We demand many things from celebrity.
We want them to entertain us, to make us laugh, to distract us from our problems and to remind us our aspirations. We also want them to use their platforms for something bigger than themselves and to share our pain when tragedy strikes.
In the wake of the massacre at a queer nightclub in Orlando, many celebrities rose to the occasion, but others did not. Some honored the victims of the shooting with powerful notes on social media and speeches in front of City Hall, while too many stayed silent.
But when it’s done correctly, the blending of celebrity and social justice is undeniably powerful and, ideally, that much more effective.
“Stop the Hate,” an 18-minute film launched by the Human Rights Campaign and directed by Ryan Murphy, speaks to that dynamic combination. Featuring 49 celebrities, including Lady Gaga, Kerry Washington, Caitlyn Jenner, Demi Lovato and Jane Fonda, the video pairs each star with one victim of the shooting, as they read aloud the names, ages, and anecdotes of every person lost that day.
“We want to ensure that what we do is effective,” Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin told The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s on all of us to know each and every one of them by name and for their legacies to, in part, spur change on important issues.”
Watch a sampling from the film above.