Tyler Perry is the latest member of Hollywood to help those affected during Hurricane Harvey by teaming up with televangelist Joel Osteen.
In a message to his fans on Facebook Thursday (Aug. 31), the director announced his plans to donate $1 million for victims, with Osteen’s Lakewood Church receiving $250,000.
Tyler Perry stepped up quickly to defend Joel Osteen. “I know that there’s been some controversy about Joel Osteen and him not opening the doors of the church,” Perry said of the backlash of Osteen’s delayed availability of his church during the hurricane. “Joel and Victoria are amazing people — there’s no way that they would lock people out of the church or not let people seek shelter.”
Perry defended Osteen and suggested his critics to back off. “There were some safety concerns, and I spoke to them on the phone, and it all made perfect sense to me,” Perry added. “So, before you just run and judge someone real quick, you need to know the whole circumstances.”
Osteen’s choice to defend his church went less than stellar when he told news outlets the city “didn’t ask” for his team to help. “If you need a shelter we could have been a shelter from day one if they wanted that,” Osteen said to Good Morning America Wednesday (Aug. 30). “You just have to be here to see that, No. 1, the city runs the shelters, what they need us to do – they asked us for a distribution center and you see hundreds and thousands of volunteers came out.”
Lakewood Church is now distribution center and shelter for evacuees. Perry added in his video message another $250,000 will go to Beyonce’s pastor Rudy Rasmus. The singer and Rasmus are also working on BeyGood Houston, a new initiative to assist residents. Perry went on to advise those who want to help out to reach out to those with “boots on the ground.”