Tyler Perry Reveals Why He Paid for People's Groceries Amid Pandemic Hitting Black Communities "Harder"

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Tyler Perry

"What I'm hoping is that by paying for the groceries for these people who are just like my mother, my aunt, come from where I come from, so I'm hoping that other people will join in," Perry told Gayle King via video chat on Friday's 'CBS This Morning.'

Tyler Perry made a Friday appearance on CBS This Morning, during which he spoke with Gayle King about the impact of the novel coronavirus on black communities in the U.S. He also discussed why he paid for thousands of people's supplies at more than 70 grocery stores in Louisiana and Georgia this week.

"What I'm hoping is that by paying for the groceries for these people who are just like my mother, my aunt, come from where I come from, so I'm hoping that other people will join in," Perry told King via video chat. "You may not be able to pay for 73 grocery stores, but maybe you can buy groceries for one person. Maybe you can buy groceries for a neighbor."

Perry went on to say that he believes African Americans have been hit harder by COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. According to a Wednesday report from the CDC, 33 percent of hospitalized coronavirus patients were black, "suggesting that black populations might be disproportionately affected by COVID-19" nationwide.

"We are going to be hit much harder as African Americans and as poor people than any other minority in the country, I'm sure," Perry said. "So my hope is that some people will see it and say, 'Hey, I can do something to help somebody else.'"

The New Orleans native continued, "I wanted to do something immediate that got out to people immediately. So I reached out to Kroger and I reached out to Winn-Dixie because I remember my mother going to shop at Winn-Dixie every Saturday when I was a kid. … I wanted to go directly to neighborhoods where the incomes are much lower, and I wanted to really focus and drive the point home here."

Perry went on to acknowledge some misleading information he has read online as the coronavirus continues to spread. "I've seen too many things online saying things [like], 'We don't get this,' or, 'Black people don't travel abroad, so it's not going to come to our community.' That is a ridiculous thought," he said. "It has come to our community and it's devastating us in disproportionate numbers."

Asked if he's "afraid" of contracting COVID-19, Perry told King, "I'm not afraid of it as much as I am afraid of it for a lot of other people who have underlying conditions."

Watch Perry's full appearance on CBS This Morning below.