Tyler Perry Just Gave the Best Gift to Lots of Walmart Patrons

Filmmaker pays off layaways at 2 Atlanta-area stores
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2018 12:45 PM CST
Tyler Perry Plays Santa With $430K Christmas Gesture
Writer and director Tyler Perry participates in the BUILD Series at AOL Studios on Oct. 29, 2018, in New York.   (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

This isn't quite a Madea Christmas, but it just may be better. "I was trying to do this anonymously, but … y'all know how nothing stays secret these days," Tyler Perry, the star of the Madea franchise, confessed in a short video on Twitter Thursday, letting people know that he had a holiday surprise for anyone with items on layaway at two Walmarts in the Atlanta area. The big reveal: He'd completely paid those layaway bills off, meaning customers who'd had stuff waiting to be picked up there as of 9:30am Thursday can now get their goods without having to pay a penny.

Well, that's not quite true—Perry does say in the clip that affected patrons will have to pay exactly one cent to retrieve their wares. Per CNN, a Walmart rep confirms that Perry paid off more than $430,000 in layaway costs at the two stores he mentions, and Walmart posted its own thanks online, tweeting, "We hope you know that you just made Christmas for so many families. You went above and beyond." Perry's reasoning for his act of generosity, per the video: "I know it's hard times, a lot of people are struggling. I'm just really, really grateful to be in a position to do this. So, God bless you. Go get your stuff. Merry Christmas!" (Perry also recently came through for Cosby Show actor Geoffrey Owens.)

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