Tyler Perry is going to need to prepare another speech.
Perry will be recognized as the “People’s Champion of 2020” at this year’s “E!’s People’s Choice Awards” on Nov. 15.
The super-producer and media mogul is being recognized for his humanitarian efforts amid the coronavirus pandemic and the recent racial unrest, using his platform and money to help others during these tumultuous times.
Perry and his team made headlines when they turned his Atlanta-based Tyler Perry Studios into “Camp Quarantine” over the summer, becoming one of the first major Hollywood players to find a way to get back to work safely during the pandemic. Perry also provided monetary support to those most affected by COVID-19, buying groceries for the elderly in his local communities of Atlanta and his hometown of New Orleans. Perry also personally covered travel expenses for George Floyd’s family to attend his funerals and the funeral expenses for Rayshard Brooks and Secoriea Turner in Atlanta.
“In a year of unrest and uncertainty, Tyler Perry proved a natural leader,” Jen Neal, E! News general manager, Live Events & Lifestyle Digital said in a statement. “From his pioneering efforts in successfully, and safely, restarting production and creating jobs at Tyler Perry Studios, to personally supporting charities and families in need, he continuously inspires hope in people. We are honored to present him with the People’s Champion of 2020 Award.”
In 2017, Perry was honored with the People’s Choice Humanitarian Award after he and his foundation supported organizations like Feeding America, the NAACP, Charity Water and the Global Medical Relief Fund for Children.
In his acceptance speech, Perry said, “As I look at the state of the world and the state of our country and everything that is going on, it is so important that we know that no matter how dark it gets, we all have to be light for each other.”
“You turn on your phone, you turn on your television, you are met with darkness, negativity, death, destruction, terrorism, murder, hate, racism. You don’t even need to search for it because it’s searching for you,” he continued. “And you have to be careful of that when you have things that close to your pocket that they don’t seep into your heart. If you keep taking it in, it can consume you…. But what is so important that we all understand is that no matter what everybody’s going through, or anybody’s going through, we’re all going through it together.”
News of the award comes amid a banner year for Perry, who was recently named a billionaire by Forbes and given the Governors Award on behalf of his Tyler Perry foundation at the 72nd Primetime Emmys in September.
E’s People’s Choice Awards are produced by Den of Thieves, with executive producers Jesse Ignjatovic, Evan Prager and Barb Bialkowski, and will broadcast from the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica on Nov. 15, from 9-11 p.m. ET/PT.