The Teen Choice Awards is famous for being an all-fun and mostly silly ceremony that hands out surfboards for categories like Male and Female Hottie. But on Sunday (July. 31), the show slowed things down to recognize some of the very serious issues going on in the world.
After Justin Timberlake took the stage to give a motivational speech regarding choices and inclusion, Jessica Alba brought some reality to the Los Angeles Forum. The lights dimmed as the actress took the stage and introduced a group of kids who have lost relatives to gun violence.
During this Stop the Violence PSA, each teen was able to take a moment and honor their lost relatives from Newtown, San Bernardino, Sandy Hook and Orlando. Needless to say, the whole tribute was incredibly moving.
"Tonight we stand together with these teens," Alba says. "United for our call to peace and an end to this violence." Capping off her message, Ne-Yo took the stage to perform Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On?"
The entire presentation was a major tonal shift during what's typically a non-stop high energy awards show. But it was a welcome one. "These teens had the courage to come here and share their dream and take a stand," Alba says.
"We want you to stand up right now and take out your phones," Alba and Ne-Yo instructed the crowd. 'Yes, right now." Ne-Yo and Alba then told the audience to take pictures of all the teens standing on stage, and to share these photos on social media with the hashtag: #StoptheViolence.
Needless to say, this was a fantastic way to grab teen's attention, and use their social prowess for good. It's not every day we get powerful messages from the next generation. Maybe, Congress will take notice.