By Ryan Velez
Tyler Perry has grown to become one of the biggest names in Black Hollywood, not just for the success he has had with his plays that have now led to a long-string of movies, but also in regard to the humble and sometimes tragic beginnings that he started in. TheGrio reports that one of the recent revelations that Perry shared on Oprah’s Master Class, is that he still financially supports Emmitt Perry Sr., the man he thought was his father who physically and verbally abused him throughout his childhood.
Perry first revealed the details of his childhood via a message on his website after a pre-screening of the movie Precious in 2009. The message read that the movie brought out "some raw emotions and brought me to some things and places in my life that I needed to deal with but had long forgotten. It brought back memories so strong that I can smell and taste them."
Perry recalls often being beaten by Emmitt Perry, Sr., a construction worker who frequently hurled insults at him until he was around 19 years old. One night when his mother was gone, Perry recalls that the man "got the vacuum cleaner extension cord and trapped me in a room and beat me until the skin was coming off my back." Up until this point, he had mentioned being abused during his childhood in general terms, but this was the first time anyone heard any specifics. He credits God with allowing him to get through this and forgive those who abused him, but it is certainly shocking for many to support someone who did such a thing to them.
Perry makes things very clear on the show, saying that “From a child, I had always known that this man despised me. I could not figure it out for the longest [time]. I could not figure out why he hated me so.”
“Every action was about his hatred or his disdain for me,” he continued. However, Perry also notes that “As terrible as he was, and as horrible as he was, he never once left us. We were never hungry. And every time he’d go to work, all week, he’d bring all the money home,” he explained. As a result, Perry describes his current actions as providing the same way Perry Sr. did back then, providing food and shelter. However, he won’t get anything more than that.
“What I missed from him, being in a relationship, is also what he’s missing from me now. So he doesn’t have everything. He has what’s easy.”