The White House confirmed today that Vice President Joe Biden will be attending the Oscars this Sunday. Biden, who will be attending with his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, will be on hand to introduce Lady Gaga’s performance of “Til It Happens to You.”
The song, which appears in the documentary “The Hunting Ground” that reports on campus sexual assault, is up for Best Original Song. “Til It Happens to You” is up against songs by 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”).
Biden has a long history of advocating against sexual assault and domestic violence. He helped write the Violence Against Women Act of 1994, and is an advocate of the “It’s On Us” campaign, which asks people “to recognize that non-consensual sex is sexual assault, to identify situations in which sexual assault may occur, to intervene in situations where consent has not or cannot be given, and to create an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported.”
The video for “Til It Happens to You” links to the It’s On Us campaign’s website. Gaga famously opened up in recent years about her own rape by a producer she was working with when she was 19-years-old.
Biden is not the first vice president to attend the show. Charles Curtis attended the 4th Academy Awards on behalf of then-president Herbert Hoover. Presidents and a First Lady have also joined, albeit from afar. In 2013, First Lady Michelle Obama presented best picture remotely from the White House. Both President Ronald Reagan and Franklin Roosevelt delivered messages as well.