At first, the Teen Choice Awards were all about being silly (and occasionally awkward). But the awards show did take the opportunity to remind teens about the tragedies that have occurred in our country in recent years. Jessica Alba brought to the stage a group of "brave teenagers who share an unlikely bond that's hard to comprehend."
"They are the brothers, sisters, daughters, and family members of recent victims of gun violence," she said. Joining her were JT Lewis, brother of Sandy Hook victim Jesse Lewis; Jolene and Colin Verdehyou, who lost their mother in the San Bernardino shooting; the aunt of Cederrius Hastings, who was killed in an Atlanta drive-by shooting; Jamal, Justin, and Myreanna, who lost brother Jason Josaphat in Orlando; Patience Carter, a survivor of the Pulse Nightclub shooting; and Alton Sterling's son, Cameron Sterling.
"Tonight we stand together with these teens united in a call for peace and an end to this violence," Alba said through tears. "Now more than ever we need to stop, feel, and ask: What's going on?"
Ne-Yo concluded the tribute with a heartfelt version of Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On," which brought celebrities like Gina Rodriguez and Chanel Iman to their feet. Alba concluded the segment by encouraging viewers to take a photo of the teens on stage and share using the hashtag #stoptheviolence.
Kudos to the Teen Choice Awards for taking a break from the fun and games to pay tribute to a heavy but necessary issue like gun violence.