Tyler Perry on Navigating Privilege with Son Aman, 7: 'We Teach Him About the Struggle'

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 13: Tyler Perry attends the Directors Series with Gayle King during the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival at Spring Studios on June 13, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Santiago Felipe/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 13: Tyler Perry attends the Directors Series with Gayle King during the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival at Spring Studios on June 13, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Santiago Felipe/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)

Santiago Felipe/Getty

Tyler Perry is opening up about how he navigates privilege with his 7-year-old son.

The 52-year-old filmmaker, who seldom talks about his son Aman, spoke with Gayle King during a Q&A at the Tribeca Film Festival about how he wants to raise his son to be "grounded and balanced" while growing up in a famous family. Perry shares Aman with ex Gelila Bekele.

During the conversation, King asked Perry what it's like raising a child who is growing up in circumstances different than the ones Perry himself grew up in. In response, he explained that he has some clear ideas on how he wants to approach privilege.

"[Aman] does not get everything he wants. For birthdays, he'll get a gift or two," Perry explained. "For Christmas, he'll get a gift or two. Because he don't have a job. He ain't got no money."

Perry then shared a story about a time when Aman asked to use his credit card after the little boy saw his dad using it to previously buy him toys.

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94th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals
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"So I'm at work, I get a message from [Aman], and he said, 'Papa? Can I use your credit card?' He's 6 years old!" he recalled. "I'm like, 'What the hell you know about a credit card?' He'd just seen me use the credit card. I was like, 'No, son. That's just plastic, but you have to pay for it. You have to have a job.' "

Perry also praised Bekele for helping to keep their son grounded.

"I think, when you have a team like Gelila and I are, she is very grounded and balanced at making sure he stays that way. Because I have wrestled with, I want to give him everything, because I didn't have it," he explained.

"But I also know how dangerous that is, because I have friends who have wealthy kids, and I want to punch them in the face," he joked. "You know what I mean? These kids, they're just... They're obnoxious! And I can't raise that either. Because he's a sweet boy with a very, as you said, empathetic spirit. And we teach him about how people are all of us."

"We teach him about the struggle," he continued. "We teach him about what a blessing it is to have anything! So he gets that, in this sense. And I want to make sure he maintains that."