Directed by Ryan Murphy, the list includes Lady Gaga, Jane Fonda, Gerard Butler, Chris Pine, and Laverne Cox
In a moving tribute to the 49 men and women who died in the mass shooting in Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, an LGBTQ venue celebrating Latin night, Hollywood producer Ryan Murphy teamed with the Human Rights Campaign to create a star-studded eulogy to each life lost.
In the early morning of June 12th, gunman Omar Mateen entered the Florida club and opened fire with assault weapons. Holing up inside Pulse for three hours, Mateen was ultimately shot dead by a SWAT team after his act of terrorism had claimed 49 lives and injured 53 more.
In the wake of the tragedy, Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin reached out to Murphy and the two men came up with the idea of a short film dedicated to the lives lost.
“We want to ensure that what we do is effective,” Griffin said in an interview with 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.”
The short, produced over two days and shot at the 20th Century Fox lot in Hollywood, features many actors and performers who have worked with Murphy on his various TV shows and other Hollywood stars. The list includes Lady Gaga, Caitlyn Jenner, Cuba Gooding Jr, Chris Pine, Laverne Cox, and double Oscar-winner Jane Fonda, who tell the story of Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, a mother of 11 and cancer survivor who shielded her son Isaiah from the gunfire.
All costs for the production were covered by donations, including the sound stage and all crew members.
Murphy, the producer behind such hits as Glee and American Crime Story: The People vs. OJ Simpson, has said that the aim of the video goes beyond just honouring those who died in Pulse.
“I think the topic of gun control had become something that everybody was talking about, particularly in this community, but now I feel people are very mobilised,” said Murphy. “It’s madness that 90 percent of our country wants stricter gun control laws and yet we’re held hostage by this select group of Republicans. I think people are angry about it.”