Atlanta film director Tyler Perry phoned into Q100’s The Bert Show Friday morning to discuss his thoughts on Michael Jackson’s passing and pleaded for fans and the media to give the Jackson family “respect and room to grieve.”
Perry is set to direct Jackson’s younger sister Janet Jackson here in the sequel to his 2007 hit “Why Did I Get Married?”
Perry confirmed that Jackson was on her way to Atlanta to begin production on the film Thursday when she got word of her brother’s death. Her plane was immediately re-routed to Los Angeles, Perry said.
“i spoke to her yesterday,” Perry said. “She’s a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful girl. There’s no pretense. She’s a regular, beautiful human being. I just ask that people pray for her and her family.”
Perry came out swinging when discussing the media coverage of Jackson’s death that contains regurgitations of the singer’s well-covered trial on child molestation charges.
“These are human beings, they’re human beings,” Perry said. “I wouldn’t wish the level of fame he achieved on my worst enemy. I am so disgusted, that, with every great thing that’s being said about him, there’s a million negative things being said. Why can’t it just be about his legacy rather than the tarnished part of what he was acquitted for? It bothers me that this is the focus.”
Added Perry: “Growing up as a kid who was molested, I am never, ever going to be a defender of a molester. But the truth of the matter is, the man was acquitted. And I have seen first-hand what people will do for money.”
Perry added: “I hope that people wil just send up a prayer for his family. Even though they’re famous these are regular human beings. if you cut them, they bleed. Having to deal with all this negativity is hard.”
The Atlanta film director and studio owner dismissed co-host Bert Weiss‘ theory that father Joe Jackson is solely to blame for his son’s complicated life.
“I disagree with you,” said Perry. “I went through a lot of things with my father. Things I did not deserve as a kid. Things that he said to me, did to me. But it didn’t make me become something other than what i am right now. There comes a point in your life, that no matter who you are, you begin to find yourself.”
Perry says there’s no way for the general public to know what it was like to be as famous as Jackson. Perry said, even at his level of fame (in the past year, Perry himself has had to deal with a stalker) life can be complicated.
“You don’t know what’s true. You absolutely, one hundred percent do not know what’s true. I don’t think there’s ever been a person that famous. Elvis and The Beatles were huge. but Michael came along at a time when there was video which made him more famous. Now, the next person who comes along with Twitter and Facebook and all that stuff, they’ll be even more famous because it’s instant.
Added Perry: “it’s expensive to be that famous. You don’t ask for the crazy people. I didn’t ask for the stalker or the situation I’m dealing with now. I didn’t ask for the thousands of dollars I’ve spent on attorneys and the hundreds of thousands of dollars I’ve spent on security. It’s a part of the business you’re in. Hear me clearly. I’m not asking for sympathy for him or anyone else because there’s a great up side to it. But there’s also a major, major down side to every bit of this.”
Perry also disclosed that he was discussing creating some animation for Jackson’s upcoming London concerts. The two were supposed to speak in the coming week about the project.
For now, Perry requested: “Respect the moment and give the family room to breathe.”
Perry also indicated that the “Why Did I Get Married Too?” shoot with Janet Jackson will proceed.
Said Perry: “Whenever she comes back to work, she’ll have everything she needs.”