BET & media mogul Tyler Perry are teaming up for a news special to help address COVID-19 vaccine concerns and fears within the Black community.
Per a press release sent to The Root, Perry will sit down with top medical experts from Atlanta’s Grady Health System for one-on-one interviews in a half-hour program entitled COVID-19 Vaccine and the Black Community: A Tyler Perry Special. Executive produced by Perry for Tyler Perry Studios, the special will provide helpful and factual information for viewers looking to protect themselves and their families from this unprecedented crisis. Executive Associate Dean at the Emory School of Medicine at Grady Health System Carlos del Rio, MD, and Professor of Medicine at Grady Health System Kimberly Dyan Manning, MD will be answering the tough questions on what families should and need to know when it comes to the vaccine.
Deadline also reports that ahead of the broadcast, Perry spoke to CBS This Morning’s Gayle King where he explained his intent behind the special and touched on the skepticism concerning the vaccine, specifically as it relates to the Black community. Admitting to initially being hesitant himself, Perry cited Henrietta Lacks and the Tuskegee experiment as historic and particularly horrendous circumstances that often “raise flags for us as African American people” and make it harder to trust what’s really inside the vial. But overall, Perry still asserts that a lack of trust or doubt isn’t worth skipping out on getting the vaccine—and that’s exactly why he went to hear the experts and got the vaccine shot for himself.
“I’m not taking this vaccine because I want you to take it, I want to give you the information so you make your own choices. I think that’s what it’s about, education and information. I think that it’s just important that people 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.”
COVID-19 Vaccine and the Black Community: A Tyler Perry Special will premiere Thursday, January 28 at 9pm ET, on BET and BETHer.