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Why Tika Sumpter Almost Turned Down Tyler Perry's Offer To Star In 'The Haves & The Have Nots'

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by Tambay A. Obenson
February 27, 2014 1:30 PM
14 Comments
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Tyler Perry's "The Haves and the Have Nots"

I thought this was interesting and worth sharing... on a slow news day.

It's actually gets a tad awkward - at least, I think so.

The short story goes, apparently Tika Sumpter wasn't immediately taken by the idea of starring in Tyler Perry's OWN network series, The Haves and the Have Nots - a hit soap opera, helping raise OWN's overall ratings.

As Tyler and Tika share in the video below, Tyer called Tika and offered her a starring role The Haves and the Have Nots, and Tika's initial response was, "Let me think about it," which Tyler obviously wasn't too pleased by. Who says what is effectively a "no" to Tyler Perry, right? Every actor he offers a part to should, without hesitation, pounce on the offering. But Tika apparently wasn't to sure if she wanted to appear in a Tyler Perry series, and Tyler reveals that he actually had to ask Oprah Winfrey to give Tika a call about starring in the project, if only to encourage her to consider the part she was being offered, which Oprah did.

Tika gives her reasons why she wasn't imediately keen on starring in the series, saying that, as an actress/business woman, she has to think about every offer before she accepts. But, really, if it was Steve Spielberg, or David Fincher, or Martin Scorsese, or even Spike Lee, at the other end of the call, making the offer, and not Tyler Perry, would she have hesitated? Would "let me think about it" have been her reply to any of them in a similar scenario? That we'll obviously never know, but I can't help but think that her response would've been different.

Also, I'm now wondering if Tika Sumpter can afford to turn anything down at this stage in her career, or be ambivalent about offers she receives (let alone one from Tyler Perry, who, despite what I think of his work, is one of a very few blacks in Hollywood who can get anything done right now, and has achieved immense success in the process). And I'm surprised Tyler actually gave her multiple chances to say yes, including having Oprah call her. He must have really wanted her for the part she plays. But I'd like to think that the same offer, if made to many other actresses, wouldn't have been met with any kind of hesitation at all.

But maybe it also says something about Tika and what she believes she's worth as an actress.

Keep in mind though that Tika did also appear in Tyler Perry's film, A Madea Christmas, which was released in December. So, clearly, she's now on board his train, and likely won't hesitate if/when he offers her something else in the future. Or maybe she will.

All fodder for discussion...

So I'm asking all you actors reading this: hypothetically, if you were approached by Tyler Perry with an offer to star in one of his projects, would you say, "Well, Tyler, let me think about it," or would you leap at the opportunity to work and earn a paycheck, regardless of how you feel about Perry's work?

Watch the slightly awkward, though jovial video convo below:

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14 Comments

  • CC | February 28, 2014 1:24 AMReply

    Tambay and the crew are easy prey. When they write a post and go on about their business, they're like ripe and juicy cherries hanging from the lowest limps... just resting there -- defenseless --inviting the drive-by cherry-picking-knit-pickers to take a bit. And boy oh boy, today they came... as if there was a sign hanging on the door... "NICE & JUICY TAMBAY ASS INSIDE"... they came by to nab a taste. But the question is, REALLY? Was Tambay's off-the-cuff comment deserving of him being taken to the wood shed? Or, is this just another case of knit-pickers doing what they do best... cherry-pick the most trivial item in the post and drama queen the sh*t out of it... making them feel reeeeaaaal good inside, telling Tambay where to get off? Well, I think the latter is the fly in this ointment.

  • I.D. | February 27, 2014 9:24 PMReply

    If it were Spielberg or Lee? Shadow and Act, seriously thinking of dismissing you from my FB newsfeed, the TP bashing is really tired. I quiet frankly thought you could do better reporting than to simply discount Tyler's fan base; I thought writing for clicks and thumbs up would be beneath you. I think I'm done with you.

  • ID | February 28, 2014 3:31 AM

    Well mission accomplished Sergio.

  • sergio | February 27, 2014 10:51 PM

    Funny I was just thinking about that the other day. I was thinking "How can we get I.D. to dismiss us from his (hers?) FB page?" What a coincidence!

  • Donella | February 27, 2014 4:48 PMReply

    I would rather work with an actor who took time to think, than an actor who didn't think at all.

  • Sweeta | February 27, 2014 4:36 PMReply

    I can imagine what it sounds/looks like on set. Seems like they have a cunty relationship-replete with catty comments, underminings, and passive-aggressive tones. This'll be interesting to watch 3 years from now...

  • jj | February 27, 2014 3:18 PMReply

    That you question her right to choose her career path and suggest that she can't afford to say no to projects that don't interest her is almost as ignorant as Tyler's grand boastful notions of himself... I happen to enjoy much of his work, but Spielberg, Fincher, Scorsese, or Lee would expect the actor to read the role and make a decision to commit based on the content and their belief that they can add to it, rather than just mumble a yes because they called. Your pathetic attitude is synonymous with the money-grubbing glad-handing that's led to the current slew of artistically weak productions coming to screens everywhere. You are the white noise that Oprah warned her against!

  • Boykin | February 27, 2014 5:05 PM

    i'm on your team JJ.

    Tambay, it's instinct: if i feel the story and the writing? i wouldn't hesitate. but if i question the quality of it all? gotta think about it.

    there's nothing wrong with any actor saying "no" or "i need to think about it". casting directors, producers & their industry ilk don't hesitate to say "no" to actors. it's not a two way street?

    it is, so...what we tahm bout, really? an actor exercising the only real power she has in this industry? regardless of her ranking on the A to D-list? good for her man, that's just good actor business. my uncle always told me that people want what they can't have, and they will find a way to get to work with you. & he's been right, at least, so far in Chicago, bless my lucky stars.

  • TJR | February 27, 2014 3:14 PMReply

    Soooo much shade and saltiness going on here...wow Tyler really is a queen hunty! LOL!

  • CC | February 27, 2014 2:37 PMReply

    Well, artistically speaking, Tyler Perry is hardly at the same level with Spielberg or Fincher. Secondly, it's a tv series not a film role which is a much longer commitment. It's one thing to sign up for a movie role that takes few weeks or months of your life, quite another to sign up for something for next 5-7 years, especially if the series is being filmed in another city. To me it's not that surprising she would want to think about it for a while. People have family and relationship commitments and deciding to move to a new city for next 5 years might not be an easy decision for everyone, especially if Tika had a decent amount of work already and wasn't hurting for money.

  • slb | February 27, 2014 2:24 PMReply

    "But, really, if it was Steve Spielberg, or David Fincher, or Martin Scorsese, or even Spike Lee, at the other end of the call, making the offer, and not Tyler Perry, would she have hesitated? Would "let me think about it" have been her reply to any of them in a similar scenario? "


    Well, any objective person would say that Tyler Perry isn't in the same league as those directors. Let's be honest here. All of those directors have critical acclaim and the respect of their peers. Despite all the money TP makes, he does not have those two things at the time. Her saying, "Let me think about it" is completely understandable. She may not be ready to commit to the grind of a television soap opera. She might be looking for characters that fit her career goals. It could be any number of reasons. Either way, the point is moot because she did take the role. So...move along...nothing to see here.

  • al | February 27, 2014 2:23 PMReply

    Smart move on her part. Obviously , nothing in her spirit told her to jump on it immediately so she didn't. You'll almost always get the side eye when you don't jump at money or an opportunity. Know that you have value. Kudos.

  • Andrea | February 27, 2014 1:48 PMReply

    That conversation was very awkward. I can tell that there's still a pinch of salt on Tyler's end regarding this situation. I think that what Tika said was true. Just because someone calls you and offers you something doesn't mean you have to take it if it's not a good fit for you. I guess the situation worked out for the best for everyone though.

  • Dawn | February 27, 2014 1:47 PMReply

    She took the role... it's done.

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