49 Top Stars Gather to Record Short Film to Honor Orlando Victims
By Michael O’Connell
(June 29, 2016)
Nobody knew what to do, but everybody wanted to do something. The June 12 mass shooting that claimed 49 lives at a gay club in Orlando, Florida, unfolded more than 2,000 miles away from Los Angeles — but the grief and frustration over an increasingly familiar narrative left many people in Hollywood searching a meaningful way to respond.
The recipient of many blind offers of service was Ryan Murphy.
The producer’s phone rang frequently in the days following the attack at Pulse, with one call coming from Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin. The two quickly crafted a plan to recruit 49 altruistic celebrities to memorialize each of the Orlando victims by reading a brief eulogy of their lives, editing the clips to construct a 18-minute film that started streaming live online starting June 29.
“We want to ensure that what we do is effective,” Griffin told The Hollywood Reporter on set of production.
“It’s on all of us to know each and every one of them by name and for their legacies to, in part, spur change on important issues.”
Special thanks to Ryan Murphy, Ned Martel and their colleagues at Ryan Murphy Television for making this project possible and all of our friends in the entertainment community for their support of this project including (in order of appearance) Lady Gaga, Chris Pine, Cuba Gooding Jr., Connie Britton, Matt Bomer, Sarah Paulson, Angela Bassett, Lea Michele, Colton Haynes, Sophia Bush, Jane Fonda, Harry Shum Jr., Denis O’Hare, Rob Reiner, Melissa Benoist, Caitlyn Jenner, Édgar Ramírez, Max Greenfield, Chaz Bono, Cheyenne Jackson, Emma Roberts, Kerry Washington , George Lopez, Evan Rachel Wood, Sofia Vergara, Diego Boneta, Nina Jacobson, Demi Lovato, Tyler Oakley, Yeardley Smith, Kid Cudi, Kaitlin Olson, Kevin McHale, Jamie Lee Curtis, Lee Daniels, Chace Crawford, Evan Peters, Gerard Butler, Katey Sagal, John Stamos, Laverne Cox, Jordana Brewster, Wes Bentley, Finn Wittrock, Darren Criss, Kathy Bates, Anna Paquin, Guillermo Díaz and Joe Mantello.
49 Celebrities Honor 49 Victims of Orlando Tragedy in Ryan Murphy-Produced Tribute
~~Published on Jun 29, 2016~~
For too long, a toxic combination of anti-LGBTQ hate and easy access to guns has put LGBTQ people at disproportionate risk of violence and murder.
On June 12, forty-nine innocent people — most of them Latinx — were killed at Pulse nightclub in Orlando simply because of who they were.
It’s on all of us to keep their memories alive, and to ensure part of their legacy becomes meaningful action to end hate violence.
Join the Human Rights Campaign and urge your legislator to support legislation that will ensure LGBTQ people are safe and equal in every community and find out how to support the survivors and families of the Orlando victims.