Two UNC-Chapel Hill graduates appeared in a group of sexual assault survivors onstage with Lady Gaga at the Oscars on Sunday night.
Annie Clark and Andrea Pino joined dozens of survivors who surrounded Lady Gaga as the singer belted out “Til It Happens to You,” an Oscar-nominated song from the “The Hunting Ground,” a documentary about sexual assault on U.S. campuses. Vice President Joe Biden introduced the singer, and the emotional performance ended with the group of survivors clasping hands in the air as the Hollywood crowd gave a standing ovation.
Clark and Pino have been active in a national movement against sexual assault. They were featured in “The Hunting Ground,” after they joined several women in filing federal complaints against UNC in 2013, charging that the university mishandled sexual assault cases and underreported crime statistics. Part of the film chronicles the journey of Clark and Pino as they helped students across the nation use the Title IX anti-discrimination law to bring their own complaints against universities.
Photos on their organization’s website Monday showed the women on the red carpet before the show and afterward, posing with Lady Gaga and the Best Actress winner, Brie Larson. At the show, Larson hugged all the survivors as they left the stage.
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Clark, executive director of End Rape on Campus, later tweeted that she was “privileged to share the #oscar stage with some of the strongest, most beautiful souls I know.”
She also shared a video to viewers who had suffered an assault, saying, “We believe you, you are not alone, it is not your fault. You should not have to be on an Oscar stage to be supported and believed, and we are with you.”