Christina Grimmie fans are outraged that the late singer wasn’t mentioned at any point during the 2016 Teen Choice Awards broadcast on Sunday, July 31, despite her posthumous win for Choice Web Star: Music.
While the awards show doesn’t announce every award, they also failed to include her in a powerful tribute honoring family members of victims of gun violence. Jessica Alba introduced several teens who have been affected by recent shootings, including Alton Sterling’s son Cameron, and asked viewers to speak out using the hashtag #StoptheViolence. Many fans felt that would have been the perfect moment to honor Grimmie, who was shot and killed at age 22 by a deranged fan at a meet-and-greet following her concert in Orlando, Florida, in June. The shooting happened one night before the tragic massacre at the nearby Orlando nightclub Pulse.
“While we are glad that Christina finally won her much-deserved Teen Choice Award, we are also definitely disappointed that her name was not mentioned at any point during the two-hour broadcast,” a source close to the Grimmie family told Entertainment Tonight. “It seems they could have paid honor or tribute to her in some way and that opportunity was missed. The fans have a right to be upset.”
People took to social media to accuse the TCAs of using Grimmie to promote the show, pointing out an official tweet that said, “Retweet to vote in memory of @TheRealGrimmie for #ChoiceMusicWeb Star. #TeenChoice.”
“It’s sad that Christina Grimmie won her first TCA & they didn’t even honor her on the show after using her for promo,” one tweeter wrote.
“I can’t believe that the TCAs didn’t even acknowledge Christina Grimmie’s win or mention her death within the gun violence portion,” another Twitter user posted.
A Change.org petition even called for an official apology from the Teen Choice Awards and the Fox network. “As the final categories were announced and Jason Derulo came out to close the show, millions of hearts collectively shattered at the realization that Teen Choice and Fox went out of their way to ignore and completely avoid addressing the terribly tragic passing of one of their own nominees,” the petition says.
A source previously told Us Weekly that Grimmie always wanted to win a Teen Choice Award. This was the former Voice contestant’s third nomination for the category, according to her manager and Selena Gomez’s stepfather, Brian Teefey, but she had yet to take home the award until this year. In a post on the YouTube star’s social media, Teefey urged fans to vote. “Let’s please do all we can to ensure she takes home this win,” he wrote. “I need you guys to spread the word far and wide and ensure she gets this victory.”
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