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Anthony Hopkins wins best actor

Tyler Perry.
Tyler Perry. Chr

Tyler Perry received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award tonight for his commitment to social justice issues and dedication to creating a safe work environment during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Tyler’s cultural influence extends far beyond his work as a filmmaker. He has quietly and steadily focused on humanitarian and social justice causes from the beginning of his career, caring for people who are most often ignored,” Academy President David Rubin said in a statement earlier this year.

According to the Academy, “Perry was instrumental in quickly creating a safe way to return to production during the worldwide health crisis.”

“When I set out to help someone, it is my intention to do just that,” Perry said while accepting the award at tonight’s show. “I am not trying to do anything other than meet somebody at their humanity.”

Perry went on to lay out his wish for the future: “To teach our kids to refuse hate.” He dedicated his award to “anyone who wants to stand in the middle, no matter what’s around the walls, stand in the middle because that’s where healing happens, that’s where conversations happen, that’s where change happens. It happens in the middle.”

Last year, Tyler Perry Studios completed its first session of what Perry called “Camp Quarantine” to film season 2 of “Sistas,” the comedy-drama series on BET.

Perry consulted with medical experts and put together a 30-page plan that in essence created a quarantine bubble big enough for cast and crew for the duration of the shoot. He called it “Camp Quarantine.”

It involved pre-arrival testing and quarantining; flights on Perry’s private jet for out-of-towners; more testing and quarantining upon arrival; plenty of personal protective gear; no hugging; a lot of mask wearing — except for the cast while filming — and good hand hygiene; and then testing every four days. Cast and crew were kept isolated at the 330-acre studio lot in a combination of accommodations including army barracks and historic homes. There were food and alcohol trucks, movie nights, church services — just about everything.

Hear more about Perry’s pandemic response here:

CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta contributed to this report.