The whole thing is very ironic, with Biden being one of the creepiest VP’s out there. Good intentions… just maybe not the best spokesman?
On April 7, Vice President Joe Biden will team up with Lady Gaga in Las Vegas to support his It’s On Us campaign, Billboard exclusively reveals. Biden talks to Billboard about ending sexual assault on college campuses, the “brave” pop star and more.
As the Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden can likely introduce whomever he wants at the Academy Awards. This year, his first time presenting, he welcomed Lady Gaga. For 34 million people watching it might have yielded minor head-scratching, but thousands of college students understood exactly the link between politician and global superstar, whom Biden calls “brave and sincere.” Gaga’s Oscar-nominated song “Til It Happens To You” is the track she co-wrote (with Diane Warren) and recorded for The Hunting Ground, the 2015 documentary film about sexual assault on campuses. In 2014, with President Obama, Vice President Biden launched the It’s On Us initiative to bring awareness and collective responsibility to the epidemic of campus assaults (according to NotAlone.gov, a resource site launched two years ago as part of a White House Task Force to Protect Students Against Sexual Assault, 1 in 5 women and 1 and 16 men are sexually assaulted in college).
On April 7, Lady Gaga will join the Vice President at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, to support It’s On Us and the Vice President as he travels to colleges on behalf of the organization, which has so far seen 250,000 students from more than 530 colleges sign a pledge of solidarity and activation. In his lone interview before the event, Biden talks exclusively to Billboard about why this cause is the one he’s most proud of, his friendship with the “brave” pop star and why he’s not a fan of Donald Trump.
What’s been your proudest moment around your work with It’s On Us?
Hearing from survivors who have been helped by It’s On Us. Last April, we held an It’s On Us event at The University of Illinois. Twelve days later, a woman who attended the event — a recent graduate of the University — came forward to report sexual assault by a former boyfriend. She said she was compelled to act after attending the rally. After she reported the assault at the UI Women’s Resource Center, her case was reported to state and local police department. Turns out, her ex-boyfriend was alleged to have assaulted two other former girlfriends. After she came forward, he was charged with two counts of criminal sexual assault.
You grew up at a time when women’s rights weren’t at the forefront of cultural dialogue. How has your advocacy been shaped by the women in your life?
I grew up in a household where women’s rights were always at the forefront of cultural dialogue. My mother, my grandmother, my sister, my wife, my daughters — women’s rights have never been a question. It’s a view shared by my fathers and brothers. This was never a question. They were always at the forefront.
Why is Lady Gaga a good ambassador for this cause?
Lady Gaga is brave and sincere. She’s a survivor who has the courage to speak out, and I know how difficult that can be. We’ve talked at length and I admire her courage — everyone can see it because it’s on display. She encourages so many other women to step forward.
You’ve made many strides in bringing awareness to violence against women and campus assault. Is it disconcerting to see one of the candidates in this election cycle promoting aggression among his supporters? Do you feel it undermines the work you and the President have done?
It not only undermines the work that President Obama and I have done — it undermines the work a majority of Republicans and Democrats have done. It is the antithesis of everything this country is about.