The Grammys are the biggest night of the year for the music industry, but last night, the Grammys got real by airing a poignant sexual violence PSA from President Barack Obama.
So many people are talking about all the amazing performances from last night, like AC/DC and Hozier with Annie Lennox, and Madonna’s matador-esque performance. But more importantly, President Obama’s PSA and the following performance have turned the focus on an issue that really matters: ending sexual violence.
President Obama Urges Grammys Viewers to Stand Up Against Sexual Violence http://t.co/uQP9Yk4UBY
— Mother Jones (@MotherJones) February 9, 2015
In the PSA, Obama states that “one in five American women will be raped” and “nearly one in four will experience some form of domestic violence,” according to MSNBC.
Obama then clearly looks straight into the camera and says, “It’s not okay — and it has to stop.”
In the PSA, Obama then asks everyone to get involved, especially all the artists at the Grammys, to work to stop sexual violence.
“It’s on us, all of us, to create a culture where violence isn’t tolerated” -Pres Obama to deliver anti-sexual violence PSA during Grammys
— Ari Melber (@AriMelber) February 9, 2015
Obama said, “Go to itsonus.org and and take the pledge. And to the artists at the Grammys tonight, I ask you to ask your fans to do the same too.”
Obama’s PSA wasn’t the only part of the Grammys addressing the seriousness of sexual violence.
After the ad, 34-year-old survivor and activist Brooke Axtell took the stage. Axtell gave a moving speech on her experience as a survivor of sexual abuse and spoke from the heart about preventing and ending sexual violence.
“Authentic love does not devalue another human being. Authentic love does not silence, shame or abuse. If you are in a relationship with someone who does not honor and respect you, I want you to know that you are worthy of love. Please reach out for help, your voice will save you… let it part the darkness, let it set you free to know who you truly are — valuable, beautiful, loved,” said Axtell as seen on ABC News.
— People magazine (@peoplemag) February 9, 2015
And if that weren’t moving enough, Katy Perry took the stage following Axtell.
— Brooke Axtell (@SurvivorHealing) February 8, 2015
The usually fun and lighthearted Perry gave a very moving performance of her hit “By the Grace of God.”
It was an unexpected turn for the Grammys that all started with a poignant sexual violence PSA. Let’s hope that it continues a conversation that needs to happen to end sexual violence.
[Photo Courtesy of Entertainment Weekly]