Lady Gaga, for years now, has always been synonymous to unpredictable. But this time, Lady Gaga is receiving overwhelming support and sympathy from people the world over for her new single, tackling one of the most taboo topics in society: college rape cases.
Lady Gaga has never failed to confront and bring up the most taboo of topics, from the grotesque, to the alienated (metaphorically and literally), to the offensive, down to the downright weird. She started with the weird and over-the-top costumes in Poker Face, then raised the toxicity of love bordering obsession in Bad Romance. Lady Gaga went on and brought up homosexuality and the issue of gender in Born This Way, with Judas not long after, one of her most controversial singles, which was found offensive by certain faiths. Not to mention Lady Gaga’s countless singles which have aroused and stirred a level of discomfort in people, in a way she hopes it would — so, all according to Plan Gaga.
This time around, she veers away again from the comfort zone of the majority and treads on dangerous terrain, tackling a topic that continues to be talked about in hushed tones and places.
Teaming up with the creators of The Hunting Ground, a documentary that looks at and talks about sexual assaults in colleges worldwide, Lady Gaga created “Til It Happens To You.” Directed by Catherine Hardwicke, “Til It Happens To You”‘s music video confronts campus rape in the face and depicts graphic scenes that would be uncomfortable to viewers. Lady Gaga’s “Til It Happens To You” showcases three plots, three cases of campus rape. And her effort to voice out the struggles of many teenagers suffering from assault is met with support by thousands of people who sympathized and were able to relate to the issue.
The four people who inspired “Til it Happens To You” and The Hunting Ground, Annie E. Clark, Andrea L. Pino, Sofie Karasek, and Kamilah Willingham, wrote to Lady Gaga and co-writer Diane Warren, to thank them for the huge support they have given not only to the four of them but to all the victims of sexual assault around the world.
The letter by Clark, Pino, Karasek, and Willingham reads as follows.
“Since we first came forward with our personal stories of sexual assault to our family, to the media and in The Hunting Ground, our lives have changed significantly. A burgeoning movement to end campus rape has swept to schools across the country, inspiring new educational initiatives, legislation, and, most importantly, a widespread community of support for survivors. Within this community, the four of us have carried the weight of pressuring our institutions to reform, and have dedicated ourselves to this effort. The release of your song will have an unparalleled impact on the culture of campuses nationwide. Imagine a survivor who, after hearing your song, no longer feels isolated or alone. Picture that survivor’s friend, telling that survivor that it’s not her fault … We want to thank you both for having the courage to write and perform this song and for allowing your talent, your music, your lyrics and your voices to tell our stories.”
Warren admits that the letter, written by the four women, made her and Lady Gaga cry. Lady Gaga’s “Til It Happens To You” is now thoroughly supported by millions of people worldwide, with the YouTube video of Lady Gaga’s song already at 15 million views. Oprah Winfrey, Rachel Platten, and senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett were among the people who hugely supported Lady Gaga and has expressed it online.
Sharing this with all my college daughters. Lady Gaga – Til It Happens To You – YouTube https://t.co/ZhE8Csjyzh
— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) September 19, 2015
As of the last week of September, Lady Gaga’s “Til It Happens” is already at No. 4 of the Billboard + Twitter Top Tracks charts.
[Images courtesy of Kevin Winter / Getty Images and LadyGagaVEVO]