James Corden had a very difficult job to do last night at the 2016 Tony Awards. Amid a night of celebration, the host had to find words to address yesterday’s tragic shooting at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
Earnestly, Corden opened the awards ceremony by stating, “All around the world people are trying to come to terms with the horrific events that took place in Orlando this morning. On behalf of the whole theater community and every person in this room, our hearts go out to all of those affected by this atrocity. All we can say is you are not on your own right now. Your tragedy is our tragedy.”
“Theater is a place where every race, creed, sexuality and gender is equal, is embraced and is loved. Hate will never win. Together, we have to make sure of that. Tonight’s show stands as a symbol and a celebration of that principle. This is the Tony Awards.”
The 70th annual Tony Awards dedicated its night to the victims of the shooting, in which a lone gunman opened fire and killed 50 people and left several others injured. On Sunday afternoon, Tony Awards Productions released a statement expressing its support for the LGBT community. “Our hearts are heavy for the unimaginable tragedy that happened last night in Orlando,” the statement read. “Our thoughts are with the families and friends of those affected. The Tony Awards dedicate tonight’s ceremony to them.”
The shooter has been identified as 29-year-old Omar Mateen from Fort Pierce, Florida.
Our thoughts go out to the victims of the weekend’s heartbreaking events.