Oprah was just as surprised as many movie buffs to learn she would be the 2011 Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award recipient from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. This honorary Oscar is usually given to a philanthropist whose charity work benefits the film industry in some way — which doesn’t quite line up with Oprah’s regular charity work.
Many argued that the award be given to someone who has done more in film.
“I understood it because I was equally surprised,” said the former daytime TV host. “I was surprised because I am not known as an actress. I’ve done film and I love the films that I’ve done.”
This honorary Oscar goes perfectly with Oprah’s already stellar 2011. She ended an amazing 25 years on television only to start up her own network, OWN.
“Years ago, I gave [this award] to Quincy Jones and I was honored to be on the stage just giving the award,” she said. “To be the recipient of an award that’s given to you for your contributions toward doing something good for the world or trying to at least make a mark for a force for something that’s positive in the world, I just don’t think that there’s a better honor than that.”