The Tony Awards kicked off on a somber note as host James Corden took a moment to acknowledge the horrific tragedy in Orlando, Florida. Click inside to watch the touching tribute speech.
James Corden, 37, could not let the 2016 Tony Awards begin without addressing the most deadly shooting in America’s history that took place less than 24 hours before the show in Orlando, Florida. With 50 people dead after a gunman ruthlessly attacked a gay nightclub in the early morning hours of Sunday, June 12, James honored the victims with a heartfelt opening speech.
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“Good evening. 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 theatre community and every person in this room, our hearts go out to all of those affected by this atrocity,” James said, addressing the camera directly with the entire star-studded audience sitting silently behind him.
“All we can say is you are not on your own right now. Your tragedy is our tragedy,” he continued. “Theatre 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.”
Once James finished his moving speech, the audience applauded and the show credits began to roll. The speech was short and sweet, but cut straight to the heart. It was truly incredible that the Tonys made such an effort to make the Orlando shooting victims feel loved during such a painful time in their lives.
James speech was just a small part of the tributes that took place during the show. On the red carpet, stars were offered silver ribbons to wear for the evening that were made specifically to honor the victims of the horrific event.
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