Tyler Perry Defends Joel Osteen From Hurricane Harvey Backlash, Donates $250,000 To Megachurch Pastor

Tyler Perry isn’t going to let haters get in his way of doing good deeds. The actor is defending Joel Osteen from critics who have slammed him for not opening his church to Hurricane Harvey victims. As a show of support, Tyler Perry is donating $250,000 to the megachurch pastor’s relief operations.

On Thursday, Tyler Perry announced on his Facebook page that he’s giving a total of $1 million to several Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in Texas. One-fourth of Perry’s donation will be going to Pastor Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church. According to the Madea actor and creator, he’s giving to the heavily slammed pastor because he knows that Osteen’s church will use it to truly help victims.

“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. There were some safety concerns, I spoke to them over the phone and it all made perfect sense to me.”

On Saturday, amid the onslaught of Hurricane Harvey, Joel Osteen drew flak from netizens when he tweeted prayers for Texas while his 16,000-seater church remained shut to evacuees. It was only on Tuesday, three days after the backlash, that Osteen’s Lakewood Church opened its doors to become a temporary shelter and relief headquarters.

Speaking to ET, Joel Osteen blamed “safety issues” as the primary reason for not immediately offering Lakewood Church as a sanctuary. The pastor also said that he’s not minding his critics because his reputation is “in God’s hands.”

“I’m not really concerned about the Twitter critics. We’re concerned with these [victims now at the church] and how they move forward. And there were safety issues that people don’t understand…When the building is clear, when it’s safe, we can start taking people. That’s what we have done for 60 years. We love helping people and that’s what our message is all about.”

Despite the controversy, Osteen received massive support from his flock. After Lakewood Church announced that it will be housing displaced victims, hundreds of volunteers quickly signed up. Likewise, Tyler Perry is asking the public to be more understanding and stand united in helping instead of spreading hate.

“Before you just run and judge someone real quick, you need to know the whole circumstances,” the actor said on his FB announcement.

Actor Tyler Perry
Tyler Perry donates $1M to Hurricane Harvey relief operations [Image by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for People's Choice Awards]

Furthermore, Tyler Perry urged his fans to give only to charities and individuals who they trust would use the money to effectively help people. Aside from Joel Osteen, Perry is also giving $250,000 to another celebrity preacher — Beyonce’s Pastor Rudy Rasmus.

“If you want to give, I will challenge you to find someone who has boots on the ground and who can really be effective.”

[Featured Images by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images and Cindy Ord/Getty Images]