The cast of Hamilton opted to not use prop muskets during their Tony Awards 2016 performance on Sunday, June 12, in light of the tragic Orlando shooting that took place at Pulse nightclub earlier that morning.
The hip-hop musical, about U.S. Founding Father Alexander Hamilton’s involvement in the American Revolutionary War, normally features fake guns, but the cast decided not to bring them on stage at the awards ceremony, which was dedicated to the victims of the attack at the gay nightclub.
“Our hearts are heavy for the unimaginable tragedy that happened last night in Orlando,” a spokesperson for the Tony Awards said in a statement released on Sunday morning. “Our thoughts are with the families and friends of those affected. The Tony Awards dedicate tonight’s ceremony to them.” The Tonys also created a silver ribbon for all attendees to wear in honor of the victims.
While accepting the Tony for Best Original Score, Hamilton creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda paid tribute to the 50 killed and dozens more injured in the deadly incident. He said in a sonnet:
“We live through times when hate and fear seem stronger
“ We rise and fall and light from dying embers
“Remembrances that hope and love last longer
“And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love
“Cannot be killed or swept aside”
Earlier in the night, Tonys host James Corden offered an opening statement that honored those affected by the tragedy.
“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 you are not on your own right now. Your tragedy is our tragedy,” he said. “Theater is a place where every race, creed, sexuality and gender is equal, is embraced and is loved. Hate will never win.”
The Orlando rampage is the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. Its high casualty count outnumbers 2007’s Virginia Tech shootings, which had a death toll of 32.
As Us Weekly previously reported, police identified the shooter in the tragic event as Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old from Fort Pierce, Florida. The suspect was shot dead just before 6 a.m., several hours after the attack, which officials have labeled a possible “act of domestic terrorism.”
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