Tyler Perry wants parents to step up.
In an emotional essay posted today on his blog, he told his fans about how the sight of a guy crossing the street holding the hand of his toddler made him tear up.
“Why did I have such a strong emotional reaction to this father and son? It didn’t take long for me to realize that it was because I never had those kind of experiences, never knew that kind of unconditional joy, never knew what it felt like to be wanted and adored as a child.”
Perry, who is currently filming “I, Alex Cross” in Cleveland, has talked frequently about suffering abuse as a child. Not quite a year ago, he went on his friend Oprah Winfrey’s show to reveal the painful secrets from his childhood. He discussed, in great candor, physical abuse he suffered as a child at the hands of his father, and sexual abuse by several others.
“I feel like I died as a child,” Perry said during the Oprah appearance. “My father – he hated me so much and I couldn’t understand why. I was sickly all the time, I had asthma. He hated that about me.”
Despite his difficult childhood, Perry has said he supports his father today. His mother, whom he adored, has passed away.
“I wonder if the man I called ‘Daddy’ as a child, knew then what he knows now, would he have treated me any differently?” Perry wrote in his essay. “If he had known, the little boy that depended on him for food and shelter would grow up to be a man that he would have to depend on for food and shelter, would he have made different choices?”
Before his mother died, Perry wrote, she marveled at the success he had become and how well he was able to provide for her.
“I get so much joy knowing that I could and I did,” Perry wrote. “That lets me sleep at night. Mom, I thank you! You helped me be able to do that. God bless you!”
He closed his essay with a challenge: “It’s for every parent, the good and the bad. DO YOU KNOW who is in your house? DO YOU KNOW whom you’re raising, and will the child that you delivered, have to deliver you in your old age? Think about it, and know that when you kiss that innocent face of your child, you kiss the face of God.”
The essay has been linked to and circulated numerous times. Among the many fans tweeting it out to their followers are actor Boris Kodjoe and his wife, actress Nicole Ari Parker, who live in Atlanta with their children.
- Jennifer Brett/The Buzzfirstname.lastname@example.org