During the Emmys on Sunday night, Tyler Perry received the coveted Governors Award, which recognized his contributions to shaping television and his commitment to humanitarian efforts. In his acceptance speech, Perry recounted the time his grandmother had gifted him a quilt, using it as a metaphor for his own history. "I dismissed her work and her story because it didn't look like what I thought it should," he recalled. His dismissal of his grandmother's quilt mirrors Hollywood's initial views of Perry, as referenced by Chris Rock's joke in his introduction, "And, of course, Hollywood welcomed an independent Black man with open arms . . . Hollywood saw him as a fad."
Perry continued, "Now whether we know it or not, we are all sewing our own quilts, with our thoughts, with our behaviors, our experiences, and our memories." He then took a moment to talk about a memory within his own quilt, ending with his mother saying he should never wait by a door waiting for white folks to do nothing for him. "She couldn't imagine a world where her son was not waiting by the door for someone. In my mother's quilt she couldn't imagine owning land that was once a Confederate army base . . . and now, on that very land, Black people, white people, gay, straight, lesbian, transgender, ex-cons, Latin, Asian, all of us come together, working . . . Diversity at its best," Perry added. You can watch his full speech above, complete with an introduction from Chris Rock and Oprah Winfrey.