Pharrell Williams Explains Why COVID-19 Disproportionately Affects People Of Colour


Pharrell Williams was the latest guest to chat with Jimmy Fallon over video chat on The Tonight Show, and the famous producer used the opportunity to shed light on an important topic pertaining to the coronavirus. Between the postponement of his music festival, Something in the Water, and his partnership with the World Central Kitchen, Global Citizen, and the One World: Together at Home special, Pharrell discussed how the coronavirus has been disproportionately affecting black and brown people around the world due to racism within the health care system.

After Jimmy asks him to elaborate on his previous remarks about the “misinformation” and “misconceptions” surrounding COVID-19, Pharrell explains that “there’s this narrative that people who look like me, darker or lighter, brown and black folks, that we don’t know how to take care of ourselves.” However, he clarifies that the higher rates of coronavirus affecting people of colour has nothing to do with their lifestyles, and everything to do with the health care system. “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 and how they’re getting the help,” he explained. “There’s access. You know, there’s historical injustices with healthcare with people of colour. And those things systemically contribute to the disproportionate access.”

Pharrell Williams The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon coronavirus COVID-19 black people people of colour poc raceNoam Galai/Getty Images for Global Citizen

“This is definitely affecting people of colour in a different kind of way,” he continued, “and I appreciate you asking me this question so that we can use your platform so we can get it out there. We’re human beings. If we were we to be treated like that from the very beginning, we wouldn’t have disproportionate problems, but we do.” Props to Pharrell for getting this message out there.


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