Forty-nine celebrities came together to pay tribute to the 49 Orlando shooting victims in a new short film created for The Hollywood Reporter.
The heartbreaking project, which was led by Ryan Murphy and the Human Rights Campaign, features dozens of stars — including Lady Gaga, Sarah Paulson, Cuba Gooding Jr., Lea Michele, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jane Fonda and Matt Bomer — reading eulogies for each of the victims of the June 12 shooting at Pulse nightclub.
Bomer paid tribute to Juan Pablo Rivera Velazquez, 37, saying, “Juan owned a hair salon together with his partner, Luis Daniel Conde. The salon had a loyal client base and occasionally offered free services to victims of domestic abuse. He and Luis were together for 16 years and died together at the club.”
Fonda eulogized Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, the 49-year-old cancer survivor who was at Pulse with one of her 11 children when she was killed. “She loved salsa dancing, which she was enjoying with her gay son, Isaiah, whom she shielded from the gunfire,” the actress said in the video.
The Orlando massacre, which also left 53 others injured, is both the deadliest mass shooting and the deadliest incident of violence against LGBT people in U.S. history.
“We want to ensure that what we do is effective,” Griffin told The Hollywood Reporter of the short film, which debuted on Wednesday, June 29. “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.”
Murphy, who created Glee and American Horror Story, added, “I think the topic of gun control had become something that everybody was talking about, particularly in this community, but now I feel people are very mobilized. It’s madness that 90 percent of our country wants stricter gun control laws and yet we’re held hostage by this select group of Republicans. I think people are getting angry about it.”
The 18-minute video, titled “Stop the Hate,” was filmed at 20th Century Fox Studios in Los Angeles on June 20 and 21. Several of the celebrities were visibly affected by the film shoot, including Connie Britton and Evan Rachel Wood, the latter of whom walked out “in tears after her reading,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“For my generation, AIDS really was the cause,” Murphy explained of the PSA to the outlet. “For this younger millennial group, I think gun control and gun violence is one of their causes for sure.”
Watch the emotional video above to see the 49 stars’ heartfelt tributes to the Pulse nightclub victims.