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James Corden Opens Tony Awards with Tribute to Orlando Shooting: 'Hate Will Never Win'

by Alex Ungerman 5:02 PM PDT, June 12, 2016
Playing James Corden Opens Tony Awards with Tribute to Orlando Shooting: 'Hate Will Never Win'

The 2016 Tony Awards wasted no time addressing the unimaginable tragedy in Orlando, Florida.

After 50 people were killed, including the shooter, and at least 53 more were injured, during a shooting at an LGBT nightclub early Sunday morning, Late Late Show host James Corden -- who is hosting the awards show -- opened Broadway's biggest night by offering love and condolences to the victims' loved ones, saying:

"Good evening. 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 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, 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."

WATCH: LGBT Groups, Celebs and Public Figures Pay Tribute After 50 Killed in Orlando Nightclub Shooting

Attendees have also been wearing silver ribbons in honor of the shooting victim's and their families.

"You have to [address it]," Corden told ET's Nischelle Turner just before the awards ceremony. "The great thing about this community -- the LGBT community -- is that they historically have just embraced any race, religion, gender, sexuality, and tonight has to be a statement about that."

NEWS: 50 Dead in Orlando Gay Bar Shooting

The 37-year-old host added that the show had "not really" changed much of the humor of the script, if only to try and add levity to a horrific situation.

"We have a song, we're trying to do and we have some bits that we hope are funny," he shared. We're going to try and lift everybody up if we can."

MORE: Tony Awards Dedicating Sunday's Ceremony to Victims of Orlando Mass Shooting

"Our hearts are heavy for the unimaginable tragedy that happened last night in Orlando," Tony Award Productions announced in a statement Sunday. "Our thoughts are with the families and friends of those affected. The Tony Awards dedicate tonight's ceremony to them."

n light of the news, the Hamilton musical cast has also adjusted their scheduled performance to not include muskets.

Watch the video to see the outpouring of love for Orlando from the LGBT community.

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