LOS ANGELES • When Chadwick Boseman was named Best Hero for his role in Black Panther, he brought on stage a real-life superhero.
"An award for Best Hero is amazing, but it's even greater to acknowledge the heroes we have in real life," said the actor, who gave his trophy to Mr James Shaw Jr, a 29-year-old electrician.
The latter had overpowered a gunman who killed four people at a Waffle House outlet in Nashville in April to save the lives of customers.
"This is gonna live at your house," Boseman said at the MTV Movie & TV Awards on Monday.
Superhero movie Black Panther made a killing at the event, winning four trophies in a ceremony that also recognised gays, women and those who stand up to bullying.
Black Panther won Best Movie, Best Villain for Michael B. Jordan's Killmonger and Best Performance and Hero for Boseman.
Black Panther actor Winston Duke thanked fans for supporting the movie, which has smashed Hollywood doubts about the broader appeal of black films to become the third highest-grossing movie of all time in North America.
The youth-oriented MTV network, known for its irreverent award shows, again dispensed with gender classifications, placing men and women together in performance categories in a move to embrace equality and gender fluidity.
Stranger Things was named Best TV Show and Millie Bobby Brown, 14, won Best TV Performance for her role as Eleven.
The British teenager, who deleted her Twitter account last week after a slew of hate-filled comments, used her acceptance speech to speak out against bullying.
"If you don't have anything nice to say, just don't say it. There should be no space in this world for bullying and I'm not going to tolerate it and neither should you," Brown said.
The MTV awards feature blockbuster movies and popular television shows and has established itself as an antidote to the winter Hollywood awards season, which honours more serious fare. Winners are chosen by fans.