Oscars 2016: Joe Biden urges a 'change of culture' and action against sexual assaults on campus

The Vice President introduced Lady Gaga's performance

Olivia Blair
Monday 29 February 2016 06:00
Joe Biden speaking at the 88th Academy Awards
Joe Biden speaking at the 88th Academy Awards

Joe Biden made an appearance at the Academy Awards to support Lady Gaga and Diane Warren in combatting sexual assault on US campuses.

Arriving on stage to a standing ovation, the Vice President of the United States gave an important message to the audience before introducing Lady Gaga’s performance of "Till It Happens to You" which was co-written by Diane Warren and a soundtrack for The Hunting Ground - a documentary on student campus sexual assaults.

Biden urged to “change the culture” and ensure victims of sexual assault are never made to feel it is their fault.

“Despite significant progress over the last few years, too many women and men on and off campuses are still victims of sexual abuse.

“Tonight, I’m asking you to join millions of Americans including me, President Obama, the thousands of students I’ve met on college campuses and the artists here tonight to take the pledge that says I will intervene in situations where consent has not or cannot be given,” Biden told the crowd.

“We must and we can change the culture so that no abused woman or man... ever feel like they have to ask themselves 'What did I do?' They did not do anything wrong.”

The 29-year-old's powerful performance visibly moved much of the audience and the singer was also widely praised on social media.

Gaga was nominated for Best Original Song but lost out to Sam Smith, who won the accolade for his Bond theme "Writings on the Wall".

Additional reporting by Reuters.

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