The show’s season 5 finale took an unexpected turn this week after Henry announced he was shutting down the old 9MAG shop yet again, but this time for good.
He claimed the tattoo shop, which he opened years ago, was no longer bringing in money like it used to, therefore he had to let it go. However, viewers didn’t expect the 9MAG owner to fire half of his old crew, including Bella, the shop’s assistant, Charmaine Walker, the celebrity concierge and Van Johnson, the shop’s manager. Both Walker and Johnson have been working with Henry since the beginning.
“I’ve been trying to let people do what they do, work how they work, it (9MAG) has no expanded, so I’m gone let my whole s–t die with my brand because y’all wanna be over there playing? … F–k what y’all got going on,” Henry told Walker during Tuesday night’s finale. “I want that s–t to be done. The old 9MAG it’s over with.”
Walker, who quit the shop halfway through the season but was rehired, broke down into tears and took news of her unemployment pretty hard. Bella, however, seemed the most impacted by it.
“What about the rest of us who just joined 9MAG Ryan, me and Lea (her toddler daughter) don’t have s–t to do with that,” Bella yelled moments before flipping over a table. “I fought for this s–t and you just gone close the s–t. … You got me f–ked up!”
Henry said he had sympathy for Bella “as a single mom,” but not enough to “keep a failing business open” under his name.
Johnson, on the other hand, seemed the least affected and said he “could give a f–k anymore.”
The last standing members at the old 9MAG shop, Don and Phor Brumfield will however be joining Henry at the new tattoo shop.
The 9MAG shop owner received a lot of backlash from “Black Ink Crew: Chicago” viewers for leaving his former employees jobless.
“Man Ryan bogus as hell for firing Van and Charmaine. They always been there and he don’t care Bella got a baby. What a punk ass move!”
“Totally understand ryan trying to protect his business/brand; however, the way this was executed, was beyond unprofessional 🙄!”
“I understand You closing the shop, but the only reason i watch Black inc is because of all the old crew. You could’ve brought Charmaine and Van to the new shop.”
“Damn Ryan Bella is a single mom what she supposed to do. This was bogus Van and Char been there since day one brah. Your ego is getting big.”
“But the show is nothing with out @charmaine and @vanjohnsonofficial they make the show🤷🏿♀️ hire them back to the new shop G.”
After catching wind of all of the flak he was receiving, Henry addressed critics writing via Instagram, “Regardless of how y’all see it.. we have fun making the show #BlackInkCrewChicago … 5 successful seasons Down from the Southside of Chicago on VH1, and more to come! What I decide to do with my business and brand is my choice for a better me and future..The people involved are doing A-Ok 👌🏾😂.”