Tyler Perry's Open Letter To Penn State Victim

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by Sergio
November 28, 2011 8:34 AM
18 Comments
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One day in the year 2026 there will be a entire week during which Tyler Perry will NOT be mentioned on Shadow and Act. We're constantly getting comments from readers on why we do. Simple. The fact is that as long as he makes news we have to cover it, so here is this week's first item.

This has to do with an open letter that Perry wrote this week in Newsweek magazine to one of the young victims of the recent Penn State child molestation scandal, which has shocked the country. Read it right here in it's entirety:

I don’t know your name, but I know your face. I don’t know your journey, but I know where you are. I am your brother!

I must tell you, what you have done is so courageous. The strength that it must have taken for your 11-year-old voice to speak out about such a horrible act is something that I didn’t have the strength or courage to do at that age.

I was a very poor young black boy in New Orleans, just a face without a name, swimming in a sea of poverty trying to survive. Forget about living, I was just trying to exist. I was enduring a lot of the same things that you’ve come forward and said happened to you, and it was awful. I felt so powerless. I knew what was happening to me, but unlike you, I couldn’t speak about it because no one saw me. I was invisible and my voice was inaudible.

So to think that you, when you were only 11 years old, spoke up—you are my hero! I’m so proud of you. You have nothing to be ashamed of. I want you to know you didn’t do anything wrong. It’s not your fault. Please know that you were chosen by a monster. You didn’t choose him. You didn’t ask for it and, most of all, you didn’t deserve it. What a huge lesson that was for me to learn. Your 11-year-old self was no match for wicked, evil tactics of this kind. You were hunted like prey. A pedophile looks for the young boys he thinks he can manipulate. The ones who have daddy or mommy issues, the ones who are broken, and the ones who are in need. But this wasn’t you.

Do you know that at the young age of 11 you had more courage than all the adults who let you down? All of the ones who didn’t go to the proper authorities, all of the ones who were worried about their careers, reputations, or livelihoods. All of the ones who didn’t want to get involved. Or even the ones who tried to convince your mother not to fight. You are stronger than them all! I wonder what they would have done if it were their own child.

I had a few of those adults in my life, too. They knew and did nothing. One of them even said to me that it was my fault, because I allowed myself to spend time with the molesters. And yes, this was someone who was in power and could have called the police, but instead this person allowed this criminal to go on molesting other young boys for many years. When I did tell a family member, I wasn’t believed. I suffered in silence. But not you, my young strong hero, you have done what many of us wish we could have done. You used your voice!

You know, now that you’re older you need to be aware that the aftermath of abuse may affect you for a very long time. But that’s OK; just know that the strength it took for you to talk about it then will help you get through it now. I often tell myself that if I made it through that experience as a child, then surely as a man I should be able to get past it. It still may take you a while, but that’s OK too. I have known people who have gone through the same things that we have, but unfortunately they were never able to admit it, and it destroyed them. They never went for help, and they let the abuse defeat them. Some of them went to prison for crimes, some are addicted to drugs, and some have even committed suicide. I know that none of these things will happen to you. You are too strong for that!

No matter what happens next, just know that the hardest part is over. I wish the coward and very sick individual who hurt you would have the courage to admit his wrong and not put you through a trial. But he will most likely profess his innocence until the bitter end. And probably, all the while, yelling at the top of his lungs about all he has done to help troubled young boys.

You may have to go through with that trial, and you may feel all alone when you’re on that witness stand, but just know that there are millions of young boys and grown men who are standing with you—including me. If every man who has ever been molested would speak up, you would see that we’re all around you. You may not know all of our faces and names, but my prayer is that you feel our strength holding you up. You will get through this; you’ve already endured the worst part at age 11. Now fight on, my young friend, fight on! We are all with you.

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18 Comments

  • Damballah La Flambeau | December 4, 2011 7:06 PMReply

    The Sound of Silence !

  • Anonymoys | December 4, 2011 5:25 PMReply

    Tyler Perry is Disgusting.

  • Tami Wyeth | December 2, 2011 1:11 PMReply

    What an awsome heartfelt, and from the heart, letter. How encouraging it would be, if all of you who have been in there shoes, (famous or not), could physically be there for these victims. What strength and support this would be, helpinhither in this most difficult time of their lives.

  • Abigail | December 1, 2011 7:38 PMReply

    WOW! Thank you for sharing. You are helping all of us to find strength, men and women. THANK YOU!

  • Shawn Whitsell | December 1, 2011 1:09 AMReply

    Great letter. #respect

  • JAMES | November 29, 2011 2:34 PMReply

    Is it me or should ALL of these comments should be about appreciation, courage, & caring...instead the focus on SOME of these comment had NOTHING to do with the SUBJECT at hand. Would some of you feel better if it was Denzel Washington sending the letter? What does it matter? How often do you see a man reach out in this way?

  • Gigi Young | November 28, 2011 2:24 PMReply

    Tyler Perry is exposing his pain (and what most consider to be shame) in a public forum, and all folks can do in response is to chortle over his alleged homosexuality? Wow...

  • Reece X | November 28, 2011 12:13 PMReply

    TP is a great filmmaker in the lane in which he is working. I don't understand why so many people have a problem with his work. He is the only black filmmaker who is making morality pieces targeted at minorities. He makes sure all of his work speaks to the human condition. It's not heavy dramatic work and does not need to be.

  • Hack | December 1, 2011 6:46 PM

    Tyler Perry is a douche. He is an attention whore and scum. He has people write his trash and then changes their job titles so they don't get writing credits and the Union scale pay that goes with it. He probably had someone else write this page for him. I couldn't care less if he rides the baloney pony, he is a douche, no matter what team he plays for.

  • kelvin sauls | November 28, 2011 11:42 AMReply

    Powerful & timely. Though never molested, I respect and support Tyler in being a face for the invisible victims, and a voice for the voiceless many abused & exploited children. Remember, "nothing can seperate you from the love of God..." not even the pain of your abuse, nor the shame of your exploitation!! We are your companions in this fight!!

  • Tamara | November 28, 2011 11:38 AMReply

    I appreciate him sharing his story in the first place and now for reaching out to help others.

  • Ladeetee | November 28, 2011 1:00 PM

    I absolutely agree!

  • AfroSyling | November 28, 2011 11:07 AMReply

    Powerful letter!

  • Keepingitreal | November 28, 2011 10:55 AMReply

    I wonder when CJ will come out!!

  • B | November 28, 2011 10:44 AMReply

    I appreciate TP for writing this.

  • Orville | November 28, 2011 9:54 AMReply

    Ha Ha CJ that's never going to happen Tyler will never come out.

  • CJ | November 28, 2011 9:47 AMReply

    next letter he comes out.

  • arlene | November 28, 2011 9:24 AMReply

    Men of Courage, take a stand. Please follow.

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