Entertainment mogul Tyler Perry is known for paying it forward and he will receive a major honor for his philanthropic work. According to Deadline, Perry will be awarded the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the 2021 Oscars.
Throughout his entire career, the New Orleans native has used his platform and resources to uplift individuals from underserved communities. Amid the pandemic and the ongoing fight for social justice, he has led several impactful initiatives. Last year he gifted the Atlanta-based grassroots nonprofit Project U First with a van. The organization delivers hygiene kits to homeless shelters, youth living in foster homes and Atlanta schools in low-income neighborhoods. Perry also surprised senior citizens and other high-risk supermarket shoppers in Atlanta and New Orleans by picking up the tab for their groceries.
On the social justice front, the filmmaker funded an initiative designed to increase Black voter turnout in Florida. Perry also covered the funeral costs for Rayshard Brooks and vowed to help pay for his children’s college tuition. In December, he donated $100,000 to a legal defense fund for Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker.
Academy President David Rubin says Perry’s humanitarian work has been transformative. “Tyler’s cultural influence extends far beyond his work as a filmmaker,” he said in a statement. “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 will be awarded on April 25 along with the Motion Picture & Television Fund; a charitable organization centered on providing an array of programs and services for individuals in the entertainment industry.
News about Perry’s milestone comes as he has a lot of projects in the works. Season 2 of his series The Oval is slated to premiere in February and Perry’s Madea’s Farewell Play will make its debut next month as well.