AceShowbiz - Tyler Perry is pleading with America's black communities to take the coronavirus pandemic seriously following the death of his longtime hairdresser.
The director, writer and actor took to Instagram on Thursday, April 09, to mourn Charles Gregory, who has been part of many Perry productions, posting images of his friend on set.
"The man was warm, loving and hilarious," Tyler writes. "We all loved to see him coming and hear his laughter. 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.
The "Gone Girl" star then addressed fans and followers, noting they are accounting for a large portion of the nearly 13,000 victims in the U.S.
"While everyone can contract this virus, it is black people who are dying from it in much larger numbers. This thing is real, black people," Perry wrote. "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.
"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!."
He also pushed followers to socially distance themselves to avoid coming into contact with sick people.
"I love us all too much to watch us die on the vine because we are the last to know and we are not taking this pandemic seriously," Perry added. "Black people, we are at a disproportionately higher risk of dying from this virus. Please, please, please, I beg you to take this seriously. You have to socially distance yourself."
Perry's post comes a day after the 50 year old was hailed a hero in his adopted Georgia and native Louisiana for covering the grocery bill of hundreds of elderly customers at Kroger and Winn Dixie stores.