Writer/director/producer Tyler Perry and the Motion Picture & Television Fund were both named Thursday as recipients of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for their philanthropic and community work.
The Academy typically presents only one Hersholt award, but Academy President David Rubin said the past year has seen “such widespread generosity in our industry that limiting the Hersholt Humanitarian Award to one recipient … was impossible.”
“So, we are breaking with tradition and giving two awards to honor that spirit,” Rubin said.
The announcement also marks the first time the honor, normally bestowed on an individual, will be presented to an organization — the Motion Picture & Television Fund.
“The work of the MPTF is more vital than ever, and the organization has gone above and beyond to help our community,” Rubin said. “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.”
The fund provides an array of resources to members of the entertainment industry, including financial assistance, health care and senior and child-care services. Jean Hersholt, the namesake of the Hersholt Award, was president of the fund for 18 years.
Perry is being recognized for his widespread philanthropic work, particularly in addressing economic conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, social justice issues and homelessness.
“Tyler’s cultural influence extends far beyond his work as a filmmaker,” Rubin said. “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 honors — in the form of Oscar statuettes — will be presented during the 93rd Oscars ceremony on April 25.
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