On Sunday (September 20), Tyler Perry received a prestigious honor at the 2020 Emmy Awards. The prolific writer, producer, actor and director received the Governors Award from the the Television Academy. He's the first person to receive the award since 2014.
According to the Television Academy, the Governors Award distinction is reserved for individuals or organizations the Academy deems “either of a cumulative nature or so extraordinary and universal in nature as to go beyond the scope of the Emmy Awards presented in the categories and areas of the competition.” In addition to Perry himself, the Perry Foundation, which supports organizations and educational programs for marginalized communities, was also honored.
In a statement, the Television Academy shared that they are honoring Perry for “his unprecedented achievements in television and his commitment to offering opportunities to marginalized communities.”
Perry was introduced by Oprah Winfrey and Chris Rock, both of whom made sure Perry got his flowers for all he's done in Hollywood. “Tyler Perry has done what no one had done before him — make it as an outsider,” Winfrey said.
When Perry came out to accept the exclusive honor, he drew upon his family's history for his moving speech. “In my grandmother’s quilt there were no patches for Black people on television,” he said, comparing his journey to a quilt his grandmother created. “And now her grandson is being honored by the Television Academy.” Perry also went to say: "I stand here tonight to say thank you to all of the people who are celebrating and know the value of every patch and every story and every color that makes up this quilt that is our business."