‘They All Went Through Divorces’: Fans Accuse Tyler Perry of Exploiting Meagan Good, Cory Hardrict, and Richard Lawson’s Real-Life Break Ups for ‘Raw Emotion’ in New Film ‘Divorce In the Black’

Tyler Perry fans are left to speculate about whether art is imitating life or the other way around as his new film, “Tyler Perry’s Divorce in the Black,” enlists a cast of stars who have each experienced love going awry.

The Amazon MGM Studios flick is written, produced, and directed by Perry. Its leading lady is Megan Good, who plays Ava, while her on-screen husband, Dallas, is played by actor Cory Hardrict. Good’s parents are portrayed by Hollywood veterans Richard Lawson and Debbi Morgan.

Tyler Perry’s ‘Divorce in the Black’ casts actors Meagan Good, Cory Hardrict, and Richard Lawson, who each know about failed marriages. (Photos: Meagangood/Instagram; Coryhardrict/Instagram; Mrrichardlawson/Instagram.)

The trailer was released on June 13, showing a twisted love story about a failing marriage, abuse, stalking, and other misdeeds that leave Ava fighting for her life and a second chance at love.

The romantic thriller’s blogline reads: “Ava, a young bank professional who is devastated when her husband Dallas abandons a marriage she is determined to fight for until fate intervenes, revealing Dallas’ wicked deeds that have trashed their marriage, and once upon a time sabotaged Ava’s destiny to be loved by her true soulmate.”

As it pertains to matters of the heart, Good, Hardrict, and Lawson have each made headlines in the past two years. Some hopeful viewers suspect that Perry purposely cast the three actors in hopes they would lean into their personal experiences for the project.

“Cory Hardrict, Megan Good and Richard Lawson all went through divorces within the last few years! This should be some very raw and emotional acting in this movie,” tweeted one person.

Another person wrote, “Hmmmm! Didn’t they all go through a divorce????? Cory Hardrick, Meagan Good and Beyoncé’ mother’s Ex Husband… this role should be very easy…. Since they don’t have to dig too deep.” A third comment read, “Picking 2 people recently divorced as the stars. Coincidence I think not.”

Here is a look back at how the film’s star went from happily married to divorced.

Meagan Good and DeVon Franklin

In 2021, after nine years of marriage, Good and studio executive DeVon Franklin announced their decision to separate. Many believed they were a match made in heaven, as hundreds were inspired by their love story in their joint book, “The Wait.”

“After much prayer and consideration, we have decided to go into our futures separately but forever connected,” the couple said in identical posts shared on Instagram.

“We celebrate almost a decade of marriage together and a love that is eternal. There’s no one at fault, we believe this is the next best chapter in the evolution of our love,” continued their statement.

Soon afterward, Franklin filed for divorce. The decree was finalized a week before their tenth wedding anniversary in June 2022. The “Harlem” lead has since moved on with embattled actor Jonathan Majors amid his attempt to rebound his career from a 2023 domestic abuse case.

Cory Hardrict and Tia Mowry

The “All American: Homecoming” actor has been divorced from ex-wife Tia Mowry for a year. The married couple of 14 years separated in October 2022. Their divorce was settled in just six months, with both parties agreeing to share joint custody of their two children, son Cree and daughter Cairo.

Their split initially came as a shock to fans. “These decisions are never easy, and not without sadness. We will maintain a friendship as we co-parent our beautiful children,” wrote the “Sister, Sister” actress in an Instagram post that featured a photo of her and Hardrict lovingly looking into each other’s eyes.

She continued, “I am grateful for all the happy times we had together and want to thank my friends, family and fans for your love and support as we start this new chapter moving forward in our lives.”

The mother of two has dropped hints about dating after divorce, saying that it has been a whirlwind experience that has not yet led her to a new Mr. Right. Hardrict, who is known for being on the quieter side, has not shed light on whether or not he has begun to date. 

Richard Lawson and Tina Knowles

The “Saints and Sinners” actor and Tina Knowles renewed some supporters’ hopes that it is never too late to find love when they tied the knot in April 2015. The couple was known for showing up to events with each other and sharing moments of their love on social media. But when Knowles began to only post photos and videos of herself or with family and friends who were not Lawson last year, suspicions arose.

By July 2023, it was revealed that Knowles had filed for divorce after eight years of marriage. Around that same time, Lawson’s messy behavior and interest in explicit content on Twitter were also exposed.

Neither Knowles nor her estranged husband have addressed the split publicly. It remains unclear if they have managed to settle their divorce in secret.

Debbi Morgan has also had her share of marital woes; she has been married multiple times, including a three-year union with her former “Rock” co-star Charles S. Dutton. She is currently married to her fourth husband, Jeffrey Winston, with whom she has been with for nearly two decades. 

In the wake of the film’s trailer being released, the Tyler Perry Studios owner has faced some pushback from fans who feel his story-telling has minimal range, leaving some to believe he only knows how to tell one story: the struggle of Black women.

“Making ‘Divorce In The Black was born out of wanting to tell Ava’s story. She is surrounded by all this power through her foundation – her family and friends,” Perry told Deadline. “She has all the power inside of her but that power is somehow lost in her marriage. So it was important for her character to find her way, to show that journey back to her power.”

“Divorce in the Black” begins streaming on Prime Video on July 11.

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