Florida Actress Arielle Kebbel Makes Impassioned Plea for Change After Orlando Shooting

Getty/Gerardo Mora

The actress made her comments at the end of the final panel of the ATX Festival after leading a script reading of the pilot episode of 'The O.C.'

The fifth annual ATX Television Festival in Austin, Texas, ended Sunday on a somber note when actress and festival ambassador Arielle Kebbel took a moment to pay tribute to the victims of the Orlando, Fla., nightclub shooting.

Kebbel, who hails from nearby Winter Park, Fla., opened up about the "devastating event" after a script reading of the pilot episode of The O.C., in which she and other celebrities participated. The shooting left at least 50 dead, including the gunman, and 53 more injured.

"Now is the time for change," Kebbel said after the end of the reading. The Vampire Diaries actress went on to urge those in attendance to help facilitate that change through voting, writing letters to the families of the victims or "whatever feels comfortable for you."

Kebbel went on to point to the laughter heard in the room during the O.C. script reading. "Laughter is a beautiful thing, and I do believe that love and happiness and people coming together can change America," she said.

Earlier in the day, the festival canceled a panel on TV violence that was set for Sunday morning in the wake of the Orlando shooting. In addition, a vigil will be held Sunday evening near festival headquarters in downtown Austin. 

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