The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced plans Thursday to honor filmmaker Tyler Perry and the Motion Picture Television Fund with Jean Hersholt Humanitarian awards at the 93rd annual Oscars.
“There has been such widespread generosity in our industry that limiting the Hersholt Humanitarian Award to one recipient, this year in particular, was impossible. So, we are breaking with tradition and giving two awards to honor that spirit,” said Academy President David Rubin.
The award is typically presented at the Academy’s Governors Awards event in the fall each year, but this year will be part of the Oscars ceremony. The MPTF will become the first organization to receive the honor, as it’s previously been reserved solely for people. The Board of Governors voted to amend the rules for this year only, allowing for two winners and the opportunity to bestow one upon an organization.
The MPTF is being honored for the emotional and financial relief services it offers to members of the entertainment industry. Their offerings include aid with basic living expensive, senior and childcare services, case management and other financial assistance. Jean Hersholt, for whom the Academy’s humanitarian award is named, served as MPTF president for 18 years, from 1938 until his death in 1956.
“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.”
Perry will be awarded for his active engagement with philanthropy and charitable endeavors in recent years, including efforts to address homelessness and economic difficulties faced by members of his community.
“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.”
In 2020, Perry was also awarded the Governors Award from the Television Academy, received the “People’s Champion” honor at E!’s People’s Choice Awards and was honored as Variety’s “Showman of the Year.”
This year’s Oscars ceremony is set to take place live on April 25, with broadcasts on ABC and other outlets worldwide.