EXCLUSIVE: People's Choice Humanitarian Honoree Tyler Perry Opens Up About the Importance of Positive Stories
By Latifah Muhammad
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Giving back means everything to Tyler Perry.
After taking home the Favorite Humanitarian honor at the People's Choice Awards on Wednesday, the 47-year-old actor and director opened up about what it means to be honored for his charity work, and the importance of sharing positive stories.
"This is really amazing because it is something that for many, many years I didn't talk about," Perry told ET's Carly Steel backstage after his big win. "But what I found was important is that there's so much darkness, that you don't hear the positive stories. So I started to make an effort to make sure that people heard the good that I’m trying to do, but that other people are trying to do in the world as well."
Perry shared similar sentiments in his emotional acceptance speech, telling the audience in part, "No matter how dark it gets, we all have to be the light for each other."
Taking home the coveted award wasn’t the only highlight of Perry’s night, he also snagged a surprise shout out from Tom Hanks during the Sully star’s own acceptance speech.
"Tom is the man," he gushed. "Every time I see him, I just think about all of his incredible performances all the way from Bosom Buddies to Sully. The guy's amazing, and to mention me? That's pretty humbling."
Later in the chat with ET, Perry dished on his various TV projects and building a massive new studio in Atlanta.
"We've got the shows on OWN that are doing really well, the new show on TLC, Too Close to Home, it's doing really well. We've got millions of viewers and it's really amazing to see so many people loving these shows,” he said before noting that Oprah Winfrey is pleased with how well shows like The Haves and The Have Nots have been doing on her network. "She's very happy, and so am I! We're very happy."
The new movie studio, which is expected to open sometime this year, has been “very consuming,” Perry admitted.
"We're in the middle of building the stages, breaking ground, that's a bit of a headache," he shared. "It's a bit of a chore, but it's a grind that I love and I'm really inspired. So yeah, that's my day every day, just making sure the studio is coming together, all of our tenants that are there are happy. The Walking Dead is there, Sleepy Hollow's there, it's been great."
With so many projects in the works, Perry’s goals for 2017 are to "be more authentic," and "not stress" so much.
"[I want] to just enjoy as much of this life as I can, and really celebrate it with my son," he said.
Speaking of parenting, Perry recently shared excitement for his friend, Janet Jackson, who welcomed her first child earlier in the month.
See Perry's reaction to Jackson’s pregnancy below.