Today, critically-acclaimed gospel artist Kirk Franklin and wife Tammy Collins joined Tamron Hall on her self-titled talk show to publicly discuss the controversial conversation with his oldest son that went viral over the weekend.
Kerrion Franklin shared the audio in which his dad could be heard calling him out of his name on his social media platforms, which instantly made headlines. Though the “Stomp” artist issued an apology on his Instagram, this is the first time he is publicly addressing his relationship with his 33-year-old son and the accusation of parental abuse.
Kirk opened up about the challenges of he and his son’s relationship and how there were early indications of a need for “deeper help.” He shared his son has been in and out of therapy for more than 20 years, but noted that as he got older “his disrespect became more aggressive.”
“Now that he’s about to be 33 as a grown man the relationship at times can become very agitated and very frustrated…but I’m not going to stop trying to help,” Kirk said. “He’s my son, he’s my firstborn, and I never want him to feel what I felt not having a father…It’s important for me because what if that call is the call that things change.”
Kirk continued to express his love for his son and assured viewers that there has been no physical or parental abuse. When asked about his respect for his son, he explained that while he does respect Kerrion as a grown man, he’s still his father.
“I respect Kerrion. I’m not Kerrion’s equal though. I’m not his equal, I’m his dad,” he said firmly. “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, and that’s why a lot of times, Kerrion and I haven’t talked sometimes for a year or two.”
As far as the controversial comments that Kerrion posted on his socials, Kirk agreed that fans had “every right to be disappointed” in his use of violent and explicit language. He even expressed disappointment in himself, but he acknowledged that he’s a human with “a history of a toxic, challenging, turbulent relationship” between himself and his son.
“In that fight, it can become so difficult that my humanity, unfortunately, that day, won,” he said. “And I’m going to keep trying, while still continuing to admit that I am an imperfect man fighting to serve a perfect God.”