The 2016 Teen Choice Awards made an unprecedented move on Sunday.
The usually fun-filled, lighthearted show dedicated time to address a serious topic in America, as Jessica Alba introduced a group of teenagers who had been affected by gun violence. She told the crowd, “[They] share an unlikely bond that is hard to comprehend. They’re the brothers, sisters, daughters, and family members of recent victims of gun violence.”
The group introduced themselves to the solemn crowd. Among them was J.T. Lewis, whose brother was killed in the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting, two of San Bernardino victim Bennetta Betbadal’s children, the siblings of Jason Josephat, who died during the shooting at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, and Alton Sterling’s son, Cameron.
Alba continued, “I’m talking about Aurora, Baton Rouge, Dallas, Minneapolis, Orlando, San Bernardino, Newtown. It keeps happening and it has to stop. Many of those impacted by these acts of violence are teens. Tonight we stand together with these teens. United in a call for peace and an end to this violence. Now more than ever we need to stop, feel, and ask, ‘What’s going on?’”
After the crowd’s standing ovation, Ne-Yo took the stage to sing Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On.” He told the audience, “If you feel that we have to do better, I need you to stand up right now and take out your phones.”
Check out the emotional clip above.