Lady Gaga made Hollywood and the rest of the world cry at the 88th Academy Awards last night with an extremely powerful — and political — performance.
Dressed all in white, the singer and sometimes actress took to the stage of the Dolby Theatre to perform 'Til It Happens To You' from the documentary The Hunting Ground. Visibly emotional, Gaga was joined by dozens of sexual abuse victims to deliver a spine-tingling rendition of Diane Warren's ballad.
With the words "Survivor," "Not Your Fault" and "It Happened To Me" written across their arms, the sexual abuse survivors were met with a standing ovation — and a hug from Brie Larson.
The act was introduced by US Vice President Joe Biden, who issued a plea for a change in conversation surrounding the culture of rape:
“We must and we can change the culture so that abused women or men like the survivors you will see tonight never feel they have to ask themselves, ‘What did I do?’ They did nothing wrong.”
The track is taken from The Hunting Ground, an exposé of sexual assaults taking place on American college campuses — a topic close to Gaga's heart:
"A big thank-you to everyone who has supported this song. It's not only an important issue to me, but it's an important issue to my family. Because when my father's sister was in college, she was sexually assaulted and then it tormented her so emotionally that it caused the lupus that she had to get so bad that she died.
"My father was 16, and it affected my family really tremendously my whole life. That's one of the centerpieces of our family. So this song means so much to me and so much to my parents."
Gaga also used her performance to show her support for singer Kesha who is currently in a legal battle with DJ and producer Dr. Luke following accusations of sexual assault and battery.
The below Instagram pic shows Gaga surrounded by all the survivors who joined her on stage.
The post was captioned:
"Thank you for standing next to me on stage. Thank you for all the things you said, for listening to my story and sharing yours. I will never forget it. 50 survivors, so brave, relentless determination."
Watch Gaga's full performance below:
How do you think we could make steps to change the conversation surrounding rape culture?
Source: Huffington Post