Lady Gaga’s Oscar performance of “Til It Happens To You” from the documentary film The Hunting Ground was a stunning display of vocal achievement and emotional commitment. Dressed in a simple white jumpsuit and seated at a white grand piano, Gaga put all of her heart and soul into the song. Co-written with Diane Warren, the song has personal meaning for both of them as both women are survivors of sexual assault. The Hunting Ground explores the incredibly high rate of sexual assault that happens on college campuses in the United States.
In a moving touch, Gaga’s performance culminated with sexual assault survivors joining her on stage. Their arms outstretched, each one had a different message penned on their forearms. Ranging from “not your fault” to “survivor” to “it happened to me,” each was a powerful commentary on how this country treats rape on college campuses (and off of it) and a heartbreaking reminder that the women brave enough to come on stage are only a drop in the bucket of the total victims out there. Although the song ended up losing the Best Original Song category to Sam Smith’s song “Writing On The Wall” from Spectre, this performance stands for itself. Catch up on the full list of winners so far and continue following along with our Oscars coverage throughout the night.