Tyler Perry will soon be able to add “Oscar winner” to his already illustrious biography. The entertainment mogul will receive one of two Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Awards during this year’s telecast airing on April 25 on ABC, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences announced on Thursday (Jan. 14).
“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,” says Academy President David Rubin.
Perry started his career as a playwright, putting up his first self-funded play in 1992. His talent both on and off camera catapulted him to become one of the most prolific and successful creators in entertainment. But Perry never forgot his Atlanta roots, or his commitment to Black people. In 2019, he opened his privately owned motion picture studio on the site of a former Confederate Army base in Atlanta, Georgia. Tyler Perry Studios now occupies more than 330 acres and is home to a state-of-the-art production facility with 12 soundstages that provides hundreds of job opportunities in film and television production in the local area. Perry was instrumental in quickly creating a safe way to return to production during the worldwide health crisis.
Perry’s charitable work goes beyond creating jobs and opportunities. He is known to use his own money to help working class people out of debt, frequently leaves huge tips at restaurants and reportedly even used his private plane to shuttle critical supplies to the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian.
The second award will go to the Motion Picture & Television Fund. It will be the first time a Humanitarian Award will be given to an institution, rather than an individual. The organization was extremely instrumental in providing emotional and financial relief to those in the industry in dire need as a result of the pandemic. This will also be the first time that two Humanitarian Awards will be bestowed in a single year.