Wilmer Valderrama inspired to turn the spotlight on frontline workers after grocery store encounter

HLN's Chloe Melas details how celebrities are giving back during the coronavirus epidemic - including actor Wilmer Valderrama, who started an Instagram series to honor farmers, truckers and other front-line workers.

Posted: Apr 24, 2020 3:11 PM
Updated: Apr 24, 2020 3:11 PM

Wilmer Valderrama wants to use his platform to give a voice to those being directly impacted by the coronavirus.

The actor, best known for his roles as Fez on "That 70s Show" and agent Nick Torres on NCIS, has started an Instagram Live series, "6 Feet Apart," where he will speak with individuals from various industries on the front lines of the pandemic.

And it all started after a trip to the grocery store.

"I wanted to create conversations ... that unite us all and humanize a lot of the conversations that we're seeing in the news," Valderrama told CNN in a recent interview. "I was inspired by that after going to the grocery store and seeing a lot of our grocery store workers feeling kind of down and deflated and as I asked questions I started realizing they were getting kind of a beating from a lot of frustrated customers."

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Valderrama's series kicked off Wednesday with an interview with a farmer, he plans to next highlight grocery store employees and truck drivers.

"I'm going to try to create an ecosystem of conversation so hopefully it creates perspective for not just my supporters but people out there," he continued. "Hopefully we can lead with kindness and be a little more conscious and aware and thoughtful."

He also started a hashtag of the same name, which went viral.

"I started really thinking maybe it's perspective," he said. "Maybe we should think of it from a different angle. Maybe 6 feet apart means when we're too close to something we can't see things for what they can be. And if we're taking 6 feet maybe we can have a birds eye view ... of what things can actually be."

Valderrama, 40, can also relate to the pain that so many are going through.

"I've lost people to coronavirus," he said. "My sister's jobs have stopped. I myself was sent home from work as well. I can relate on multiple levels."

Valderrama has spent a great deal of his career bringing levity into the lives of his fans and he wants to offer a bit of advice.

"First and foremost if you woke up this morning you're already winning," he said. "I would encourage people to do a list. Do an inventory of the things that you do have and find comfort that those are there for you ... Then make a second list of the things you don't want to live with. I promise you that when you acknowledge that list out loud and you can visually see it, those things stop existing and the other ones really take over. I feel like that creates a better harmony at home."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 51079

Reported Deaths: 2756
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion12019693
Lake5588248
Elkhart353959
Allen2939134
St. Joseph210669
Hamilton1691101
Cass16449
Hendricks1454100
Johnson1340118
Porter82638
Tippecanoe7709
Vanderburgh7276
Clark69544
Madison67464
LaPorte61628
Howard59858
Bartholomew59745
Kosciusko5754
Marshall5449
Noble51328
LaGrange4849
Boone48244
Jackson4783
Delaware47152
Hancock46736
Shelby45425
Floyd40644
Morgan34231
Monroe34028
Grant31826
Dubois3046
Henry30018
Montgomery29720
Clinton2903
White27410
Dearborn25823
Decatur25632
Lawrence25225
Vigo2528
Warrick25029
Harrison21722
Greene19432
Miami1932
Jennings17912
Putnam1738
DeKalb1694
Scott1649
Wayne1546
Daviess15017
Perry14710
Orange13723
Steuben1362
Jasper1352
Ripley1307
Franklin1278
Gibson1202
Wabash1162
Carroll1142
Fayette1067
Whitley1066
Starke1043
Newton10010
Huntington942
Jefferson862
Wells821
Randolph794
Fulton731
Knox710
Jay700
Washington681
Pulaski661
Clay645
Rush613
Posey570
Spencer541
Owen521
Benton510
Sullivan501
Adams491
Brown431
Blackford402
Fountain352
Crawford330
Switzerland320
Tipton321
Parke270
Martin260
Ohio230
Vermillion200
Warren151
Union140
Pike110
Unassigned0193

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 64214

Reported Deaths: 3036
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin11724445
Cuyahoga8979393
Hamilton6781207
Lucas2952305
Marion274539
Montgomery244035
Summit2327209
Pickaway222241
Mahoning1928239
Butler182147
Columbiana137860
Stark1214114
Lorain112069
Trumbull104578
Warren97725
Clark80010
Delaware69815
Fairfield66717
Tuscarawas60410
Lake58923
Medina58232
Belmont56922
Licking56812
Miami50631
Portage49259
Wood48851
Clermont4737
Ashtabula44744
Geauga42543
Wayne37253
Richland3715
Allen35641
Greene3439
Mercer29910
Erie27122
Holmes2595
Darke25626
Huron2402
Madison2169
Ottawa17324
Sandusky16015
Washington14620
Ross1443
Coshocton1423
Athens1391
Crawford1385
Putnam13715
Hardin12312
Morrow1201
Auglaize1094
Jefferson1092
Muskingum1001
Union931
Preble901
Monroe8917
Hancock861
Lawrence830
Guernsey823
Clinton811
Hocking809
Williams762
Shelby744
Logan711
Ashland672
Carroll673
Fulton670
Scioto670
Wyandot635
Brown611
Fayette550
Defiance533
Knox531
Champaign511
Highland501
Van Wert471
Perry441
Seneca412
Henry330
Paulding300
Jackson280
Pike280
Adams261
Vinton232
Gallia201
Noble140
Harrison131
Meigs130
Morgan110
Unassigned00
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