Friday, June 21, 2024

Honorary Oscars Will Go to Tyler Perry for Humanitarian, Charitable Efforts, and Motion Picture Television Fund, Questionably


The Motion Picture Academy usually gives out Lifetime Achievement awards. Among them, in most years is the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian award. They were re-branded as the Governor’s Awards and got their own ceremony starting just a few years ago.

This year, for the first time, there will be two Jean Hersholt Awards. One will go to Tyler Perry, actor, director, producer and philanthropist. He really deserves it, too.

The other will go to the Motion Picture Fund, which runs the big retirement home/assisted living facility for showbiz people in Woodland Hills. Known as the MPTF, the Fund is a thing not a person. They have $90 million in assets according to their 2018 tax filing. The Fund is run by supremely overpaid people ($36 mil in salaries in 2018 including $800,ooo for the CEO) who’ve done a lot of bad things over the years. It was not that long ago that there were protests against the MPTF during awards weekends about the management of the home. But producer Jeffrey Katzenberg made it his admirable mission to raise millions for them. And now they’re getting an Oscar, which is totally ridiculous. They should just give it to Katzenberg. (Oh wait, he did get it, in 2012.)

In order to pull off this little coup, the Academy had to vote to change the wording of the Hersholt prize. “For this year only, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award may be given not just to an individual, but also to a group of individuals or an organization in the motion picture arts and sciences whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry.  The Board may bestow up to two Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Awards.”

Oy vey.

The Academy can also give out the Irving Thalberg Award, and just a Lifetime Achievement Award. There’s been no announcement of those yet, but expect a total of two more along this line. The awards will be given out at the Oscars ceremony on April 25th, which will most certainly be virtual.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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