Of the $1 million Tyler Perry is donating to Hurricane Harvey relief funds, $250,000 of that will go to Joel Osteen’s church — the same church that has been plagued with controversy in recent days.
“I was trying to find the right charity to donate to because in the past, I have given millions and millions of dollars to charities and was just really disheartened to find out the money I had given didn’t actually get to the people,” Perry said in a Facebook video, posted Thursday. “I know there’s been controversy about Joel Osteen and him not opening the doors of the church. Joel and Victoria are amazing people, there’s no way they would love people out of the church or not let people seek shelter.”
He added, “There were some safety concerns, and I spoke to them on the phone and it all make perfect sense to me. So, before you just run and judge someone real quick, you need to know the whole circumstances.”
Perry will divide his $1 million donation into four parts — Lakewood Church will receive $250,000, and Perry explained he is also giving funds to Beyonce’s pastor. The remaining funds will go to charities he hasn’t decided on yet.
Megachurch pastor Osteen was widely criticized this week for initially not opening his 16,000-seat Lakewood Church to victims of Hurricane Harvey. On Sunday, as Lakewood remained closed over the weekend, the congregation’s Facebook page said that the church was “inaccessible due to severe flooding,” though the message didn’t clarify whether the church itself was flooded.
Osteen maintained that the church was closed at first because of safety concerns, and opened as soon as possible. He later said the city of Houston “didn’t ask” for him to open the Church.
People were quick to condemn Perry’s donation choice on Twitter.
Umm why is Tyler Perry giving his money to Joel Osteen's church? I rather him personally give it to the victims there cause Joel lying ass ????
— KKendall (@_youngloco) September 1, 2017
If Tyler Perry is really giving Joel Osteen 250k we really need to rid ourselves of him too. That is absolutely disrespectful to the victims
— B.R.B. DuBois (@BRashadBeal) September 1, 2017
I read some shit that Tyler Perry donating 250k to Joel Osteen's church ????…I'm not even gonna comment on that bs ????????
— Smokee Robinson ???????? (@ladieslovebigd) September 1, 2017
See Perry’s Facebook video below.