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Tyler Perry to donate $1M to Harvey relief effort — $250K of which will go to Joel Osteen

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Posted at 1:15 PM, Sep 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-01 18:00:46-04

Media mogul Tyler Perry announced on Facebook Thursday that he plans to donate $1 million toward the Hurricane Harvey relief effort.

According to Perry, $250,000 will go to Lakewood Church and Pastor Joel Osteen, a church that found itself in the middle of a social media controversy earlier this week when it was accused of turning away flood victims seeking shelter.

"I know there's been some controversy about Joel Osteen and him not opening the doors to his church. Let me tell you something: Joel and Victoria are amazing people. There's no way they would lock people out of the church or not let people in for shelter," Perry said on Facebook. "There were some safety concerns. I spoke to them on the phone and it all made perfect sense to me. Before you just run and judge somebody you need to know the whole circumstance."

Perry said he chose Osteen's Lakewood Church over other charities in order to make an immediate impact in the community.

"(I wanted to) make sure they can get all the supplies that people need and I know for sure that they will," Perry said.

Lakewood Church, a former NBA Arena that seats nearly 17,000 people, was closed last weekend in the days following Hurricane Harvey. Many accused Osteen, who lives in a $10 million mansion in the Houston area, of closing the church's doors and turning away victims. Osteen and the church maintain the church was closed due to flooded streets in surrounding areas. 

Perry also said he would donate $250,000 to Pastor Rudy Rasmus' "Bread of Life" nonprofit. Rasmus is already teaming up with pop star Beyonce to help aid Hurricane victims.

Perry said he plans on donating another $500,000 but is still trying to decide where to give.

Alex Hider is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @alexhider.