The billionaire filmmaker, 51, accepted the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for his for his work feeding and helping others during the pandemic. Past fellow honorees include Oprah Winfrey, Angelina Jolie, Harry Belafonte, Debbie Reynolds and Geena Davis.
Following the speech, Perry told reporters backstage he felt his late mother’s presence “in the moment” and elaborated on his onstage talking points, expressing hope that more people would meet in the middle, because that’s where a person is able to put themselves “in someone else’s shoes and have empathy for those situations.”
“Just where we are in the country and the world, and everybody is grabbing a corner and a color, and they are all – nobody wants to come to the middle to have a conversation,” he said afterward. “Everybody is polarized, and it’s in the middle where things change. So I’m hoping that that inspires people to meet us in the middle so that we can get back to some semblance of normal. As this pandemic is over, we can get to a place where we are showing love and kindness to each other again.”
Read his speech in its entirety below:
“Thank you. Thank you, that is, that’s incredibly kind. Thank you so much. They only gave me a…