Actor and filmmaker Tyler Perry has cancelled his final stage tour as his popular Madea character after becoming disgusted by unauthorized promoters charging fans extortionate fees for fake meet and greet sessions with him.
The movie star has been performing in drag as Mabel 'Madea' Simmons for years, but he recently announced his Madea Gets a Job trek across the U.S. this autumn would be his last live show as the larger-than-life character.
He was due to begin the final leg of performances in Georgia on Thursday, with dates also booked in California, Las Vegas, New York and Florida, but Perry announced on Monday that he was pulling the plug on the whole road show.
In a post on his blog, he writes, "Unfortunately, due to circumstances that I can't control, we've had to cancel this leg of the Madea Gets A Job tour. Here's why. I set a ticket price for the show starting at $25. The reason I set the price so low is so that everyone could get a chance to come out and see the show."
"I know how tight things are right now. I GET IT! I do not tour to make a living, I tour because I love staying connected to all of you. I love seeing your faces, hearing you laugh and seeing you enjoy yourselves. It gives me great joy."
However, Perry reveals he's grown increasingly annoyed by ticket scalpers taking advantage of his popularity and charging fans highly-inflated prices for entrance to his gigs, and the most recent illegal promotion prompted him to put a stop to the whole con by scrapping his tour altogether.
He continues, "There are some horrible people who are pretending to be me or representing me on Facebook and charging people money to do a meet and greet on the tour... They are telling people that they are me or working for me and charging them $150 for a meet and greet after the play. DON'T FALL FOR THIS!! That's not me.
"This is so frustrating! Why are people so evil? Why can't people just get legitimate jobs and stop trying to do the wrong thing all the time? If they put the same amount of energy into doing the right thing as they do in doing the wrong thing they could make it. It's so sad."
"To all of you who have bought tickets and made plans to be there I am so sorry. I really am but my hands are tied. This was the last live Madea tour and I'm super sorry that you won't get to see it live. All refunds should be given back to you."