Recently, more and more artists have been speaking out and expressing their support of victims of sexual assault. Movements like #MeToo, #TimesUp, and the nationwide women’s marches seem to have sparked a more collective fight against the abuse of power and corrupted, misogynistic control that exists not only in the entertainment industry, but around the entire country. This year, Kesha’s performance of “Praying” at the 60th GRAMMY Awards was a heart-wrenching reminder, and an incredibly noble act, of standing together to show our intolerance of abusers. Two years ago, long before the #TimesUp movement emerged, Lady Gaga gave a moving tribute to victims of sexual assault at the 88th Academy Awards.
On February 28, 2018, after being introduced by Vice President Joe Biden, Lady Gaga took the stage at the Oscars to perform”Til It Happens To You.” The song was originally recorded for a documentary called The Hunting Ground, which focused on sexual assault on college campuses. For this performance, Gaga abandoned her usual over-the-top sets instead for a poignant piano performance joined by a group of male and female sexual assault survivors with messages written on their arms like “Not Your Fault” and “Survivor.” After the song, Gaga stood holding hands with the survivors onstage while the audience cheered in support. When the show concluded, Biden met with all 50 of the survivors, as fans and artists, including Kesha, shared their support on social media.
“Til It Happens To You” was nominated for the Oscar for Best Song, but lost to “Writing’s on the Wall” by Sam Smith. When his win was announced, people were surprised after Lady Gaga’s performance and the importance of her song’s subject matter. Still, Sam Smith humbly accepted the award and dedicated his win to the LGBT community all around the world.
Watch Lady Gaga’s performance below:
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