The Collegian
Saturday, September 24, 2022

Biden, Lady Gaga highlight 88th Academy Awards

<p>Lady Gaga, on the piano, is surrounded by sexual assault survivors&nbsp;as she performs Till it Happens to you at the 88th Academy Awards | Courtesy of YouTube</p>

Lady Gaga, on the piano, is surrounded by sexual assault survivors as she performs Till it Happens to you at the 88th Academy Awards | Courtesy of YouTube

“I’m the least qualified man here tonight,” said Vice President Joe Biden as he quieted the audience giving him a standing ovation at the 88th Academy Awards last night.

In an room full of some of the world's greatest stars, the politician, whose office co-chairs the task force that helped publish the Not Alone Report, pushed the millions of Americans watching to take a pledge to change the culture of sexual assault.

Senior Lyndsay Patterson, who watched the Oscars from the comfort of her bed on campus, said she appreciated the message Biden shared.

“I chuckled when Biden walked out,” Patterson said, “But a huge variety of people from around the world have their eyes on this award show… so I appreciate any emphasis on the issues of sexual abuse to men and women, especially on college campuses.”

Biden’s speech led into Lady Gaga’s performance of her original song Til it Happens To You, nominated for best original song in the documentary The Hunting Ground, which exposed several colleges and universities who failed to support sexual assualt survivors.

As Gaga performed her song on stage, sexual assault victims, some teary-eyed, surrounded her bearing their arms with words like “unbreakable” written across them in marker.

Other important moments of the night included host Chris Rock addressing the #OscarSoWhite controversy, a movement that started after no black actors or actresses were nominated for the second year in a row.

“If you’re a black actor just getting the opportunity to be in a movie can be a struggle,” Rock quipped as he introduced a parody reel of Oscar nominated movies with black actors like Tracey Morgan and Whoopie Goldberg inserted into the clips.

Brandon Johnson, a sophomore, watched the ceremony all the way through for the first time ever.

“I thought Chris Rock was funny and kept things light hearted with the whole no black nomination thing,” Johnson said.

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A couple winners at the end of the night included Spotlight for Best Picture, Leonardo DiCaprio in the Revenant for Actor in a Lead Role (finally Leo!), Brie Larson in Room for Actress in a Lead Role, and Mad Max: Fury Road taking home 6 awards out of its 10 nominations.

Contact reporter Kay Trulaske at kay.trulaske@richmond.edu

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