August 14, 2017


Zendaya & Fifth Harmony Address Charlottesville Bigotry at Teen Choice Awards

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

In separate pleas to fans watching Sunday's Teen Choice Awards, ZendayaFifth Harmony's Lauren Jauregui and Yara Shahidi urged viewers to stay informed about recent deadly events involving white supremacists in Charlottesville, speak up when faced with bigotry and spread love instead of hate. 

While accepting the award for Choice Summer Movie Actress for her role in Spider-Man Homecoming, Zendaya used her speech to deliver an important message about future leaders: 

Here's the heartfelt speech Zendaya shared onstage: 

"With all the injustice and the hatred and everything that's happening not only in the world but in our country, right now I need for you young people, I need you guys to be educated, I need you to listen, I need you to pay attention, and I need you go ahead and understand that you have a voice and it is OK to use it when you see something bad happening. So make sure that you stay educated and you do not let people tell you what you think you should feel. Because you're the leaders. You're the future leaders of the world. We are the future leaders of the world. You're the future presidents. Future senators. You guys are the ones who are going to make this world better. I'm just letting you know right now that you are the future, so take that very, very seriously."

At the end of Fifth Harmony's acceptance speech for Choice Music Group, the always outspoken Jauregui used her moment to bring light into the dark current events, saying:

"To all of the young ones at home watching, no matter who you are, where you come from or what you look like, you are beautiful and you are important, so keep spreading love and positivity, alright?" 

And during a red carpet interview with ET, Shahidi discussed the "insane" state of affairs: 

"I think we're all in this kinda strange state. What is happening in Charlottesville is such an example and personification of hate in a way that hasn't been seen in such a long time. We've had these instances throughout the years in which you see unarmed black men being killed, or whatever the situation is, in which we are aware of the racism that still exists. To see an entire rally and protest centered around the idea of an entire race being inferior and centered around this idea of hate ... it's all so insane. ... What I do appreciate is that everybody is more united than ever. It is hard for anybody to ignore the idea that racism is still so prevalent and relevant in everything we do."

Zendaya, Jauregui, Shahidi and many other celebrities also voiced their opinions about Charlottesville on Twitter throughout the weekend. Here are some from Lady GagaPete WentzJohn Legend and more.

Speaking of Zendaya, she has been dishing advice to teens for years, including in this 2013 interview with Fuse in which she shared "big sister advice." Watch below: