Oprah Winfrey will be receiving an honorary Oscar at the Academy of Motion Arts and Sciences’ Third Annual Governors Awards. Taking place this Saturday, Winfrey will be receiving the Jean Hersholt Award for her small list of appearances in feature films and her philanthropic work around the world, including her academy for girls in South Africa.
Over the years, the 57-year-old has contributed more than $500 million to her charitable work.
“It’s the most exhausting thing I do, and the most exhilarating,” she said, referring to her school in South Africa. “I have a little house over there — about 1,800 square feet of a house — and from the time I land my house is filled with girls. I am counseling girls, feeding girls, talking to girls, so it never stops.”
People have been critical about Winfrey receiving this award because she is known more for her work in television, rather than the big screen “ even though she has been involved in films like The Color Purple, Beloved and Precious. Winfrey says she completely understands the confusion surrounding this award.
“I understood it because I was equally surprised. I was surprised because I am not known as an actress. I’ve done film and I love the films that I’ve done. I understand people thinking, ˜Where’s her list of credentials for films,’ but I don’t think there’s room for criticism in the do-good department, Winfrey explained
Tom Shera, the Academy’s President, referred to the former talk show host as the perfect example why this award was created.
Oprah has given and given and given, he said.
Previous recipients of the Jean Hersholt Award include Elizabeth Taylor, Quincy Jones, Jerry Lewis, and Paul Newman.