Tyler Perry has a new BET special called ‘COVID-19 Vaccine and the Black Community’

Tyler Perry
Our good brother Tyler Perry is making headlines again but this time it is not for feeding thousands of Atlantans during a pandemic. Instead, Tyler looks to educate the Black community about the Coronavirus vaccine in hopes to dispel suspicion. Due to a history of horrible and unethical government-backed medical experiments (read: Henrietta Lacks, Tuskegee Experiment and Dr. J. Marion Sims), many Black people have a healthy suspicion of the medical industry and the government. At the moment Black people are falling behind white people in getting vaccinated against covid which is a cause for concern since Black people are disproportionately affected.

Tyler appeared on CBS’s This Morning to promote COVID-19 Vaccine and the Black Community: A Tyler Perry Special in collaboration with BET. Tyler received the vaccine live while talking to doctors. Below are more details via People:

With a new informative BET project titled COVID-19 Vaccine and the Black Community: A Tyler Perry Special, the filmmaker, 51, receives the coronavirus vaccine on-camera and ask doctors questions in order to help de-stigmatize vaccinations amid the ongoing pandemic. Perry admitted during a recent CBS This Morning appearance that he was skeptical at first and that he understands the skepticism in the Black community.

“If you look at our history in this country, with the Tuskegee experiment, Henrietta Lacks and things like that, it raises flags for us as African American people. So I understand why there’s a healthy skepticism about the vaccine,” he said.

Perry said prior to learning more about the technology that produced the vaccines so quickly, he “didn’t really feel like he could trust it.” But he explained, “Once I got all the information, found out the research, I was very, very happy.”

Opting for the Pfizer vaccine, Perry said he had no reactions to the first dose earlier this month, and after the follow-up second round he had on Monday, Perry said he “woke up with some aches and pains, but I took some Advil about an hour ago and I feel fine now.”

Despite slight aches and pains, Perry assured that he has no regrets in taking the vaccines, given the alternative.

“Here’s what you don’t understand: the problem with this COVID-19 virus is you never know how it’s going to affect you,” he said. “I’ve had people die that I know, people who have had long-term health issues that I know. So you’re making the choice of getting the vaccine … and reducing your chances of ending up in the ICU by 100 percent.”

“I think it’s important for people to know that if you take your chances with COVID, you never know how it’s going to affect you, and it could affect your long-term health,” said Perry.

[From People]

Like I have said before, I personally do not like Tyler’s movies but I love him, specifically his philanthropy. Ironically, Tyler has proven to leads by example and be a voice of reason in the Black community. I applaud Tyler for going after some Black churches and leaders for helping spread disinformation as it was the Black church (chitlin’ circuit) that supported his first movie efforts. I have spoken to many Black people who said their pastor claimed the vaccine is unsafe. I believe that Tyler has the clout to address these issues. With being so high profile, many Black people would listen to and take Tyler seriously and I like that he is using this to educate folks. Many of my friends and I wanted to wait until the vaccine went through more cycles of research before getting vaccinated. However, when I found out from Kizzmekia Corbett, a Black scientist who helped develop the vaccine, that the vaccine had been in research for over a decade, I decided that it was safe. I am now on a waiting list in my county. My other friends are as well and one has gotten her first dose.

I do hope that Perry’s project with BET is effective at getting Black people motivated to get vaccinated. The tide has to turn at some point. I want to see my family, friends, and community (who overwhelmingly work on the frontlines), healthy and sticking around longer. I personally want to start traveling again. Anyhow, if you haven’t gotten vaccinated I encourage you to research your options and get on a list if you can. I hope that the majority of the U.S. and the world are vaccinated by the end of the summer so that we can get back to a normal-ish life and our death toll began to level out. Nothing will go back to the way it was. We are different and we have all suffered lost this last year, so many people have died unnecessarily because of poor governing. I also feel we must grieve our former lives. After we grieve, we must embrace our new normal.

COVID-19 Vaccine and the Black Community airs tonight at 9pm ET/PT on BET.


photos via Instagram and credit: Avalon.red

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9 Responses to “Tyler Perry has a new BET special called ‘COVID-19 Vaccine and the Black Community’”

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  1. BlueSky says:

    What irritates me is the same people who complain about the lack of diversity in the healthcare industry are the same people who will be dismissive of this doctor who was instrumental in getting the vaccine developed. I got my first dose last week and I am so thankful I have the opportunity to get it.

  2. Nikki says:

    Very appreciative of his efforts, and I hope he inspires other prominent people to promote the vaccine.

  3. HK9 says:

    Since my Mom is in LTC and has COVID, I had the opportunity to get the vaccine, but couldn’t because Pfizer had problems with distribution in Canada. I was so disappointed. So when I see my Mom, while I’m in full PPE it’s a risk and I have to isolate. I hope his efforts will help put people at ease and get the vaccine. It will help a lot.

  4. Joanna says:

    He really does a lot of wonderful things to help others ❤

  5. ClaireB says:

    I have never seen a Tyler Perry movie, but the interviews I’ve seen with him have been thoughtful and interesting. It’s wonderful that he’s using his position in the Black community to spread information and encourage people to take care of their health, despite the insane history of Black people and the healthcare industry in this country.

    I’m in Florida, so there’s no organization or statewide system for vaccinations. I’m only in my forties, so I probably won’t be eligible for the vaccine for months. I”m envious of all those who even have a waiting list to sign up, but relieved that my parents got their first dose this week!

  6. Busybody says:

    Thank you for this important story, Oya. I’m a clinical provider in the 1a group and got my first dose of the Moderna version three weeks ago. My arm hurt pretty bad for a couple days—worse than flu shot or any other shoulder vaccine I’ve had—but nothing else happened and now I feel less fear about my working conditions.

  7. jferber says:

    I wonder if the lag in black people getting the vaccines could be linked to fewer opportunities/availability? Just a question since people like Marco Rubio and Rupert Murdoch got their vaccines stat.

  8. dlc says:

    The more I hear about Tyler Perry, the more impressed I am.

  9. Jessica says:

    I’m a rural physician in the US, and the well earned mistrust of the medical community by BIPOC is *real*. I’m thrilled to see someone with his social clout promoting this! I can explain and answer questions until my face turns blue, but it doesn’t carry water the same way having someone within your community does.