Tyler Perry is launching a new streaming service with bosses at TV network BET.
BET Plus will hit the air this autumn (2019), featuring Perry’s films and television series and a new show created specifically for the pay-per-view site by Perry.
BET Plus will also offer viewers the TV series reboot of hit movie First Wives Club and a new series from Girls Trip producer Will Packer.
Announcing the new venture on Monday (June 24, 2019), BET Networks president Scott Mills said, “African-Americans are the leading consumers of streaming services, with higher SVOD (subscription video on demand) adoption rates than other consumers, which is why we’re so excited to launch a premium product for this underserved audience.”
“BET Plus is a natural extension of BET’s linear network, which has been the leading home of black culture for decades.”
Perry added, “I’ve paid attention to my audience and what works for them and, for that reason, I’m very excited not only about the idea of partnering with BET to create new and exciting content, but also about the idea of giving people a personalized experience through the ability to curate the content they love to consume.”
“On a personal level, this will also be the first time I’ll be working in areas like unscripted and variety television, which will afford me the opportunity to work in fresh, creative ways with new voices and to discover new talent.”
Perry received a standing ovation after delivering an inspirational speech as he accepted an honor at the 2019 BET Awards on Sunday night.
The filmmaker, who is best known for creating and performing as the character Madea, took to the stage at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles to accept the Ultimate Icon Award, and during his speech, he opened up about sharing opportunities and trying to help the likes of Taraji P. Henson and Idris Elba get a break by casting them in his movies.
“When I started hiring people like Taraji, Viola Davis, Idris Elba, they couldn’t get jobs in this town, but God blessed me to be in a position to be able to hire them,” Perry explained. “I was trying to help somebody cross.”
He also detailed why it was so important to locate his film studio in Atlanta, Georgia, adding, “When I built my studio, I built it in a neighborhood that is one of the poorest black neighborhoods in Atlanta, so that young black kids could see that a black man did that and they could do it, too,” he continued.
“That studio was once a Confederate Army base – and I want you to hear this – which meant that there were Confederate soldiers on that base plotting and planning on how to keep 3.9 million Negroes enslaved. Now that land is owned by one Negro.”