Oscars 2021: Tyler Perry Urges Audience to ‘Refuse Hate’ After Winning Humanitarian Award

Tyler Perry accepts the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the 93rd Academy Awards on Sunday night. Credit: ABC

Tyler Perry delivered a powerful speech Sunday night at the 93rd Academy Awards, where he asked viewers to open their hearts and take a stand against hate, after receiving the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.

The filmmaker and philanthropist received the honor for his numerous humanitarian efforts, which ranged from providing meals for thousands of people in Atlanta during the coronavirus pandemic, to paying for the funerals of Black men killed by police.

During his Oscars speech, Perry talked about his personal experience with homelessness as well as how his mother taught him not to judge others.

“My mother taught me to refuse hate,” Perry said. “She taught me to refuse blanket judgement.”

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“It is my hope for all of us to teach our kids to refuse hate,” he continued. “I refuse to hate someone because they are Mexican or because they are Black or White or LGBTQ. I refuse to hate someone because they are a police officer. I refuse to hate someone because they are Asian. I would hope that we would refuse hate.”

The 51-year-old Louisiana native dedicated his award to “anyone who wants to stand in the middle… because that’s where healing happens, that’s where conversation happens, that’s where change happens.”

Viola Davis presented the award to Perry, saying “Tyler is coming from a place of shared experiences.” She went on to list some of his charitable acts before a video played showcasing his life and good deeds.

In a break from tradition, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honored two recipients this year—Perry and the Motion Picture & Television Fund (MPTF). The MPTF offers a broad range of services including financial assistance and residential living to support entertainment industry members and their families during their time of need. 

It is the first time the award went to an organization as well.