The 2016 Tony Awards started on a somber note, with host James Corden taking center stage and addressing the tragic massacre in Orlando that claimed 50 lives early Sunday morning.
“Good evening,” the host started. “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 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 that you’re not on your own 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. 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 …“
Earlier Sunday, the show producers expressed their condolences with this statement: “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.”
Attendees arrived donning silver ribbons in support of the victims of America’s deadliest mass shooting.
In another sign of respect, President Obama ordered all flags be flown at half staff at federal buildings.
Watch Corden’s open below.