Lady Gaga attended the 88th Academy Awards last Sunday night where her song “‘Til It Happens To You”, from the 2015 Documentary Film “The Hunting Ground” which highlights sexual assault on college campuses across the USA, was nominated for Best Original Song. She lost the Award to Sam Smith and his song from the latest Bond movie, “Spectre” but she put on a spectacular performance which wrenched hearts across the globe.
Gaga performed “Till It Happens To You” on the piano. She performed with such raw emotion and passion it was impossible not to be moved by it. What could only be described as an army of sexual abuse victims joined her on stage, showing the scars of their abuse in writing on their arms, bared for everyone to see, but they also showed that they survived and rebuilt their lives which was really inspiring.
Gaga’s performance was the first time that certain members of her family, including her grandma, learned of her own personal rape which added to the emotive performance. After Gaga’s performance, Brie Larson, the award winning actress from the movie “Room”, which also deals with the theme of sexual abuse, hugged each of the sexual assault victims, which I thought was truly touching.
This was an important performance and it raised awareness to a topic that is prevalent but often not discussed and brushed under the rug in the entertainment industry. Kesha is in an ongoing court battle in order to get out of her recording contract after her producer raped her, which highlights how prevalent sexual abuse is in this industry. Jaime King also spoke out about her own assault after Gaga’s moving performance.
Something huge definitely needs to be done to raise awareness to and to tackle this trend in American society, and though it can’t solve it, the awareness Lady Gaga has raised with this song is a wonderful place to start. If more people spoke out about it it would help reduce the stigma around coming forward as a victim. Most victims are too scared to come forward due to the fear of not being believed.
Taylor Swift bought DJ David Muller to court after he touched her inappropriately at a photo op in 2013 and she was ridiculed on social media. This is not the way women or men who have been victims of sexual assault should be treated. They should be treated with respect and understanding. I used Taylor Swift as an example as a high profile celebrity, but her experience is one many men and woman can relate to. Their is a fear and stigma around reporting sexual abuse that must be dealt with in society.
Watch Gaga’s Heart Wrenching Oscar Performance .
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