Despite the unavoidable controversy surrounding its blatant absence of ethinic diversity, yesterday marked the airing of the 88th Academy Awards ceremony. Similar to its predecessors, there was no shortage of media coverage surrounding the happenings of this notoriously grand event. Chris Rock made light of minority actors declaration to boycott the Oscars. Hours were spent recognizing the same ten actors that get nominated every year, and Leonardo DiCaprio finally won the Oscar after years of audiences claiming he’d been snubbed. While I did not watch the ceremony in its entirety, I did tune in to witness a moving performance by none other than Lady Gaga.
Instead of using the platform as a vanity piece or an opportunity to honor a dead actor already validated by mainstream America, Gaga chose to perform her song “Til it Happens to You” featured on The Hunting Ground documentary about sexual assaults on college campuses. The performance featured people of all gender variance that, like Gaga, are survivors of sexual assault. In the short but stirring performance, audiences watched as these survivors bravely stood in solidarity to shed light on the millions who are sexually abused throughout their lifetime.
Historically, sexual assault victims have struggled to acquire any real protection or justice that is promised by this countries criminal justice system. Each year, millions are silenced or simply disregarded because of omnipresent rape culture and synonymous victim blaming that takes place in society. While one performance cannot change a system that has consistently catered to restorative justice for a small sector of this country, we should applaud public figures like Gaga who use their platform with purpose. This was an, undeniably, beautiful performance that will surely increase the dialogue around the sexual assault plaguing our communities.
Watch the stunning performance below!