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Tyler Perry is set to receive The Hollywood Reporter‘s Oprah Winfrey Empowerment Award at its annual Empowerment in Entertainment gala in May.
The award honors those who have created opportunities for people of color, women, members of the LGBTQ community and the next generation of the entertainment industry. Winfrey will present Perry with the award, which she first received at last year’s event, where it was renamed in her honor. WME is the presenting sponsor of the Empowerment in Entertainment event and Amazon is the platinum sponsor.
“I’m honored to be recognized with this award, named after the woman who was instrumental in helping me forge my own path in Hollywood,” said Perry. “Oprah has been a North Star for me as well as countless others.”
“I am so deeply proud of the ways that Tyler Perry has created opportunities of inclusion for so many people in entertainment through all of his work,” said Oprah Winfrey. “He is a self-taught, self-sustaining, self-made industry force that embodies the Empowerment Award.”
The event will be held May 6 in Los Angeles and is accompanied by a dedicated issue of THR that spotlights entertainment’s leaders of change. A media mogul and philanthropist, Perry has been at the forefront of spearheading change. In October 2019, he opened the 330-acre Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, one of the largest studios in the United States. Each of the 12 soundstages is named after an esteemed African American and the studios are home to numerous film and television productions, including Perry’s own Netflix feature, A Fall From Grace.
“Tyler Perry epitomizes the characteristics of the Oprah Winfrey Empowerment Award, with not only what he gives back to the industry but in how he models what you can achieve,” said THR editorial director Matthew Belloni. “And we extend our gratitude to Oprah for her generosity in lending her name and contribution to this honor.”
As a philanthropist, Perry leads The Perry Foundation, which aims to transform tragedy into triumph by seeding individual potential, supporting communities and harvesting sustainable change. The foundation partners with more than 30 organizations across education, sustainability, agriculture, health, human rights, technology, arts and culture and economic development.
For the second year in a row, THR’s Young Executives Fellowship — a sister initiative to THR’s Women in Entertainment Mentorship Program, now in its 11th year — will select around 20 of the best and brightest high school juniors, chosen on a highly competitive basis and all from underserved schools in Los Angeles, Compton and Inglewood.
They will take part in a two-year program that includes business curriculum and mentoring, SAT preparation and scholarships. The program — overseen by an advisory board that includes Endeavor CEO Ariel Emanuel, Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke and former Paramount Pictures chairman Sherry Lansing — is designed to create a pipeline for future leaders in film and television and serve as a pilot for media companies wishing to promote inclusion in all forms.
It has been supported by scholarship donations from Emanuel and others. The program brings together some of the leading film schools in Southern California, including Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts and USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, along with the nonprofits Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles and College Access Partnership.
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