Tyler Perry is opening his wallet for the victims of Hurricane Harvey while supporting a famous—and recently scrutinized—friend.
The actor and filmmaker took to Facebook late Thursday with a video message to fans and followers, announcing a pledge to donate $1 million to support those suffering from the effects of the deadly hurricane that destroyed southeastern Texas this week. As a source told E! News, "As someone who is from New Orleans and was involved in helping those affected by Katrina, he knows all too well how this affects everyday lives and he wanted to do something to give back."
He began his announcement by defending Pastor Joel Osteen, who came under fire days ago when he was accused of closing his 16,800-person-capacity Lakewood Church to victims in the area. Osteen has since denounced the allegations, saying on NBC's Today that the church doors "have always been open," but that it had also been physically inaccessible at a time because of the flooding.
Perry backed up the reasoning Thursday night, saying into the camera, "I know that there's been some controversy about Joel Osteen and him not opening the doors of the church. Let me tell you something: Joel and Victoria are amazing people. There is no way that they would lock people out of the church or not let people in for shelter."
The star then revealed he plans to break up his $1 million donation into three portions to make sure his money reaches the people in need directly. He will be working with Beyoncé's pastor, Rudy Rasmus, to donate $250,000, and will be giving another $250,000 to Osteen's Lakewood Church "to make sure that they can get all of the supplies that people need and I know that they will."
As for the remaining $500,000, he will determine which other charities he can give the money to as long as the funds can directly reach the people. Before signing off, he encouraged anyone and everyone watching to donate in any way that they can, but to also "find the charity that will get the money to the people."