Studio owner Tyler Perry preached about the importance of ownership during his acceptance speech for the Ultimate Icon Award at the 2019 BET Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday.
Taraji P. Henson, who has appeared in Tyler Perry films including The Family That Preys (2008), presented him with the award at the Microsoft Theater.
"In a time when my counterparts were making way more money than I was, Tyler Perry was the first to pay me my exact worth," Taraji said.
Tyler, who owns the massive Tyler Perry film and TV studios in Atlanta, echoed the late rapper Nipsey Hussle who advocated for Black ownership.
"While everybody was fighting for a seat at the table, talking about '#OscarSoWhite, #OscarSoWhite,' I said, 'Y'all go ahead and do that. But 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."
Referring to his Ultimate Icon award, Tyler said, "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."
Full list of winners from the 2019 BET Awards
Album of the Year - Cardi B, Invasion Of Privacy
Best Female R&B/Pop Artist - Beyonce
Best Male R&B/Pop Artist - Bruno Mars
Best Group - Migos
Best Collaboration - Travis Scott ft. Drake, Sicko Mode
Best Male Hip Hop Artist - Nipsey Hussle
Best Female Hip Hop Artist - Cardi B
Video Of The Year - Childish Gambino, This Is America
Video Director of the Year - Karena Evans
Best New Artist - Lil Baby
Dr. Bobby Jones Best Gospel/Inspirational Award - Snoop Dogg ft. Rance Allen, Blessing Me Again
Best International Act - Burna Boy (Nigeria)
Best New International Act - ShoMadjozi (South Africa)
Best Actress - Regina King
Best Actor - Michael B. Jordan
Young Stars Award - Marsai Martin
Best Movie - Blackkklansman
Sportswoman of the Year - Serena Williams
Sportsman of the Year - Stephen Curry
2019 Coca-Cola Viewers’ Choice Award - Ella Mai, Trip
Humanitarian Award - Nipsey Hussle
Lifetime Achievement Award - Mary J. Blige
BET Her Award - H.E.R., Hard Place