Monday, February 29, 2016

Academy Awards Show "The Oscars" - Gives Victims of Ritual Abuse a Voice & Exposes Vatican Church

The Oscars have long been a platform for social activism. The 88th Academy Awards certainly saw its fair share of advocacy, but one performance in particular brought some of Hollywood’s biggest names to tears on Sunday. 

Lady Gaga gave an emotional performance of her Oscar-nominated song “Til It Happens to You” from “The Hunting Ground,” a documentary about sexual assault on college campuses. Gaga appeared on the stage flanked by survivors of sexual assault, and was introduced by Vice President Joe Biden, who urged viewers that changing a culture of sexual abuse is everyone's responsibility.
Annie Clarke, Andrea Pino and Fabiana Diaz are all survivors of sexual assault and advocates for ending sexual violence. The three of them appeared on stage together with 48 other survivors of sexual assault (including Lady Gaga herself) during Gaga’s performance on Sunday. 

Clarke said originally only a few survivors were planned to appear on stage, but the number grew in the weeks leading up to the Oscars to demonstrate -- on one of the world’s biggest stages -- just how pervasive sexual violence really is.

'Spotlight' Wins Oscar For Best Picture; Pope Challenged By Producer From Stage

Spotlight tonight took the big prize at the 88th Academy Awards with a Best Picture victory. Nominated for a total of six Oscars tonight it also was the big winner Saturday at the Independent Spirit Awards. The Open Road-distributed and Tom McCarthy-directed drama about the Boston Globe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative team’s exposes of rampant sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests and the subsequent cover-ups was chosen as one of the top 10 films of 2015 by AFI. McCarthy lost on Best Director on Sunday to The Revenant’s Alejandro G. Inarritu.

“This film gave a voice to survivors, and this Oscar amplifies that voice which we hope will become a choir that will resonate all the way to the Vatican,” said producer Michael Sugar onstage, surrounded by Spotlight‘s cast and creatives. “Pope Francis, it is time to protect the children and restore the faith.”

Before tonight’s ceremony, McCarthy, actor Mark Ruffalo and co-writer Josh Singer were among protesters outside L.A.’s Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. “Standing with the survivors of priest sexual abuse,” Ruffalo tweeted on Sunday in solidarity with the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests demanding the public release of the names of pedophile members of the clergy.

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