We couldn’t think of a better recipient for this year’s People’s Champion Award than Tyler Perry. On Sunday, Tiffany Haddish presented the award to the 51-year-old actor, writer, producer, director, and philanthropist at the People’s Choice Awards. In his speech, he took a moment to tell a touching anecdote before saying, “Had I given up when I was homeless, when I was sleeping in my car, when I was hungry, had I given up, these people you see on the screen right now would not be part of my dream. There are people who are tied into your dream and your destiny, and you are worthy of getting to your goal. Keep digging, don’t stop . . . Make sure people meet you at your worth.”
In the past year, he kept all of his employees at Tyler Perry Studios on the payroll throughout the pandemic and supported several charities along with the families of George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, and Secoriea Turner. E! announced that Tyler would be honored with the People’s Champion Award in October, recognizing him for his trailblazing work in the entertainment community, his commitment to philanthropy, and the progress and empathy he’s inspired in others. “In a year of unrest and uncertainty, Tyler Perry proved a natural leader,” the outlet said in a statement. “From his pioneering efforts in successfully, and safely, restarting production and creating jobs at Tyler Perry Studios, to personally supporting charities and families in need, he continuously inspires hope in people. We are honored to present him with the People’s Champion of 2020 Award.” You can watch Tyler’s acceptance speech above.