In a video posted to Facebook on Friday, Perry explained his decision to send a quarter of his donation to Osteen’s church. “I know there’s been some controversy about Joel Osteen and him not opening the doors of the church. Let me tell you something: Joel and Victoria are amazing people. There’s no way they would lock people out of the church and not let people in for shelter. There were some safety concerns. I spoke to them on the phone, and it all made perfect sense to me.”
Perry also said he’d been disheartened to find out donations he’d made in the past didn’t make it to the victims he was intending to help. So, “I was trying to find the right charity to donate to,” he said. “What I was looking for were people who were boots on the ground, who could help immediately, people that I trust, people that I know are going to do the right thing.”
Not everyone thought Osteen’s church deserved such trust. Fans reacted with bafflement and dismay.
Perry announced that another $250,000 would go to Beyoncé’s longtime pastor, Rudy Rasmus. According to Perry, who is best known for a series of comedies in which he plays Mabel “Madea” Simmons, he was still deciding where the rest of the funds would be donated.
While Osteen’s critics shook their heads, at least one man backed Perry’s decision to give to Lakewood Church: