Vice President Joe Biden will attend this Sunday’s Academy Awards, where he will introduce Lady Gaga’s performance of “Til It Happens to You” — from the documentary “The Hunting Ground” — a White House official confirmed.
Gaga and Diane Warren’s “Til It Happens to You” is nominated for best original song. They’re up against The Weeknd (“Earned It” from “Fifty Shades of Grey”), Sam Smith (“Writing’s on the Wall” from “Spectre”), David Lang (“Simple Song #3” from “Youth”), and J. Ralph and Anohni (“Manta Ray” from “Racing Extinction”). The Weeknd and Smith will also take the Oscar stage.
“The Hunting Ground,” about campus sexual assault, addresses one of Biden’s signature issues. A longtime advocate against sexual assault, and the author of the 1994 Violence Against Women Act, Biden is expected to direct viewers to the It’s on Us campaign. The public awareness campaign asks people to make a personal commitment to help keep women and men safe from sexual assault.
Biden’s appearance is unusual for the Oscars, but not unprecedented. Then-Vice President Charles Curtis attended the 4th Academy Awards in 1931 on President Herbert Hoover’s behalf. First Lady Michelle Obama presented best picture (to Ben Affleck’s “Argo”) remotely from the White House in 2013, and President Ronald Reagan delivered a taped message in 1981. Franklin Roosevelt addressed the Oscars via radio in 1941.
The vice president will attend the Oscars with his wife, Jill Biden.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said that Biden’s appearance would be “relatively brief.”
“The Vice President has done a lot of important work in leading the effort to end violence against women and to end sexual assault,” Earnest said at the White House daily press briefing. “This is an opportunity for him to stand at a rather high-profile podium when millions of people across the country and around the world will be watching. And I think the Vice President’s passion for this issue will be evident once again on Sunday night.”