He’s a busy and wildly successful media mogul, an active philanthropist and the father of a 6-year-old son, but Tyler Perry says that, despite all of that, he’s going through an uncertain midlife crisis right now.
It seems the man, best known for bringing elderly woman Madea to life onstage and screen for the past 20 years, is now feeling the years himself, having recently passed the half-century mark.
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“This is what a midlife crisis looks like,” he wrote in a post he shared on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. “I’m 51, single and wondering what the next chapter in my life will look like.”
But if it looks anything like the photo he paired with that message, it’s going to look great. In the selfie shot, Perry captured a post-workout pic that appears to be a celebration of physical fitness.
“Whatever it looks like I’m going to walk with God, be the best father and man I can be, hold my head up high, and try to look my best doing it!!” he continued.
Many of the comments that followed the post across social media were filled with well wishes, encouragement, compliments on his appearance and praise for all the work he’s done as an entertainer and an activist, all while reassuring him that midlife is nothing to worry about.
But some commenters focused on a different part of his message — not the bit about being a man in a midlife crisis, but rather the bit about being single. That came as news to fans who knew Perry had been in a long-term relationship with documentary filmmaker Gelila Bekele, who’s also the mother of his son, Aman.
“Single?! What?!” a fan on Instagram wrote. Another joked, “Mr. Perry let me be your Nikki Parker to your Professor Oglevee,” and yet another Instagram follower added, “God sent me to tell you I’m your wife.”
Over on Twitter, the replies were filled with photos of his female followers stating their age, and in many cases, their single status as well. As for his Facebook post, some claimed his pic was a thirst trap, others told him to check his DMs and one woman wrote, “You do not have to be single,” and proceeded to post her phone number.
While that may not have been the reaction he expected when he shared the pic and the message that accompanied it, Perry has never shied away from spreading joy, and he recognizes that 2020 has been a year of crisis for so many.
“In a world with so much sadness, please try and stay in the good!” he wrote at the end of his post. “Merry Christmas and let’s look forward to 2021 bringing us peace!”