Tyler Perry may be one of the highest paid man in Hollywood, but author Melvin Childs claims he only achieved his success due to ties with drug dealers and shady promoters. Tyler has professed from the onset of his fame that he has gotten to where he is today with hard work, persistence, and faith. Yet, Childs claims that it simply wasn’t the case. These allegations haven’t been addressed by Tyler, and it would be hard to produce evidence to reveal or deny them. One thing Melvin doesn’t do is deny Tyler’s hard work ethic and talent.
Excerpts from the book Never Would Have Made It follow from the Grio*:
Was I just a promoter when you came to me for a loan because you didn’t have the money to pay your cast? Was I just a promoter when you called me to borrow money to buy food or when I personally paid for the hotel you were living in while you were supposedly homeless? Maybe I was and if that’s the case, then so be it. But guess what? Regardless of what he wants to call me, I was there. And because I was there, I also have a story to tell.
There are so many different possibilities with this story. Also, it has to be taken into account that there are different versions of the truth by each individual involved. However, the previous passage does point to a man who feels betrayed by Tyler’s success and lack of acknowledgment of his contributing role in Tyler’s accomplishments. This doesn’t mean that his allegations are warranted.
Let’s look at the various scenarios:
Melvin sucks: Melvin could be the “Remember that time I loaned you that $50 to put gas in your car to get that new job where you’re earning good money…where’s my share?” dude. Melvin has yet to state whether or not Tyler repaid any investments or loans given to him. Since he hasn’t gone the “Tyler cheated me of my money” route, there’s a high possibility that he did. If that financial agreement has been settled, Tyler doesn’t owe Melvin a darn thing. Hardly wealthy people not only tend to lack financial acumen, they’re also prone to exaggerating their roles in aiding their friends and changing the script should an individual grow bigger in wealth than they ever imagined.
Should a person invest in a person or business, they should have their expectations bound by contract. If a person had invested in Bank of America at a decent buy-in and lost all of their money when the subprime incident bottomed the stock out, they’d have to suck up the losses. While Bank of America’s stock has risen since the subprime incident, people who lost all of their money cannot argue that they’re entitled to current earnings by the company due to their initial investment. Investments are always a risk. Also, friendships should always be set aside when doing business. A strict contract should always be in place. Unless you had a contract or had equity in the company with all of your expectations, your claims don’t hold much weight. Hence, why this book profiting off his name has possibly been made.
Tyler forgot where he came from: Tyler climbed to the top and decided to “act brand new”. This scenario happens frequently in rags-to-riches stories. However, we have to be careful when defining this. When people grow, sometimes it’s critical if they are to keep their new successful status to end old, potentially damaging friendships. Friends or family of suddenly wealthy people aren’t entitled to a cent. Sure, it’s culturally acceptable to support your loved ones when you have financial abundance, but it isn’t mandatory. Maybe Melvin’s financial contributions really were the defining point in Tyler’s career. Perhaps Tyler minimized those contributions in his own mind and conveniently forgot that he had this help along the way. However, even if Tyler really did accept drug money to fund his projects, he certainly isn’t coming out with this information. Can you say “bye-bye career and Christian image” if that were to come out?
Drug money was involved: This is not the first and probably won’t be the last name we hear tied to drug money. The hidden reality is that drug cartel and mafia connections are deeply intertwined in entertainment industries all around the world. After all, illegal entities have a lot of money to hide away and bury into legitimate projects. Recalling rumors of the past, the BMF drug cartel has allegedly invested in hip hop artist Young Jeezy, Diddy and Bad Boy Records. It’s not behavior solely connected to the urban entertainment industry either. Look to the big motion pictures and other big name directors to have under-handed dealings as well.
So what can we take from this? All investments should be contractual. Everything is always fine and dandy until the person or business invested in suddenly earns 1,000x the investment you made. Suddenly, you have all these monetary expectations. Put them to writing. However, if someone made an investment in good faith, it’s always in good conscious to return the investment with reasonable interest. We don’t mean 400% interest either. A decent 20% to 3x the amount is plenty depending on the amount and circumstances. It wouldn’t hurt to acknowledge their contributions publicly as this is more valuable than money to some. Lastly, while drug money may seem like a good idea, leave it 100% alone. No price can be worth going to bed with a bad conscious. These dirty deeds explain the partial behaviors and bad deeds galore in the entertainment industry. However, it’s important to note that we aren’t outright accusing anyone directly. It’s better to draw some lessons from the situation at hand for ourselves.
*To see the interview video clip, please go to the Grio.
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