Tyler Perry Gives Houston $1M, With Some of It for Joel Osteen

A quarter of the money goes to Osteen's church
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2017 12:31 PM CDT
Tyler Perry Steps Up for Houston—and Joel Osteen
In this Jan. 15, 2016 file photo, Tyler Perry participates in a panel for "The Passion" at the Fox Winter TCA in Pasadena, Calif.   (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

Tyler Perry is donating $1 million to relief efforts in Texas following Hurricane Harvey, and a full 25% of that amount is going to Joel Osteen's Houston megachurch. Perry announced the donations in a video on Facebook, People reports, and he insisted that though people were upset when the pastor didn't immediately open the doors of Lakewood Church as a shelter from the storm, "there were some safety concerns, and I spoke to [the Osteens] on the phone, and it all made perfect sense to me. So, before you just run and judge someone real quick, you need to know the whole circumstances." "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 insisted.

The Osteens initially said the church was inaccessible due to flooding, but later did open the doors. Another $250,000 is going to Bread of Life, an organization run by "Beyonce's pastor," Rudy Rasmus, Perry said. He has not decided where the remaining $500,000 will go, but he seemed to make a veiled reference to the American Red Cross controversy by saying he wants to make sure his money goes to an organization with "boots on the ground" so that it actually goes toward helping victims. As for his donation to Osteen's church, it wasn't being received well on Twitter. Sample reactions: "Why does a multi-million $ Church that charges $50 a pop for the 'good' seats need a donation? Tyler Perry what is you doin?" and "Giving money to @JoelOsteen & you want me to join you? You high?? A fool & his money. Give to a legit org, not a fraud with a $10m house." (More Tyler Perry stories.)

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