Yesterday was a bad day for America, which saw news after news report detailing events in Orlando, where more than 50 people were killed in a gay nightclub by Omar Mir Seddique Mateen, a 29-year-old acting for the Islamic State. Although the moment affected individuals in every corner of the United States, the show must go on and on Sunday, the Tony Awards did just that. But not without acknowledging Orlando in a poignant tribute. You can give host James Corden's speech a watch, below.
James Corden hosted last night's 70th Annual Tony Awards and, shortly after taking the main stage, the talented late night host directly addressed the camera and the atrocity that occurred earlier this weekend at the nightclub Pulse, which caters to the LGBTQ community. It's hard when so much loss of life occurs. Fifty people were killed and another 53 suffered injuries when the shooter took hostages and shot attendees. Those who weren't actually on hand during the crisis or who didn't have a friend or relative who were in Pulse during the time of the mass shootings can't possibly have an understanding of what those people are now going through. Corden didn't try to make platitudes, and simply said this instead:
All we can say is that you are not on your own, and 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.
Prior to the airing of the 70th Annual Tony Awards, event organizers took to social media where they shared the show had decided to continue forward and would dedicate the ceremony to those who were affected by the Orlando attack. Here's what organizers had to say:
Our hearts are heavy for the unimaginable tragedy that happened last night in Orlando. Our thoughts are with the families and friends of those affected. The Tony Awards dedicate tonight's ceremony to them.
The CBS broadcast went on to acknowledge the Orlando attack on several occasions. During the pre-show, James Corden mentioned the Tony Awards would need to talk about what happened. He isn't the only one. The cast of Hamilton avoided using muskets during their performance and those on the red carpet wore silver ribbons to pay homage to those who lost their lives. Finally, Lin Manuel-Miranda read a sonnet referencing what happened in Orlando. It was a long night, but a memorable one.
It's not enough to dedicate an event or express our absolute heartfelt sorrow about what happened on social media. It's not enough for shows like The Last Ship to take a step back and hold off on premiering, as sensitive subject matter was presumably part of the episode. It's not enough to say we are sorry it happened. It's not enough. But it's what we have to combat hate.