93rd Oscars Backstage Interview Transcript: JEAN HERSHOLT HUMANITARIAN AWARD - TYLER PERRY

SPEECH BY: Travon Free and Martin Desmond Roe


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Q. Congratulations.  Your speech was just incredible.  It was maybe the most moving moment of the night.  You mentioned your mother a lot in that speech and what she taught you.  Did you sense, as you were talking up there, that maybe she's shined down, smiling down on you as you were able to deliver that message that she first gave you? 
A. You know, I could feel her in the moment.  I could feel her.  Any time I'm up there, I'm carrying her with me in all she went through and all we went through together.  You are absolutely right about that, Jeremy. 

Q. Congratulations.

Q. Hi.  It's Rima.  But I get that all the time.  Congratulations. 
A. I was just repeating what she said. 

Q. No worries at all.  I wanted to ask you, what inspired you to share such a personal story? 
A. Just where we are in the country and the world, and everybody is grabbing a corner and a color, and they are all ‑‑ nobody wants to come to the middle to have a conversation.  Everybody is polarized, and it's in the middle where things change.  So I'm hoping that that inspires people to meet us in the middle so that we can get back to some semblance of normal.  As this pandemic is over, we can get to a place where we are showing love and kindness to each other again. 

Q. Thank you. 
A. Thank you. 

Q. It's time for me to save you.  Everybody know I saved (inaudible.)
A. Waiting for Eve? 

Q. Hi, Tyler.  Congratulations.  Such a huge honor tonight.  I have to ask you ‑‑
A. Thank you, Rachel.

Q. Your speech was so powerful when you talked about meeting in the middle.  Why was it so important for you to put that message in your speech tonight? 
A. I just think because there are so many people that are forgetting in the middle is where conversation happens and that is where change happens.  When you are talking and experiencing each other, what everybody is going through and being able to put yourself in ‑‑ being able to put yourself in someone else's shoes and have empathy for those situations, I think that only happens in the middle.  So that is my hope, that more people would just meet in the middle. 

Q. Thank you. 
A. Thank you, Rachel.

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