Kerrion Franklin’s Mother Comes to Kirk Franklin's Defense: 'You Were Not Abandoned'

Illustration for article titled Kerrion Franklin’s Mother Comes to Kirk Franklin's Defense: 'You Were Not Abandoned'
Photo: Bennett Raglin (Getty Images)

Oh, boy.

The ongoing feud between gospel superstar Kirk Franklin and his son, Kerrion, has had both saints and aints embroiled in heated discussions centered around what constitutes bad parenting and the need to keep private matters out of the spotlight.

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This past weekend, Kerrion shared a disturbing video on Instagram in which the Grammy Award-winning artist can be heard using some disturbing language during an argument with his son. If you would’ve ever told me that I’d hear the same guy who once joked “we’ve gotten too radical with our message” call his son a “bitch ass” or threaten to “break [his] fucking neck” I would’ve laughed in your face and called you a lying-ass liar.

Yet here we are; only three months into 2021 and this is real life. It’s the latest plot twist in a year that’s already been full of all types of unexpected twists and surprises. Ask Tessica Brown.

In light of this family feud going public, Kerrion’s mother, Shawn Ewing shared her side in order to properly address Franklin’s profanity-laced tirade and provide a bit of context as to what might’ve led up to it. So during an interview on The Heart Beat podcast, hosted by Ericka Fusilier English, Ewing explained the difficulties that she and Franklin faced raising a child as teen parents.

“We’re here because some private information was leaked and Kirk kind of lost his cool,” Ewing said. “We talk about cancel culture and I was thinking, ‘I can’t leave Kirk out here by himself on this one.’”

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She then goes on to admit that Kerrion is a bit rebellious and has made claims that he believes his father is trying to take his life. As his mother, that’s put her in a difficult predicament and she’s tried her best to resolve this matter privately.

“I’m not saying that my son is not hurting from us being teenage parents. I’m not saying my son doesn’t have a testimony. What I am saying is that you were not abandoned. No one abdicated their responsibility towards you,” Ewing said. “You are loved, Kerrion Franklin. I will look at the camera and say it. You are loved. We support you then. We support you now. We support you tomorrow. But there’s a way to deal with it.”

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She continued, “All we’ve tried to do as parents is work through the issue, get our son to a point of being a productive citizen in society as well as having a good life. But things kind of didn’t go that way, and that’s okay because families go through things. But we don’t get to use a part of an audio and not understand the true history of counseling, therapy, godly counsel, holding Kerrion responsible, holding Kirk responsible, holding myself responsible.”

Ewing then made it a point to express sympathy for both Kirk and her son, then asked listeners to hear both sides of the story before jumping to turn our backs on the gospel superstar.

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Earlier this week, Franklin and his wife, Tammy, appeared on The Tamron Hall Show to offer his perspective. He explained that the family has been involved in counseling for over 20 years as they’ve tried their best to resolve their differences.

“As Kerrion became a grown man, his disrespect became more aggressive,” Franklin explained. “As a family, we’ve been trying to rally for years to try and help. And now that he’s about to be 33, as a grown man, the relationship at times can become very agitated. But I’m not going to stop trying to help. He’s my son.”

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He added, “I respect Kerrion. I’m not Kerrion’s equal though. I’m not his equal. I’m his dad. And when you talk to me, especially about things that you say that you want from me, I can’t hear you when you are extremely aggressive when we’re communicating. That’s why a lot of times Kerrion and I haven’t talked sometimes for a year or two.”

After so many years of turmoil, hopefully Franklin and Kerrion are able to eventually mend their relationship and Franklin can become the father that his son so desperately craves.

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For those interested in Ewing’s interview, you can listen to it in its entirety below.

Menace to supremacy. Founder of Extraordinary Ideas and co-host and producer of The Extraordinary Negroes podcast. Impatiently waiting for y'all to stop putting sugar in grits.

DISCUSSION

A person can literally be raised inside of a family and still be neglected due to how they are treated in comparison to others. Just based on that wild spat he and his sister had over Instagram it’s highly-clear he views his experiences growing up fundamentally differently, and they can miss me with this therapy mess when their latest idea of a therapist was a pastor with no actual experience - who Franklin was trying to get on the line to speak with them during the infamous phone call. People don’t have to be perfect or neurotypical for their experiences to be valid and credible.