In reaction, Perry told Variety: “Just to try and use what I’ve been given — this platform [and] the gifts that I’ve managed to have — to celebrate and encourage and lift other people, that feels pretty awesome. I keep hearing the lyrics from ‘This Is Me’ [from ‘The Greatest Showman’] in my head."
He also explained why he has been more vocal about social and political issues of late, actively supporting the Joe Biden ticket: “I really, truly don’t want to get political. What I want people to do is vote because everybody has very strong opinions about this. As do I. I have very, very strong feelings about the current administration. I have very strong feelings about a lot that’s going on. But I’m neither Democrat [nor] Republican — I’m an independent thinker. I vote for who I think is best to run the country.”
And he said his 5-year-old son, Aman, has also impacted his need to speak out: “If it were just me, I could step back and maybe have a different opinion. But I want him to be able to go to the national parks, and they’re not drilling inside of them, to be able to turn on a debate and see two men stand professionally, giving each other the respect to finish their two minutes that they’re allotted and not talking over and screaming at each other.”
The story talks to folks like Whoopi Goldberg, friend and writer-director Taylor Sheridan (“Yellowstone”) and Mike Paseornek, a Lionsgate Films executive who gave Perry a chance 15 years ago by producing “Diary of a Mad Black Woman.” Perry also describes how he and Spike Lee reconciled after Lee criticized Perry’s artistry in 2009.
The writer also notes that beyond using his studio grounds to make films and TV shows, Perry plans to build a home for abused women, displaced LGBTQ+ youth and sex-trafficking survivors, providing them a window into what he does and inspiring them to rise above their circumstances as he did.