Tyler Perry is widely viewed as the most powerful black figure in Hollywood today, but few have explored how exactly he achieved his rapid rise and blockbuster success. Now a man from Perry’s past has stepped forward claiming that the writer-director-producer didn’t achieve his status alone. And that he didn’t do it honestly.
In his new memoir, ”>Never Would Have Made It: The Rise of Tyler Perry, the Most Powerful Entertainer in Black America (And What It Really Took to Get Him There), Melvin Childs, a self-described former radio executive, claims Perry’s growth was significantly dependent on his early investment in him.
Childs also makes the shocking charge that Perry used “risky deals with drug dealers, couriers carrying large bags of cash across the country; backstabbing and double-dealing with corrupt promoters,” plus other illicit means to fund his early work according to the book’s press release.
Childs, who says he has an eye for writing talent, alleges that he helped discover a then unknown Perry. Childs invested in Perry by putting up the money for his production of I Know I’ve Been Changed at Atlanta’s House of Blues — a turning point in the star’s career. Those sold-out shows led to Tyler Perry’s first successful national tour, which were allegedly also made possible through Childs’ money and connections. Childs says he supported the then-struggling star by providing for Perry’s basic living expenses at that time.
You will have to buy the book for yourself to figure out where the drug running and double-dealing come in. Childs has certainly garnered attention for himself with that salacious hook, yet claims that Never Would Have Made It is about “how, ultimately, faith can make you whole again.”
Childs might be in a good place now, but he acknowledges a fair amount of resentment towards Tyler Perry before reaching his current place of peace. On his website promoting the book, excerpts show that Childs lamented feeling disregarded by Perry for some time after having been his prime benefactor. Childs writes in Never Would Have Made It:
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.
Whether it is a story fueled by revenge, or an earth-shattering series of insights into the hidden elements of Tyler Perry’s mind, only time will tell.