The 2016 Teen Choice Awards made an unprecedented move on Sunday, when the usually fun-filled, lighthearted show dedicated time to address a serious topic in America: Gun violence.
Jessica Alba introduced a group of teenagers who have been hurt by violence, telling 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.”
Among those who appeared on stage were 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 Josaphat, who died during the shooting at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, and Alton Sterling’s son, Cameron.
“I’m talking about Aurora, Baton Rouge, Dallas, Minneapolis, Orlando, San Bernardino, Newtown,” Alba continued. “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.”