Rep. Ted Deutch is recruiting Hollywood’s support for the survivors and families of victims of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Deutch represents Florida’s 22nd District, which includes Parkland.
At an event with United Talent Agency, or UTA, Deutch called on the more than 200 staffers and agents present to urge their clients to throw their weight behind the student survivors’ social media campaign to bring U.S. gun violence and a wave of mass shootings into the national political spotlight, Deadline Hollywood reported.
UTA’s client sheet includes such A-listers as hip-hop star DJ Khaled and actors Angelina Jolie, Harrison Ford, Channing Tatum and Will Ferrell.
“These kids have been remarkable on social media,” Deutch said of the Parkland students, who organized the March for Our Lives event on Saturday in Washington, D.C., and around the country. The march in the nation’s capital drew 800,000 people to a nine-block stretch along Pennsylvania Avenue, organizers estimated.
Watch: ‘Vote Them Out’: Thousands March on Washington to Protest Inaction on Gun Violence
“You have lots of clients and friends and others who are really engaged on social media,” the congressman told UTA’s agents and staffers, “and to the extent that they are comfortable getting out in front of this issue — and you don’t have to be way, way out in front — but it’s in your clients’ interest to be out there because the American people really want something done here.”
“[Americans] are sick and tired of a Congress that won’t even act and won’t even bring to the floor legislation that has the support of 90 percent of the American people,” he said. “So advancing this issue on social media is really helpful. You can follow and retweet these kids. Social media helps.”
A handful of Parkland students have gained social media fame in the aftermath of the shooting for their activism on gun control.
Douglas High School senior Emma Gonzalez has gained nearly 1.5 million followers on Twitter since the shooting. David Hogg, another senior at the school, has become a frequent target of conservative media pundits for his appearances on TV promoting gun control and decrying politicians who accept money from the National Rifle Association.
Deutch also asked that UTA’s clients consider donating money to the Parkland shooting victims’ families.
“There are significant expenses that continue to accrue,” he said. “A lot of people were focused on contributing to the march, which was great and it was a huge success, but there are still real needs, and your support [is needed].”
A 19-year-old gunman who had previously attended the school killed 17 people — 14 students and three employees — when he opened fire with an AR-15 in February.