Tyler Perry: Open Letter to Penn State 11-Year-Old
Movie mogul Tyler Perry is speaking out about the scandal at Penn State, penning an open letter to an 11-year-old alleged victim involved in the Penn State sex-abuse scandal. Perry, himself a child sexual-abuse survivor, champions the boy's efforts to notify those in charge, calling him a "hero" and "survivor," not a victim.
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.
Perry, who is often lambasted for his lack of consciousness when it comes to representations in film, shows that he is conscious and caring about children who are sexually abused. Reaching out to the survivor in a public way demonstrates his willingness to keep an issue that is often obscured in the public eye so that people will not forget the seriousness of it and the devastation that follows.
Read more at the Daily Beast.