In the wake of the tragic shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood, NBC’s This Is Us paid tribute to its “hometown,” since a majority of the show is set within the city. The end of Tuesday’s episode, "Kamsahamnida," closed with a special message card expressing sadness over the senseless act that claimed 11 lives and injured six on Saturday.
“Our hearts are broken. We stand with our television hometown of Pittsburgh. To learn more about ending gun violence, visit everytown.org,” the message read.
Several members of the cast subsequently shared a screenshot of the message, adding their own personal message. Mandy Moore, who plays family matriarch Rebecca Pearson on the series, wrote, “We [heart emoji] you, Pittsburgh. #PittsburghStrong @Everytown.”
— Mandy Moore (@TheMandyMoore) October 31, 2018
Susan Kelechi Watson, who plays Beth Pearson, tweeted out a succinct message: “To learn more about ending gun violence, please visit everytown.org @everytown #ThisIsUs.”
— Susan Kelechi Watson (@skelechiwatson) October 31, 2018
This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman shared the end card along with a tweet reading, “Pittsburgh is our #ThisIsUs hometown. If you’d like to donate to Victims of Terror Fund to support the Pittsburgh community, please text: JEWISHPGH to 41444.”
— Dan Fogelman (@Dan_Fogelman) October 31, 2018
Justin Hartley, who plays Kevin Pearson, shared Fogelman’s tweet, urging followers to text JEWISHPGH to 41444 and saying he was “texting now.”
JEWISHPGH to 41444. Texting now https://t.co/xRAOLpmpsi
— Justin Hartley (@justinhartley) October 31, 2018
On the show, the present-day Pearson clan splits their time between Los Angeles, New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia, but in flashbacks, we see the show is still deeply rooted in Pittsburgh culture —and that has a lot to do with Fogelman. In 2016, Fogelman told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that a personal connection inspired him to choose Pittsburgh as the backdrop for the formative years of Jack, Rebecca and the Big Three.
“I wanted to do something that reminded me of where I grew up. We pulled out pictures of Bethel Park and those areas surrounding it and as we extend their world a little bit, it will be what it feels like,” Fogelman said of the area he grew up in until around the age of 7.
Throughout the show’s history, it has paid tribute to Pittsburgh, from a Steelers’ Super Bowl to a strategically placed Steelers’ towel in an early scene with Rebecca and Jack.