Tyler Perry to Receive the Academy’s Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award

Tyler Perry attends the premiere of Tyler Perry’s “A Fall from Grace” on Monday, Jan. 13, 2020.
Tyler Perry attends the premiere of Tyler Perry’s “A Fall from Grace” on Monday, Jan. 13, 2020.
Photo: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP (AP)

Tyler Perry has been on quite the “honorary award” streak lately and it looks like the biggest film organization will be giving him a statuette as well.

On Thursday, The Academy announced that its Board of Governors will be presenting the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian award to Perry, as well as the Motion Picture & Television Fund (MPTF), which provides a wide range of service to industry members in need. In addition to his wide variety of projects and his history-making studio, Perry has been in the news a lot for his continued humanitarian and philanthropic efforts in the past year.

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“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,” Academy President David Rubin said in a statement. “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. The work of the MPTF is more vital than ever, and 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.”

In case you’re wondering, yes, the Hersholt Humanitarian Awards is an Oscar statuette. Here’s Harry Belafonte receiving the award at the Governors Awards in 2014:

More on Perry, via The Academy’s press release:

Perry is a prolific producer, director, actor, writer, entrepreneur and philanthropist, whose commitment to a wide spectrum of charitable and social justice causes 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. 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. His credits as writer, director and/or producer include A Fall from Grace, Acrimony, Madea Goes to Jail, Madea’s Family Reunion and Diary of a Mad Black Woman. His television credits include such series as Sistas, The Haves and the Have Nots, The Oval and House of Payne, and he has written numerous stage plays.

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The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Awards will be presented each to Perry and MPTF during the 93rd Oscars ceremony (in lieu of the Academy’s Governors Awards), set to take place on April 25.

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.

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