Tyler Perry, a screenwriter, actor and director, whose films have grossed just under $400 million worldwide, recently revealed graphic details about physical, sexual and emotional abuse he suffered as a child. His next movie that comes out later this year is “Precious”, which is about an illiterate, obese 16-year-old girl from Harlem who is emotionally and physically abused.
Perry says he can relate to the character and recently wrote about a number of incidents from his childhood where he was abused by his father and other family members on www.tylerperry.com. Perry’s mom tried to help her family escape the abuse by leaving their home in Louisiana to go to California. Her husband called the police on them and reported the car as stolen. The family went to jail until the father came to pick them up. Perry’s father beat his mother all the way home.
Perry says he got through it and eventually healed himself by turning to God and forgiving those who had abused him. He also added some words of hope for other people dealing with similar situations when he told Ebony magazine in October 2008,
“I tell people, if you’re thinking about suicide, all that stuff I’ve attempted and thought about it. If you think about, life gets better. The key to life when it gets to you is to keep moving. Just keep moving.”
Perry’s traumatic upbringing and how he used forgiveness and God to heal himself is definitely evident in his movies. Perry is an example of a mainstream filmmaker who has had box-office hits with movies that revolve around spirituality, forgiveness and redemption.