Gospel music producer and executive Kirk Franklin found himself in the hot seat Saturday after his estranged son, Kerrion Franklin, 33, leaked audio of a profanity-laced exchange between the father and son.
In the shocking video released on Instagram, Franklin and his son are heard shouting expletives at each other while an unidentified person laughs in the background. The 46-second video Kerrion posted does not include the full conversation between the two, nor did he explain what led to the argument. However, he did express his hurt.
“This is why I’m done. No father should speak to their children like this. If I have any issues it’s because of this type of treatment that I deal with behind closed doors,” Kerrion wrote in the caption. “I probably won’t release the entire recording because it’s too embarrassing that Im (sic) even dealing with this. No matter what ppl think I pray my dad deals with his deep hatred toward me.”
The father-son relationship did not always seem to be as severe as it is now. In 2005, Kerrion was featured on the outro track for Franklin’s album, Hero. But a lot has transpired since them.
In another Instagram post, Kerrion released a family photo from 2006, claiming that it was the last family photo he participated in.
“This is the last picture I was “allowed to take with my family” he said. “If my dad continues to self sabotage our progress as a family & ignores me for another 14 years and doesn’t accept me I’ll still be fine. I am breaking the generational curse right now. 14 years not one Dinner, not one cozy Sunday night together. Not invited over for Christmas or any holiday.”
As awareness of the leaked audio began to grow, Franklin took to Instagram Saturday night to address the growing scandal. In the video, a somber Franklin attempts to provide further context of the audio as well as his relationship with his son.
“Many of you know I have an older son name Kerrion Franklin,” Franklin starts the video. “For many years we have had a toxic relationship with him as a family. We’ve tried for many years, through counseling, through therapy to try to rectify this private family matter.
While Franklin offers an explanation, he also recognized that his actions were unacceptable and hurtful, and apologized to his audience.
“Recently, my son and I had an argument that he chose to record. I felt extremely disrespected in that conversation, and I lost my temper. And I said words that are not appropriate. And I am sincerely sorry to all of you. I sincerely apologize.”
Franklin also revealed that their family therapist was a part of the conversation. “As a father, I called the family therapist and got that therapist on the phone to try to help. He never played that part of the recording,” stated Franklin.
The response to Franklin’s apology has been largely supportive within the Gospel music community.
“No apologies needed at all, prayers for your family ❤️,” gospel artist Koryn Hawthorne said.
“All of us have blown a gasket when it comes to our children if you’re a parent. None of us are exempt,” Pastor Marvin Sapp wrote in the comments under Franklin’s video. “Those of us that know you, know your true character and understand. Those that don’t and have opinions as believers I want to refer all of you to Galatians 6:1. Spiritual people don’t slander they restore considering themselves. Much love Bro……”
Christian rapper Lecrae offered support as well. “It ain’t our business. God be with your family bro.”
“I love you….we love you. That is ALL,” wrote gospel artist and Franklin’s former background singer Anthony Evans.”
Sunday morning Kerrion also posted about the support he received from family.
“My grandparents support me, they are very upset at my parents right now for their treatment of me the entire time. Stay Sweet xo. Nobody in my family called me today.”