Tony Awards Dedicate Show to Victims of Orlando Shooting: ‘Hate Will Never Win’

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Mass Shooting in Orlando Nightclub Leaves 50 Dead, Celebs React
Fifty people were killed when a shooter opened fire in an Orlando gay nightclub early Sunday morning

The Tonys are dedicating their 2016 awards ceremony to the victims of the Orlando mass shooting.

In the wake of the tragedy in which 50 people were killed by a shooter at the Orlando nightclub Pulse, the official Tony Awards tweeted, “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.”

Many attendees wore special translucent ribbons to honor the victims and felt the Tony Awards was the perfect venue to honor those who lost their lives and the LGBT community as a whole.

Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, who stands to win a bevy of Tonys with his critically acclaimed musical, acknowledged Sunday’s massacre, telling People, “On a day marked by such tragedy to get to celebrate such works of art … I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.”

Modern Family star Jesse Tyler Ferguson said, “The LGBT community is my community … when I was a kid, I would always look to the Tony awards to give me hope, to give me joy and I hope we can give that to the nation tonight.”

Tonys host James Corden opened the show with a message he recorded before the ceremony began.

“Good evening. All around the world, people are trying to come to terms with the horrific events that took place in Orlando this morning,” he 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.”

Corden added, his voice cracking with emotion, “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, 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.”