Last night was the annual Oscar Awards ceremony. Amidst the opening remarks celebrating Derek Chauvin’s conviction, the pro-abortion speeches, and those turning award acceptance speeches into police condemnations, there was one speech that stood apart from the rest, calling for an end to hate from all sides of the political spectrum. Actor, director, producer, and screenwriter Tyler Perry made a powerful acceptance speech, during which he made a statement going against the typical “Hollywood rhetoric”. Perry shocked the audience by saying “I refuse to hate someone because they are a police officer”.

After winning the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, Tyler Perry gave a powerful speech calling for people to meet “in the middle” of their political debates and have conversations rather than throwing hateful accusations back and forth. His speech discouraged people from throwing out blanket statements of hate upon a group just because the media tells them to. By refusing to hate police officers because of their occupation, Perry took a strong departure from the anti-police rhetoric that is typically used at Hollywood awards ceremonies.

Here is Perry’s acceptance speech:

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“It is my hope that all of us would teach our kids, and not only to remember, just refuse hate. I refuse to hate someone because they are Mexican, or because they are Black, or White, or LBGTQ. 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 would refuse hate, and I want to take this Jean Hersholt Humanitarian award and dedicate it to anyone who wants to stand in the middle. No matter what’s around the walls, stand in the middle. Cause that’s where healing happens. That’s where conversation happens. That’s where change happens. It happens in the middle. So anyone who wants to meet me in the middle to refuse hate, to refuse blanket judgement, and to help lift someone’s feet off the ground, this one is for you too. God bless you and thank you Academy. I appreciate you. Thank you.”

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