celebrities, orlando shooting, conan o'brien, samantha bee, janelle monae, michelle visage, stephen colbert

5 Celebrities Who Have Spoken Out About The Orlando Shooting

As part of our continuing coverage of the Orlando shooting, we’ve been looking all over for different points of view about it to help buoy us all. One interesting thread is that it seems that even non-political late-night comedians are calling for gun reform. We thought we’d take a look at some of our favorite celebrities’ reactions to the shooting.

Conan O’Brien

In his opening monologue this Monday, a visibly shaken Conan O’Brien opened his show by addressing the shooting. He said:

I am not a pundit, I am not an expert and I have always, always made it my policy to stick to my job and keep my opinions to myself. I have really tried very hard over the years not to bore you with what I think. However, I am a father of two. I like to believe I have a shred of common sense, and I simply do not understand why anybody in this country is allowed to purchase and own a semi-automatic assault rifle. It makes no sense to me. These are weapons of war, and they have no place in civilian life. I have tried to understand this issue from every side and it all comes down to this. Nobody I know or have ever met in my entire life should have access to a weapon that can kill so many people so quickly. These mass shootings are happening so often now that lamenting them afterwards has become a national ritual.

Samantha Bee

While Conan’s demeanor was quiet, sad and stern, his TBS compatriot, Samantha Bee of Full Frontal was enraged. She devoted the entire episode to Orlando, and her first, longest segment of Monday’s show was about the shooting. She mirrored Conan’s statements that lamenting a shooting is just what you do now — but then she shocked her audience by saying “Fuck it. I am too angry for that. Love does not win unless we start loving each other enough to fix our fucking problems… is it okay if instead of making jokes, I just scream for seven minutes before we go to commercial?”

She does make jokes — and they’re vicious. She calls out all aspects of our gun culture, including Gov. Rick Perry’s statement that all we can do is pray — “Wait a minute, we pray after every mass shooting, and yet they keep happening. Maybe we’re not praying right? Can we check the instruction manual?” And then she quotes James 2:17: “Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”

Janelle Monáe

While singer Janelle Monáe doesn’t have a late night talk show, she’s been active on her Twitter and Instagram feed. Not only did she dedicate her her Sunday night show at the Hollywood Bowl to the LGBTQ community, she’s been posting and retweeting lots about how to help:

I want to make sure that everyone who visits this gram or interacts with me in any shape or form physically or digitally understands where I stand on one thing: It is our responsibility as people to stand up, protect, and look after one another. There is no good or valid explanation for hatred of people based on their sexual orientation. NONE. MOREOVER, (and this is a point I really want to make sure resonates), the idea of "hating the sin not the sinner" is still a morally bankrupt idea when it comes to love. You should not hate, nor dislike, nor disapprove of homosexuality. Who one loves is not a sin. If you are the type of person who goes around and speaks about homosexuality in a way that condemns it IN ANY WAY, YOU ARE THE PROBLEM. YOU ARE THE ROOT CAUSE of tragic incidents like today's massacre. Anyone who speaks against homosexuality is subtlety but not insignificantly complicit. If your religion is causing you to speak against sexual orientation, it is time for you to re-examine your religion. STOP THE BIGOTRY and IGNORANCE. It's literally killing us. THESE ARE ALSO ROOT CAUSES FOR HATE WHICH LEAD TO MASSACRES. Celebrate each other today. Protest by loving someone. Protest by loving everyone. (Also, thanks @tessamaethompson for the info on where and how to help.) NOTE: HATE for a group of people is learned. Things can be unlearned. This is our task THIS generation. Unlearn the hate. It is rooted in lies. I will always stand with the #lgbtqcommunity. My heart is with the families and friends of the innocent victims who lost their lives in Orlando. I'm so mad and sad right now. And although tempting, let's not trade hate for hate. Let us replace hate with education and love. I am positive we can unlearn the hate.

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As well as information on gun reform:

Not just that, but she’s also called out the ban on LGBTQ giving blood:

The Queens of RuPaul’s Drag Race

Michelle Visage and the other queens on the touring show, RuPaul’s Drag Race: Battle of the Seasons performed “Take a Bow” on Monday night in Minneapolis to show their grief. These weren’t the only queens from the show that commented on the tragedy. Roxxxy Andrews, a finalist from RuPaul’s Drag Race season 5, posted to her Instagram that the Pulse club where the shooting took place was where she started out. Kenya Michaels, a trans woman who competed in Season 4 was actually at Pulse when the shooting happened, but thankfully escaped — but her best friend and dancer, Leroy Valentin was one of the victims. Likewise, Season 1’s Jade’s cousin, Eddie Sotomayor Jr. was one of the murdered.

Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert’s response is one of the more succinct on our list — but a good place to end. As he reminds us, “love is a verb — and to love means to do something.” Let’s take his advice. Let’s do something — campaign to change gun laws, campaign to remove the blood ban, go out and live and love and dance. Even if it’s just telling your friends and your family you love them — do something.

Make the world a better place.

End hate.