Entertainment mogul and dedicated philanthropist Tyler Perry and The Perry Foundation will receive the 2020 Governors Award from the Television Academy, for his achievements in television and his organization’s commitment to offering opportunities to marginalized communities through its programs of inclusion, engagement, employment and other philanthropic initiatives.
The Governors Award debuted in 1978 with the intent to honor individuals and organizations whose exceptional and universal achievements surpass the scope of annual Emmy Awards recognition. While the TV Academy chose not to bestow the honors in 2019, previous recipients include “Star Trek,” “American Idol,” “Masterpiece Theater,” and William S. Paley.
“Tyler Perry has changed the face of television and inspired a new generation of content creators. He pioneered a new brand of storytelling that engages people of color both in front of and behind the camera, and his shows have resonated with a global audience,” Governors Award selection committee Chair Eva Basler said in a statement.
“Tyler’s influence has extended far beyond the screen. His commitment to a broad range of philanthropic causes has had a profound impact on underserved communities around the world,” said committee Vice Chair Debra Curtis.
Perry is the creative vision behind 13 television shows, more than 20 stage plays, 22 feature films, as well as the founder of Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta. With The Perry Foundation, the producer has facilitated people and charities focused on lifting up individuals struggling within the community, in addition to supporting civil rights causes.
Just this year, Perry has developed and implemented several strategies to aid those financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including teaming up with grocery stores in Atlanta and New Orleans to give out gift cards to the elderly. He also paid for private plane travel for George Floyd’s family to attend his funerals; covered funeral expenses for Atlanta’s Rayshard Brooks and Secoria Turner; and donated 1,000 gift cards to Atlanta residents, distributed by police in an attempt to build healthier relationships within the community.
“I’m grateful for and humbled by this recognition from the Television Academy,” Perry said in a statement. “I’ve always prided myself on the work we do at the studio, our diverse representation of people from all walks of life, and the community we’ve built. My hope is that through moments like this we can remind others of the power of ownership and show that when the world doesn’t offer you a seat at the table, you can build your own.”
Perry will receive his Emmy statuette during the Emmy Awards telecast on Sunday, September 20.