The actress made her comments at the end of the final panel of the ATX Festival after leading a script reading of ‘The O.C’ pilot episode.
The fifth annual ATX Television Festival ended on a somber note Sunday when actress and festival ambassador Arielle Kebbel took a moment to pay tribute to the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting.
Kebbel, who hails from nearby Winter Park, Flo., opened up about the “devastating event” after a script reading of The O.C. pilot which she and other celebrities participated in. The shooting left at least 50 dead and 53 more injured.
“Now is the time for change,” Kebbel said after the end of the reading. The Vampire Diaries actress went onto to urge those in attendance to help facilitate that change through voting, through writing letters to the families of the victims, or “whatever feels comfortable for you.”
Kebbel went on to point to the laughter heard in the room during the script reading. “Laughter is a beautiful thing and I do believe that love and happiness and people coming together can change America,” she also said.
Earlier in the day, the festival canceled a panel on violence on TV that was set for Sunday morning in the wake of the shooting. In addition, a vigil will be held near festival headquarters in downtown Austin Sunday evening.