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‘A Black Man Did That!’: Tyler Perry’s Ultimate Icon Award Acceptance Speech Was Full Of Game


The 2019 BET Awards had many incredible moments, including some wonderful and touching tributes. From Mary J. Blige’s amazing Lifetime Achievement Award set to the celebration of Nipsey Hussle’s life and accomplishments, there was never a dull moment on the night.


Tyler Perry was another celebrity taking home some hardware for his cinematic and philanthropic achievements. Accepting the 2019 Ultimate Icon Award, Perry stepped onto the awards stage and delivered a speech that inspired everyone in the room and anyone else watching at home.

"When I started hiring people like Taraji, and Viola Davis, and Idris Elba ... they couldn’t get jobs in this town," Perry said while accepting his award. "God blessed me to be in a position to be able to hire them. I was trying to help somebody cross. When I built my studio, I built it in a neighborhood that is one of the poorest Black neighborhoods in Atlanta so that young Black kids could see that a Black man did that, and they can do it too. I was trying to help somebody cross. The studio was once a Confederate Army base — and I want you to hear this — which meant that there were Confederate soldiers on that base, plotting and planning on how to keep 3.9 million Negroes enslaved. Now that land is owned by one Negro."

He continued: "It's all about trying to help somebody cross. While everybody else is fighting for a seat at the table, talking about '#OscarsSoWhite, #OscarsSoWhite,' 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.' 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."

Concluding his speech, Perry noted that "rather than being an icon, I want to be an inspiration. I want you to hear this. Every dreamer in this room, there are people whose lives are tied to your dream. Own your stuff, own your business, own your way."

In 2006, Perry opened a 200,000-square-foot studio in Atlanta, expanded it and opened a different state-of-the-art film and television studio in 2015 on the former Fort McPherson Army Base, which is now a 330-acre campus that is one of the largest production studios in the country.

Tyler Perry recently signed a multi-year content deal with BET. Last week, he set his first series at BET, a White House drama called The Oval, which stars Ed Quinn, Kron Moore, Paige Hurd and Daniel Croix Henderson.

Taraji P. Henson presented the Ultimate Icon award to Tyler Perry. Watch his entire acceptance speech below.