Tyler Perry talks success and keeping his son out of the spotlight

In the August/September edition of AARP: The MagazineTyler Perry opened up about his dark childhood, his success and how he shields his seven-year-old son, Aman, from the spotlight. 

For all of his fame both as an actor and a self-made billionaire mogul, Perry is notoriously protective about his private life. He shares Aman with ex Gelila Bekele, who he describes as an “incredible mother.” Though the couple split in 2020, she runs his charity, The Perry Foundation.

As for why he’s tight-lipped about his personal life, Tyler says, “Because these people are not famous. My son’s not famous. I want him to have as normal a life as he can.”

He said of the boy, “I want him to know what it’s like to have his own name and his own life and not have the pressure of trying to live up to whatever or whoever your father was.”

Perry also talked about how he’s handling current events as a Black father, explaining he hasn’t delved too deeply into matters of race — yet. 

“…I want to hold out as long as I can,” he insisted. “I don’t want to tell him that there are people who will judge him because of the color of his skin, because right now he’s in a school with every race, and all these kids are in their purest form. When he describes his friends, he never defines them by race.”

Perry goes on to say of Aman, “the moment he loses that innocence is going to be a very, very sad day for me. I know it’s coming, though, because he’s already asking some really tough questions. What I want him to be, more than anything, is somebody who sees injustice, speaks out against it and effects change.”

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