outlets like The Wall Street Journal reported that Perry was interested in making a purchase that would turn his 25% stake into a majority stake.
  • Depending on how much he were to purchase, it still wouldn't necessarily make him the "owner" of BET - that's not really how corporations work - but it would put him in control of the media company.
  • Last month, Bloomberg reported that Perry's move to take control of BET faced competition from other Black business and entertainment heavyweights, among them Shaq and Byron Allen.
  • An online entertainment and culture news outlet called The Streamr reported the deal was done. That report is what kicked off the news that Perry had bought BET, but it was later pulled.
  • Since then, there has been no public announcement or statement about Perry's continued interest in BET.

So, to recap: Perry has not bought BET, but reporting from the last few months indicates he is trying to take control of the company. It certainly remains a strong possibility Perry will purchase majority control - it just hasn't happened (and of course, may not happen at all).

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