Actor and producer Tyler Perry is being recognized for his work in entertainment, commitment to supporting charities and for “inspiring empathy and progress for humankind.” The renowned philanthropist will be honored with “The People’s Champion of 2020” award at the E! People’s Choice Awards. Perry has made history on multiple accounts, from opening the largest privately owned motion-picture studio in the U.S. to receiving a slew of prestigious accolades for his work including being named one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People of 2020.
After making history becoming the first African-American to own a major film studio outright, opening Tyler Perry Studios last year, he announced plans to build a shelter for disadvantaged youth and homeless women to be located on the new 330-acre film studio property in Atlanta, Georgia. Perry’s generosity has been unwavering for over a decade. He has been intimately involved and donated generously to civil rights and human rights causes. Perry also strongly supports charities serving the homeless, including Feeding America, Global Medical Relief Fund, and Covenant House, among others.
In 2009, Perry gave the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People a $1 million dollar gift to celebrate the historic nonprofit’s centennial. The financial blessing made history at the time on its own as the largest individual donation from an artist the organization has ever received. After the 2010 earthquake devastated Haiti, Perry jumped into action. He pledged $250,000 to help the island recover, then raised his own total and promised an additional $750,000 to make it a cool million. His charity reportedly inspired others to give hundreds of thousands of dollars as well.
Aside from supporting many charitable organizations, he has helped others during hard times. In 2010, while watching the news, Perry heard about 88-year-old Atlanta resident Rosa Lee Ransby and her 4-year-old great-granddaughter escaping from a house fire that destroyed the home she owned for 40+ years. He met with her and rented her a fully furnished home on the same street, paying all utilities as well. He then built her a new home where the old one burned down.
Perry worked with and featured gospel singer LaShun Pace’s music in many of his films. In 2018, when he heard Pace’s mother’s health was ailing and that she always dreamed of owning a home large enough for the whole family to live in, Perry purchased her a $350,000 home not far from Atlanta where the Pace family grew up. Bettie Ann Pace died in July 2020 but the last years of her life she was living her dream thanks to Perry’s kindness.
His generosity became known worldwide during the Christmas season of 2018. Perry paid off $430,000 of layaway items at the East Point and Douglasville Walmart stores prior to Christmas 2018. It was the holiday gift that was talked about around the world and he was labeled “Tyler Claus”. Perry had attempted to do the good deed anonymously, but later was outed as the ‘Secret Santa’.
This year, amidst the coronavirus pandemic, he supported his local community by picking up the tab for all groceries purchased during senior shopping hour at 73 supermarkets in both Atlanta and his hometown off New Orleans. He also purchased grocery store gift cards for police to hand out to Atlanta communities’ in-need. He also left a $21,000 tip to 42 out-of-work servers at his favorite local restaurant in Atlanta. Perry’s generosity and random acts of kindness run far and wide throughout the world and he uses his platform to encourage others to follow his lead. He also became one of the first filmmakers to safely resume filmmaking amid the COVID-19 pandemic by creating “Camp Quarantine” on the Tyler Perry Studios lot in Atlanta, GA, effectively getting his staff back to work.