TV Stars Empathize With Fire Victims on People's Choice Awards Carpet: "It Really Breaks Me"
"Events like this remind you of what you do have," said 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' star Terry Crews.
As fires continued to ravage California, the People's Choice Awards pink carpet rolled out as scheduled at Santa Monica's Barker Hangar on Sunday. But amid the glitz and glam-bots, TV stars like This Is Us' Susan Kelechi Watson couldn't help but think of those suffering just miles away.
"I feel like everyone’s close to me in some way — it’s the humanity of it all," Watson told The Hollywood Reporter ahead of the show. "To know that people are in pain and that people are dealing with such tremendous loss, it really breaks me in a way that is hard to explain."
In the days leading up to the show, residents of Malibu, Thousand Oaks and more California cities have shared stories of immense loss and footage of rampant flames tearing through their communities.
"My prayers really are active prayers in hoping that things happen, and if there’s any way I can contribute to that, it’s what I’m looking for," Watson continued. "But also that people just remain safe and that the fires come to an end very soon."
Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Terry Crews also lamented the state of emergency, which he said has reminded him to be grateful for his own life.
"Events like this remind you of what you do have to keep you out of depression and keep you out of feeling bad because there are people who are going through a whole lot today, and I empathize 100 percent with them and encourage you to help any way you can," Crews told THR.
The comedy actor also addressed Wednesday's shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, another recent tragedy that has reverberated through the Southern California community.
"Enough is enough," Crews said. "These weapons belong in the hands of the military. You should not be able to go into a public place and kill hundreds of people in minutes. It’s ridiculous. It’s too much. I say, right now, something has to be done or there has to be something to crack down. There’s got to be gun control, in some form or fashion, that still stays with the Constitution."
Despite what has been one of the deadliest weeks in California history, Crews has been trying to stay positive — though he admitted keeping a joyful mindset has become increasingly difficult.
"I am the most chipper, very energetic, happy guy, but let me tell you something: I’m sad," Crews said. "I’m sad especially after the shootings and the fires, and when so many people we know have been directly affected, it’s one of those things where I have to keep telling myself this: Don’t hate the bad. Just love what’s good more and more, and continue to be appreciative of what you have and of people that you love."
Carpet conversation wasn't entirely dominated by current events. Plenty of stars also offered updates on their respective projects, including Crews, who teased that the sixth season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine will be "bigger, faster and stronger" on its new network, NBC. Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments castmates Harry Shum Jr. and Katherine McNamara also hinted at a "very exciting" series return.
"There’s going to be a loss," Shum told THR. "I think it’s going to change all the characters. We don’t know if for the good or for the bad, but hopefully it will come to a happy ending."
Shadowhunters won big at the awards ceremony, during which several presenters and winners also offered their support to fire victims, as well as to the firefighters and other first responders working to abate the damage. Mila Kunis, Victoria Beckham, Betty Gilpin, Melissa McCarthy, the Kardashians and more dedicated much of their airtime to the fires, as well as urged viewers in the room and at home to give to first-response organizations like the Los Angeles Fire Department and the Red Cross.
"As horrible as this has been, it's been amazing to see the resilient spirit of everyone involved and the heroism of those risking their lives on the front lines," Kim Kardashian said while accepting the reality show award for Keeping Up With the Kardashians. "Action is necessary, so anything that we can do to help — as simple as donating to the many organizations that are collecting supplies — no form of help is too small."
The 2018 People's Choice Awards — which also featured performances from Nicki Minaj, Rita Ora and John Legend — aired live Sunday night on E!.