Teen Choice Awards: Zendaya Encourages People to "Pay Attention" and Speak Out Against Injustice
"You guys are the ones that are going to make this world better. You are the future."
Zendaya won the Choice Summer Movie Actress surfboard Sunday for her performance in Spider-Man: Homecoming. She used the opportunity to speak out against the "injustice and hatred" happening in the country, in the wake of the events in Charlottesville, Va.
"Spider-Man is about a young person," said Zendaya. "Right now I want to talk to all of the young people in the audience."
She continued, addressing "all of the injustice and the hatred that is happening not only in the world, but our country" and asking her fans to listen.
"I need you to be educated I need you to listen. I need you to pay attention," said Zendaya. "I need you to go ahead and understand that you have a voice, and it is OK to use it when you see something bad happen."
The actress told everybody watching that they shouldn't let people tell them what they should feel. "You are the future leaders of the world. You are the future presidents, the future senators. You guys are the ones that are going to make this world better. You are the future. So take that very, very seriously all right?"
Zendaya thanked everyone and wished them a beautiful night before exiting the stage.
The Spider-Man: Homecoming star wasn't the only one whose speech was influenced by the incident in Virginia, Fifth Harmony's Lauren Jauregui accepted her TCA and said, "In light of recent events, for all those young ones at home, no matter who you are or where you are from, you are beautiful and important. Keep spreading love and positivity."
When Vanessa Hudgens spoke after receiving her surfboard, she also sent a message of positivity and self-confidence, telling her fans to embrace their "weirdness" and to "not be afraid of being different."
"God made you you for a reason, so know that in your heart you are enough. The more that you lean into that, you will shine," added Hudgens.