Tyler Perry’s Abusive Father Screams At Film Crew to “Get the F–k Away From Here” in Shocking Scene From ‘Maxine’s Baby: The Tyler Perry Story’

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Maxine's Baby: The Tyler Perry Story

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The new Tyler Perry documentary on Amazon, Maxine’s Baby: The Tyler Perry Story, takes a very serious look at a man who’s made a career out of being silly. Audiences who are used to seeing Perry in a wig and dress shouldn’t expect any laughs this time around. There’s nothing funny about the dark, traumatic story that Perry shares in this documentary: a childhood plagued by an abusive father figure.

This is not the first time Perry has shared the troubled tale of his childhood. He’s gotten into the story with his friend and business partner Oprah Winfrey on multiple appearances on The Oprah Show, and it’s widely known that his father’s physical and emotional abuse is the reason Perry changed his birth name—Emmitt Jr., after his father, Emmitt Sr.—to Tyler. But Maxine’s Baby directors Gelila Bekele and Armani Ortiz wanted to deeper than Perry’s ever been before on his relationship with his dad. With the help of Perry’s cousin, Lucky Johnson, the filmmakers show up at the senior’s Perry’s home in Louisiana, in an attempt to force him to confront his son. (This was after “several unsuccessful attempts to contact Emmitt Perry Sr.,” according to text on the screen.)

In the film’s most shocking scene, Johnson confronts his “Uncle Emmitt” outside of his large, gated home, while a crew member discretely films from the car. Perry Sr. begins shouting and swearing at Johnson to “get the f–k away from here,” while Johnson attempts to calm the man down.

“Wait a minute,” Johnson says, as Perry Sr. climbs into his car.

“Get the f–k on,” Perry Sr. shouts back. “Let’s go!”

“I called you, Uncle Emmitt,” Johnson says. “I was trying to check in on you.”

It’s hard to understand what Perry Sr. says next, given that every other word is bleeped out. But it’s clear he has no interest in talking to his son or participating in the film. Then Johnson says, “You knew it was me though, huh?”

“Yeah, I knew who the f–k it was,” Perry Sr. responds.

Johnson watches in disbelief as Perry Sr. pulls into his driveway.

Tyler Perry in Maxine's Baby
Photo: Amazon Studios

Tyler Perry publicly announced in 2020 that a DNA test revealed Emmitt Sr. was not his biological father. He speaks about that revelation in the documentary, explaining that he was relieved by the news. “I was relieved because my image of a father was not somebody who could do that to a child,” Perry says.

Earlier in the film, Johnson recalls an incident when his cousin was beaten to a pulp by his father. “He whooped Tyler real good. He had blood all on his back.” Johnson’s mother confirms the story, recalling that the young Perry ran to her house for refuge, with huge welts covering his back.

Perry himself doesn’t go into much detail on the abuse he suffered—the documentary fills in with clips from Oprah and other interviews—but he does describe the way he would dissociate to cope with the pain, by creating a safe space in his own mind to escape to. And he still uses that safe space today to help him write. “People ask, ‘How can you write 20 scripts in two weeks?’ It’s just—I can access that place, and see those words, and hear those voices. It just floods out of me.”