Andy Cohen got emotional while speaking out about the June 12 mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, which the Telegraph is reporting left 49 people dead and 53 more injured.
Cohen candidly opened up about the tragedy in a new interview with Entertainment Tonight, where he revealed that he was particularly saddened by the horrific tragedy as an openly gay man and called for stricter laws regarding guns.
“You go to a gay bar and for some people it’s the only safe place that they have. A gay bar is about a safe place and a place to feel free and a place where you can be a part of a community,” Cohen told Entertainment Tonight in the interview, just one day after the Orlando shooting took place.
“The idea that these people who were there to be just with people they love,” Andy continued, “and be safe and have fun, were killed for being who they are, it just kills me.”
Cohen also revealed that the tragedy hit particularly close to home, knowing that as a member of the LGBT community, he could easily have been one of the victims of the attack.
“I could have been there,” Andy told Entertainment Tonight. “When I look at the pictures of the victims, those are people that are not just my lesbian and gay brothers and sisters, I see their faces and I see people that I know and that I relate to,” Cohen said of the 49 victims who lost their lives.
Andy also spoke out about his struggle to go live to present his Bravo series, Watch What Happens Live, just hours after the Orlando massacre hit the headlines, admitting he “never wanted to go on TV less.”
“But nobody’s watching my show to hear about the news, they’re watching my show to smile and so at the end of the day,” Andy admitted, “that’s kind of my vow to people who watch the show — I’m gonna make you smile no matter what happened that’s horrible in the day.”
But while Cohen is promising to continue to make viewers smile on Watch What Happens Live, Andy also revealed in the new interview that the Orlando tragedy has made him more determined than ever to do all he can to help change gun laws in the United States.
“It’s yet another wake-up call that nobody needs an assault rifle except the people who are actually protecting us,” Cohen told Entertainment Tonight one day after the Orlando shooting. “More than anything that’s happened, it made me feel like I’m going to do what I can as a citizen to get rid of assault weapons.”
“It’s a scary, scary reminder that there are really awful people in the world,” Andy added.
Andy Cohen’s candid conversation regarding the Orlando incident comes after Cohen expressed his sadness for those who lost their lives at Pulse nightclub on social media.
Andy posted a collage of photos of some of the victims who have been publicly identified to his Instagram page on June 13, which Cohen captioned, “#RIP some of our gay brothers, sisters and allies. #PrayForOrlando #Pride.”
“I am speechless, sick, and so sad reading the news from Orlando. Sending strength to my gay brothers and sisters. 50 people!!!! FIFTY,” Andy originally wrote on Twitter upon hearing the Orlando news, before the death toll was altered to omit the perpetrator. “Gay clubs are the place where some LGBT people go to feel safe,” Andy tweeted.
Andy Cohen also later took to the social media site to urge U.S. lawmakers to introduce stricter gun laws.
“It’s time to ban the AR-15. Come on Congress, grow a pair,” Cohen wrote on the social media site. “There are plenty of guns people can own. People don’t need assault rifles.”
What do you think of Andy Cohen’s comments about the Orlando shooting?
[Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images for Parsons School of Design/The New School]