Not everyone who attended the Teen Choice Awards at the Forum in Inglewood on Sunday is old enough to vote. But that did not stop presenters at the entertainment awards show from voicing their opinions about politics and social justice.
One of the most prominent celebrities was 23-time Teen Choice Award winner Justin Timberlake. After getting into a bit of trouble for tweets he made about the struggles of African Americans, he used the moment to redeem himself.
In June, he praised Jesse Williams’ impassioned speech at the BET Awards about how white artists hijack black culture for their gain. His comment was met with tweets by those who pointed out that he, through his emulation of soul music, was one of the biggest offenders.
Appearing with Kobe Bryant to accept the “Decade” award, Timberlake said: "Now, you are young, as I once was, but do not think for a moment that what you do doesn’t count. It does, not just to you but also to the world and your generation who will some day inherit this world from old-timers like… me and Kobe."
He noted, "I'm here to say you will make mistakes along the way … You will fall down. I have many times ... so don't waste your 20s. They're gonna be here before you know it, and they will go fast ... So go out, do the impossible and just go on and become the greatest generation yet."
Jessica Alba gave an emotional tribute to gun violence. Ne-Yo sang Marvin Gaye’s anti-violence anthem, “What’s Going On?” The stars were joined on stage by teens whose families had been affected by the shootings in Dallas, Orlando, Newtown and San Bernardino. They encouraged everyone to use the hashtag #StopTheViolence.
These are serious times, even for seemingly carefree teens. But, not every moment was solemn. The show's hosts, WWE star John Cena and Nickelodeon's Victoria Justice lightened the mood with their hilarious impersonations of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
"Empire" star Serayah McNeill gave an electrifying performance with her hit, "Look But Don't Touch." Her dance moves had the crowd rocking and asking for more.