Tyler Perry is making a statement after revealing one of his crew members died from coronavirus.
In an Instagram post Wednesday, Perry shared a series of photos of Charles Gregory, a hairstylist who worked with the comedian.
“Today it’s with a heavy heart that I inform you of the passing of one of our crew members. Mr. Charles Gregory was a hairstylist that had worked with us for many years. The man was warm, loving and hilarious. We all loved to see him coming and hear his laughter,” Perry wrote. “Charles lost his battle with COVID-19 today. It saddens me to think of him dying this way. My sincerest prayers are with his family.”
Perry urged black people to take the virus seriously, as it is killing them at higher rates compared with other Americans in some major cities.
“I heard a black person say, ‘Black people don’t get it.’ That is a lie! You can get it, and you will get it if we don’t do what we’re being told to do,” he wrote. “A 26 year old black woman died the other day, a 44 year old black man died the other day, not to mention the hundreds of people that are dying every few minutes. Your age does not matter!! Your health does not matter. You could be totally healthy, and you could die!”
The “A Fall from Grace” director encouraged people to socially distance and do everything they could to stay safe.
“Please, please, please, I beg you to take this seriously. You have to socially distance yourself. That means stop hanging out, stop congregating, stop doing anything that will put not only your life in danger but also the lives of so many others,” Perry wrote.
erry’s PSA comes shortly after he paid for people’s groceries during senior shopping hours.
Lori Freehling fully expected to pay for her groceries Wednesday morning.
So when she found out at the register that her total was being covered by renowned actor and director Perry, a New Orleans native, Freehling couldn’t help but shed a tear or two.
“She said, ‘He just paid for your groceries as his random act of kindness,’ ” Freehling wrote in a Facebook post. ” ‘Really?’ I said as my eyes teared up, thanking her as she handed my my receipt. Thank you Tyler Perry!”
Call it a hometown discount.
Perry paid it forward at 29 Winn-Dixie stores across Louisiana and at 44 Kroger stores in Atlanta, where Perry resides, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.