While chatting with The Rickey Smiley Morning Show recently, Tyler Perry, who was celebrating his TLC show Too Close to Home getting a second season, talked about something he rarely touches on publicly — family life. Perry is the proud dad of 2-year-old Aman Tyler Perry and raises the little one with his girlfriend Gelila Bekele. And while he loves talking with friends in media about the impact Aman has had on him (including encouraging Tyler to lose weight so he can be around longer), you won’t see any images of the child anytime soon. Tyler told the hosts that he doesn’t want to expose his son to such negativity. He just wants to enjoy parenthood privately and allow his son to be a kid, undisturbed, as well.
“Me and mom are here, we’re just enjoying it. Loving every moment of it,” Tyler said of raising Aman. “I love waking up in the morning, him come running to me. Those hugs? It’s life-changing. And I know there are no pictures of him, but that’s not something we do. We’re not the kind of parents — my son’s not famous. We’re trying very hard to keep him protected so that he can know who he is before he gets into the crazy bull crap of this social media world.”
Perry’s response is in the same vein of Halle Berry’s response to people on Instagram asking if she is ashamed of her children because she doesn’t show their faces. As she put it, “It’s my belief, and I’m not criticizing others who have different beliefs, that it’s my job as their mother to protect their privacy as best I can. When they grow and they’re of age and they want share their images on the internet, that will be for them to decide, not me. Feel me?”
I know that’s right. But back to Perry!
The writer, director, producer and actor also stated that he wants to raise Aman to be independent. Same goes for Tyler’s family. While he is worth around $400 million, the 47-year-old said he’s not giving handouts to anyone in his life.
“I say no a lot, man. I’m not doing that. I’m not no bank,” Tyler said. “I have my aunts I take care of and sisters and brothers, but you’ve got to be working. You’ve got to have a job. You’ve got to work for me to help you. I’m not welfare. I don’t do that. I don’t care if you have a little job making $200 a month or something, I will help you to support your life if you’re my family. But the thing is, you’ve got to work. I don’t do that charity thing. It’s going to be the same thing for my son. He’s going to have to go to work. He ain’t going to be one of those kids sitting around here with their hand out driving this car and that car and living rich. Naw, brotha. Mommy and daddy got money. You ain’t got none.”