Tyler Perry received the Ultimate Icon Award at the 2019 BET awards this year. Tyler is starting a selection of shows with the network for their new streaming service BET+.
Tyler Perry is an incredible Christian in the entertainment industry that brings faith and humor to each one of his iconic roles. His speech on overcoming will inspire you to stay determined and use everything negative that life has thrown at you for greatness.
Tyler grew up in poverty in New Orleans. In his speech, he detailed moments of his life—sitting at card games as a boy, listening to his mother and other women talk about their trials with men. He did not realize at the time he was sitting in a master class that would set up his career. When his father would come home and beat his mother, he would try to cheer her up with jokes. All of the pain he endured as a child would serve him in the powerful platform of storytelling he has now.
Tyler wanted women like his mother to know, especially African American women, that they were worthy. Perry has used comedy as a vehicle to honor his mother who he delighted in bringing “out of pain and into laughter.” Tyler is known to have given starts to amazingly talented African American actors that struggled to get opportunities in the industry. Viola Davis, Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson, to name a few, began their careers starring in Tyler Perry productions.
Tyler Perry Studios were conscientiously built in one of the poorest black neighborhoods in Atlanta. Perry wanted to show the youth that if an African American male did that, they could do it too. “While everybody else is fighting for a seat at the table, talking about ‘Oscars [are] so white, Oscars so white.’ I said, ‘Y’all go ahead and do that. While you’re fighting for a seat at the table, I’ll be down in Atlanta building my own,’” Perry declared. “Because what I know for sure is that if I could just build this table, God will prepare it for me in the presence of my enemies.”
Perry finishes his speech saying he does not want to be an icon, but an inspiration. Ending with this: “Every dreamer in this room, there are people whose lives are tied into your dream, own your stuff, own your business, own your way, God bless you!”
We are constantly inspired by Perry and the work he is doing in film and television, with a faith directive and pioneering spirit.