Tyler Perry is being honored with a prestigious award for his lengthy work in humanitarian and social justice causes.
The movie mogul will be awarded with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the 93rd annual Academy Awards on Sunday, April 25. “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. “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.”
Perry has been more than generous throughout 2020. As the pandemic took a turn for the worse, the film director paid for the groceries of elderly shoppers at over 70 grocery stores. During the seniors’ shopping hour, he covered the shopping costs in 29 Winn-Dixie stores in Louisiana and 44 Kroger stores throughout Atlanta. He initially made the donation anonymously and only wanted to be known as the “Atlanta Angel,” but it didn’t take long for his secret to get out.
In November, Perry hosted a food giveaway to feed thousands of Atlanta families ahead of the holidays. Gifts cards and non-perishable food items were given to 5,000 families during the drive-thru event.
After Rayshard Brooks was fatally shot by an Atlanta police officer during the height of the Black Lives Matter movement over the summer, Perry announced that he would cover his funeral costs and pay for the college tuition of his four children. “We do want to acknowledge and thank Tyler Perry, who we spoke with [and] who will be taking care of the funeral for the family,” said Attorney Chris Stewart, who represents Brooks’ family.
He continued, “It’s support like that and it’s people who are actually in this community that love the community, that want healing and families like this to never have to go through something like this, to step forward. And we want to thank him for such a generous move.”