Late-night television is one of the many segments of the entertainment industry to shift its business model, with well-known hosts like Jimmy Fallon, Trevor Noah, and more conducting their interviews via video call from the safety of social isolation. Likewise, the stars that they call have become much more outspoken about inequality and the shortcomings of our social systems in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, which has affected nearly everyone — although it’s definitely hurt the middle class much more.
The latest guest on The Tonight Show, Pharrell, spoke to this disparity during his video call with host Jimmy Fallon, addressing the historical inequity in healthcare availability that has made the COVID crisis more difficult for people of color. Pharrell also addressed the misconceptions surrounding the disproportionate effect the coronavirus’ spread has had on communities of color, doing his best to dispel some of the myths that have cropped up in its wake.
“There’s this narrative that people who look like me — darker or light, brown and Black folks — that we don’t know how to take care of ourselves,” he said. “We’re twice as likely to get asthma and all these other crazy things and it’s not that. It’s just that the healthcare is disproportionate and you’re seeing the effects of that right now in the way that this thing is spreading and who’s getting the help, how they’re getting the help: There’s access. There’s historical injustices with healthcare with people of color. Those things systemically contribute to the disproportionate access. This is definitely affecting people of color in a different way.”
Pharrell thanked Jimmy for allowing him to use the platform to speak about the topic, because while it’s been touched upon in other sources, the vast majority of Americans won’t hear this reasoning. Pharrell also explained the origins of his Something In The Water Festival and how he’s been staving off quarantine boredom.
Watch Pharrell’s full interview above.