“I refuse to hate someone because they are Mexican, Black or White, or because they are a police officer, I refuse to hate someone because they are Asian,” the entertainment mogul said upon accepting the honor presented by Viola Davis and bestowed by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. “I would hope that we would refuse hate.”
Perry, who received the award for his philanthropic work, touched on the social issues currently affecting Americans – from the violent attacks on the Asian American community to the multiple acts of police brutality against the Black community. He kicked off his speech with an anecdote about meeting “somebody at their humanity,” wherein he provided a homeless woman with shoes and took her into his Tyler Perry Studios.
Oscars: 'Nomadland' Wins Best Picture, Actress & Director; Anthony Hopkins Takes Best Actor: Complete Winners List
He also recalled his mother, whose own humanitarian efforts inspired the multi-hyphenate to give back to his community and those in need, noting that “my mother taught me to refuse hate.”
Previous winners of the Jean Hersholt award include Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor, Oprah Winfrey, Quincy Jones and Angelina Jolie. During his acceptance speech tonight, Perry also talked about “the middle” – a place without judgment and hatred – and dedicated his win to those who willing to think and live in what he sees as a hate-free zone.
“That’s where healing happens, that’s where conversation happens, that’s where change happens – it happens in the middle,” Perry said. “Anyone who wants to meet me to meet me in the middle to refuse hate and blanket judgment and lift someone’s feet off the ground, this one is for you too.”
The 93rd annual Academy Awards, which saw Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland take three of the top prizes, aired Sunday on ABC.
Watch Perry’s full acceptance speech above. His appearance backstage can be viewed below.
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