Actor and director Tyler Perry went viral Sunday evening for his speech at the 2021 Oscar Awards where he blasted hateful rhetoric in society and called for Americans to meet in the middle "where healing happens."
Perry, who won the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the event, told the audience how his mother taught him to "refuse hate" and encouraged others to do the same.
"It is my hope that all of us would teach our kids … just refuse hate. Don't hate anybody," he said. "I refuse to hate someone because they are Mexican, or because they are black, or white, or LGBTQ. I refuse to hate someone because they are a police officer. I refuse to hate someone because they are Asian. I would hope that we refuse hate."
Perry said that people should "stand in the middle, because that's where healing happens."
"That's where conversation happens. That's where change happens," he said. "It happens in the middle. So anyone who wants to meet me in the middle, to refuse hate, to refuse blanket judgment, and to help lift someone's feet off the ground, this one is for you, too."
🔦 Perry, a liberal, has drawn ire in the past year from both sides of the political aisle. Last June, he refused to back the "Defund the Police" movement in the wake of George Floyd's death. More recently, he called for the end of Georgia's new voter integrity law, comparing it to the "Jim Crow era."