Another day, another reason we are truly sad to no long have President Obama and Vice President Biden in the White House. For today’s installment of “Why isn’t it still 2016?” we turn our attention to former VP Joe Biden, who is working with Lady Gaga to help bring an end to sexual assault. Can you even imagine Trump or Pence doing something like that? No. Just, no.
The new PSA is part of the ‘It’s On Us’ campaign that the VP and Obama started back in 2014, back before the sky began to fall. The initiative began as a way to help end sexual assaults on college campuses, but with the recent onslaught of sexual assault claims in Hollywood, Biden was prompted to extend the campaign with a little help from Lady Gaga.
A sexual assault survivor herself, Gaga teamed up with Biden for the new PSA that encourages sexual assault victims to seek help and know they’re not alone. Biden begins by calling Gaga a great entertainer and advocate, referencing her 2015 Oscar-nominated song “Til It Happens To You,” which was used in the The Hunting Ground, a documentary highlighting the staggering number of sexual assaults on college campuses.
Biden goes on to say that no man ever has the right to raise his hand to a woman unless it’s in self defense, with Gaga adding that men too can be the victim of sexual assault.
On her Instagram page, Gaga captions a photo of her with Biden writing “#ItsOnUs to intervene if we witness, have the knowledge of, or are told by someone that sexual violence has occurred. @ItsOnUs 🇺🇸 and if we stick together, we can help women as well as men survive these traumatic events by being advocates. @vp44 Vice President Joe Biden is a pillar of advocacy and I stand proudly beside him.”
In the video, the pair urge people who witness sexual assault to not remain silent and instead stand up for the victim, a message that has taken on new meaning in light of the recent Harvey Weinstein scandal that has extended to more producers, photographers and directors in Hollywood over the past month.
Oscar winning director Quentin Tarantino, who made the majority of his films with the Weinstein Company, recently revealed that he was aware that Weinstein was acting inappropriately with women, but didn’t intervene. “I knew enough to do more than I did,” Tarantino said in a recent interview. “There was more to it than just the normal rumors, the normal gossip. It wasn’t secondhand. I knew he did a couple of these things. I wish I had taken responsibility for what I heard.”
During an interview with Good Morning America on Monday, actor Matt Damon revealed that he too was aware of the allegations against Weinstein. Damon said that he knew Weinstein had assaulted Gwyneth Paltrow, learning about the incident from Paltrow’s then-boyfriend Ben Affleck.
Let’s hope that the silver lining of the Weinstein case is that more people are willing to put their careers and reputations on the line to speak out for victims of sexual assault and harassment.