After the worst mass shooting in US history which left 50 people dead and over 53 injured at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, James Corden, hosting this year’s Tony Awards last night [Sunday, June 12] began the show paying tribute to the victims.
Standing alone under a sombre light with the audience in the background, Corden addressed the viewers at home and spoke on behalf of the entire theater community.
“Good evening. All around the world, people are trying to come to terms with the horrific events that took place in Orlando this morning,” Corden said. “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,” he explained. “Your tragedy is our tragedy. Theater is a place where every race, creed, sexuality and gender is equal, embraced and 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.”
Although there were reports the Tony Awards may have been postponed because of the shooting, the event’s Twitter account revealed the 70th award show would be dedicated to the victims.
— The Tony Awards (@TheTonyAwards) June 12, 2016
Watch James Cordon’s full speech below: