Tyler Perry to be honored with humanitarian award at 2021 Oscars

'He has quietly and steadily focused on humanitarian and social justice causes from the beginning of his career.'

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The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) will honor Tyler Perry with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at this year’s Oscars ceremony.

The Academy notes in a press release that tribute is in recognition of Perry’s “wide spectrum of charitable and social justice causes,” and that the award-winning filmmaker “has been particularly impactful during the challenges of the past year, addressing economic distress caused by the pandemic, racial reckoning and homelessness in his community,” per ET Online.

The Madea star will share the honor with the Motion Picture & Television Fund (MPTF), a charitable organization that offers assistance to entertainment industry members with limited or no resources.

Read More: Tyler Perry to donate $100K to Kenneth Walker defense fund

“There has been such widespread generosity in our industry that limiting the Hersholt Humanitarian Award to one recipient, this year in particular, was impossible. So, we are breaking with tradition and giving two awards to honor that spirit,” said Academy President David Rubin

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“Tyler’s cultural influence extends far beyond his work as a filmmaker. He has quietly and steadily focused on humanitarian and social justice causes from the beginning of his career, caring for people who are most often ignored,” Rubin continued. 

Speaking of the MPTF, Rubin said the organization “has gone above and beyond to help our community. The sheer number of individuals and families — from every corner of our industry’s workforce — aided during the pandemic and over the last 100 years is nothing short of extraordinary.”

Amid the pandemic, Perry has made it possible for many people to work at his Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta under strict COVID safety guidelines. 

“Let’s be clear about what we’re doing here. I’m trying to have people protect them, keep their lives, to help the healthy and safe, but also to protect their livelihood,” he said in a 2020 interview with WSVN 7 in Miami. “And that is not as important as people out in nursing homes and other places trying to get COVID tests. If that happens, we would step back and shut down, because the important thing is that people are able to get the testing that they need.”

Read More: Whoopi Goldberg and Tyler Perry sign on to ‘Sister Act 3’

Last month, Perry generously donated $100,000 to the legal defense fund of Kenneth Walker, theGRIO reported. Walker is the boyfriend of the late Breonna Taylor, who was tragically shot and killed by the police in her own home on March 13, 2020. 

A GoFundMe page was launched for Walker in November 2020 to support his legal defenses against Officer Jonathan Mattingly, who is currently suing Walker for assault, battery, and “emotional distress.”

Walker, a licensed-gun owner, shot Mattingly in the leg when the police raided Taylor’s apartment and ultimately killed her.

Perry, meanwhile, will accept the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the 93rd Oscars when the ceremony airs Sunday, April 25 on ABC.

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