Love is love. Lin-Manuel Miranda sent that message loud and clear to viewers of the 2016 Tony Awards on Sunday, June 12. Accepting the award for Best Original Score, the Hamilton creator and star gave an emotional speech alluding to the tragic shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, which left 50 dead and dozens more injured.
Joking that he was "too old" to freestyle, Miranda pulled out a piece of paper on which he'd written a sonnet. He began by acknowledging his wife, Vanessa, before reflecting on the mass shooting and other similar acts of hate:
"My wife's the reason anything gets done
She nudges me towards promise by degrees
She is a perfect symphony of one
Our son is her most beautiful reprise
We chase the melodies that seem to find us
Until they're finished songs and start to play
When senseless acts of tragedy remind us
That nothing here is promised, not one day
This show is proof that history remembers
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
I sing Vanessa's symphony, Eliza tells her story
Now fill the world with music, love and pride"
Earlier in the evening, Tonys host James Corden paid tribute to those affected by the tragedy, offering a message of hope and unity.
"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."
Additionally, Tonys producers dedicated the show to the Orlando victims, and created ribbon in honor of their memory. "Our hearts are heavy for the unimaginable tragedy that happened last night in Orlando," a statement read. "Our thoughts are with the families and friends of those affected. The Tony Awards dedicate tonight's ceremony to them."