Director Tyler Perry has defended his decision to cast socialite Kim Kardashian in his upcoming film The Marriage Counselor after disapproving fans vowed to boycott the movie.
Kardashian signed on for a supporting role in the new comedy last month just before announcing plans to end her marriage to basketball player Kris Humphries after just 72 days.
The casting announcement upset Perry's devotees and he was bombarded with angry letters blasting his decision to hire the reality TV star.
In an open letter to fans online, Perry admits he was shocked to receive so many complaints - especially as he simply wants to keep busy as he struggles through the holiday period following the loss of his mother in December, 2009.
Asking for moviegoers' understanding, he writes, "I think many of you know that this is a very difficult time of year for me, so what I try to do is make sure that I'm working during this time. All I wanted to do was shoot a great film and try to keep my mind off the holiday grief that I have been experiencing for the past two years. I could not have imagined I'd be getting all these emails about Kim Kardashian. I HAVE SEEN THEM!! YOU HAVE BEEN HEARD!!"
Perry goes on to explain that he is standing by his choice of actress, insisting he picked Kardashian to star in the film because he wants her teenage followers to pay attention to the movie's meaningful message - and he pays no mind to recent tabloid criticism about her brief marriage and divorce from Humphries.
He continues, "Why wouldn't Kim Kardashian be invited into a film about Faith, Forgiveness and the healing power of God? What is wrong with that??
"I knew that this message was not only for my age group, but for all audiences, especially the youth. ESPECIALLY THE YOUTH!! YOUNG FOLKS NEED TO SEE THIS!!! And not just the young people that follow me, but the young people that are following other young people, as well.
"To have the young people that look up to her, see her in a film that is about what happens in life when you make the wrong choices... Millions of young people adore her and are following her every move. If one of those young people see this film and find the strength to live a better life and not go through what these characters went through in this movie, then we have all done what I feel I'm being led to do here. I hope you understand. I really do!"