Joe Biden to Introduce Lady Gaga's Oscar Performance of Her Nominated Song About Sexual Assault
By Antoinette Bueno
The Oscars are getting political.
At this Sunday's Academy Awards, Vice President Joe Biden will introduce Lady Gaga before she takes the stage to perform her nominated song, "Til It Happens To You," from the documentary The Hunting Ground. While the pairing might seem odd at first glance, the connection is clear given that Biden is a longtime advocate against sexual assault and domestic violence, and The Hunting Ground deals with campus sexual assault.
Last month, Gaga dedicated her first-ever Oscar nomination for Best Original Song to survivors of sexual assault. The cause is especially personal for the 29-year-old singer -- in December 2014, she revealed that she was raped when she was 19 years old during an interview with Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show.
"This nomination lends a voice to so many victims and their families around the world," Gaga Instagrammed. "Thank you to The Academy for recognizing the movement of people who have come together around this film & song in the name of sexual assault. Myself and Diane[songwriter Diane Warren, her co-nominee] are simply honored to represent the voices of so many survivors."
Most recently, Gaga has thrown her full support behind 28-year-old singer Kesha, who has alleged that producer Dr. Luke (real name: Lukasz Gottwald), 42, drugged and raped her over a decade ago and consistently abused her physically and emotionally. Kesha lost a preliminary injunction last week that would have let her get out of her contract with Sony Music and Dr. Luke, but has been receiving overwhelming support from her peers such as Adele, Kelly Clarkson, Taylor Swift, and Demi Lovato.
Dr. Luke has denied any wrongdoing, and on Monday, his attorney released a statement to ET calling the singer's claims "outright lies."
"Free Kesha," Gaga tweeted on Wednesday, sharing a pic of the two holding hands.
For his part, Biden launched the "It's on Us" campaign in September 2014, which calls on everyone to take personal responsibility for preventing sexual assault on America’s campuses. The Obama administration describes the cause as a "new public awareness and action campaign designed to prevent sexual assault at colleges and universities, change the culture on our campuses and better engage men in this effort."
Other performers at this year's Oscars include Sam Smith, The Weeknd, and Dave Grohl. Confirmed presenters include Charlize Theron, Chris Evans, Jennifer Garner, Kerry Washington, Rachel McAdams, Ryan Gosling, Tina Fey, and Whoopi Goldberg.
Don't miss ET's live Academy Awards pre-show on Pop this Sunday, Feb. 28., starting at 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT. Go to PopTV.com to find out where to watch.