Tyler Perry delivers touching speech at People’s Choice Awards: ‘Just keep digging’

The 51-year-old received the People's Champion Award on Sunday night

Loading the player...

Tyler Perry was honored with the People’s Champion Award at the 2020 E! People’s Choice Awards on Sunday and he highlighted how he stays inspired amid all the chaos during his touching acceptance speech. 

Tiffany Haddish presented the 51-year-old icon with the award and surprised him with a virtual shout out from his Tyler Perry Studios staff.

Read More: Chloe x Halle to perform, Tiffany Haddish to present at ‘People’s Choice Awards’

“I’m so inspired and moved by this moment. I’m grateful. When I think about all these people, these underdogs, some former prisoners in jail for 20 years, one in jail for seven, they always inspire me,” he said. “So when this pandemic hit, I knew I needed to do all I could to make sure they could continue in this great place that they’re headed towards. In their lives, in their marriages, businesses that they started for themselves, and their own companies and their houses, sending their kids to school.”

He proceeded to tell a story about an experience he had with an engineer who once helped him dig a well at his home in Atlanta. 

Tyler Perry's "A Fall From Grace" New York Premiere
(Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

“Why am I telling you this, why am I talking about digging for water? In this world, we’re all digging wells. In our lives, we’re digging wells. We’re digging wells in relationships, where we put all this time and effort and energy, and sometimes it doesn’t give us what we need. We put all our time, energy and dreams in our business and it doesn’t give us what we need or what we were after. But if you just keep digging, my God if you could just hear me right now, just keep digging,” he explained.

Read More: Tyler Perry honored with Emmys Governor’s Award: ‘We’re all sewing our own quilts’

“You may be four inches away from every gift and every blessing that you ever wanted in your life. 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 that you see on this screen right now would not be a part of my dream.”

He continued, “There are people who are tied to your dream and your destiny, and you are worthy of getting to your goal. Keep digging, don’t stop…When you get there, when you get to that water and you see it coming and you know what you need, this is what I always want you to remember: make sure everybody that you run into meets you at your worth.”


Have you subscribed to theGrio’s new podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!

TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku. Download theGrio today!

Loading the player...