Tyler Perry Delivers a Rousing Oscars Speech Centered on a Pure Message — ‘Refuse Hate’
Tyler Perry has been awarded this year's Jean Hersolt Humanitarian Award at the 93rd annual Academy Awards for his “cultural influence extending far beyond his work as a filmmaker,” as what some consider a tacit apology from the Academy for looking down on Madea for all those years.
Be it in response to #OscarsSoWhite or be it an apology, Perry's work for the upliftment of marginalized and often neglected demographics makes him a worthy recipient of the esteemed award.
He also created a Camp Quarantine at his production studio in Atlanta, which allowed creatives and artists to continue working even during quarantine.
And, so he made good use of the platform as he included a touching and sensible request when he took to stage.
His message was simple: "Refuse hate."
In his Oscars speech, Perry recalled a moment of grace he experienced 17 years ago at the hands of a homeless woman he encountered outside a building where he was producing a project.
He was about to give her some money when she stopped him and asked, "Sir, do you have any shoes?"
Perry had lived through homelessness himself and understood where this woman was coming from. So, he took her to the wardrobe and got her a pair of shoes.
She was looking down for some time. When she finally looked up, with eyes full of tears, she said, "Thank you, Jesus. My feet are off the ground."
When I set out to help someone, it is my intention to do just that. I’m not trying to do anything other than meet somebody at their humanity.
He also shared with the Academy the invaluable wisdom that he got from his mother. His mother had taught him to not give in to hatred and refuse blanket judgment.
He added that in the era of the internet and the 24-hour news cycle, that was the one lesson everyone should teach their kids.
Perry outright refused to hate someone for their ethnic or racial background, for their gender and sexuality, and for their profession under any circumstances. He went on to dedicate the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian award to anyone and everyone who lives up to that ideology.
The Gone Girl star dedicated the award to anyone who wants to stand in the middle, in the neutral, away from extremes, because that is where the healing happens. That is where conversations happen, and that is where change happens.
"God bless you, and thank you, Academy. I appreciate it, thank you,” he concluded.
The award was handed over to Perry by Viola Davis, who collaborated with him on the 2009 film Madea Goes to Jail.