President Barack Obama interrupted the predictably boring Grammy Awards tonight to spread an important message on rape and domestic violence. Amidst the standard awards show proceedings, it made for a jarringly real moment.
In the video PSA (pegged to the White House's It's On Us campaign), Obama called on musicians to use their power to bring awareness to rape and domestic violence against women, which is especially poignant considering that Chris Brown (who attended the show) assaulted Rihanna on the day of the Grammys in 2009.
Here's Obama's speech in full:
"Tonight, we celebrate artists whose music message helps shape our culture and together, we can change our culture for the better by ending violence against women and girls. Right now, nearly one in five women in America has been a victim of rape or attempted rape. And more than one in four women has experienced some form of domestic violence. It's not okay. And it has to stop. Artists have a unique power to change minds and attitudes and get us thinking and talking about what matters. And all of us, in our own lives, have the power to set an example.
"Join our campaign to stop this violence. Go to itsonus.org, and take the pledge. And to the artists and the Grammys tonight, I ask you to ask your fans to do it, too. It's on us, all of us, to create a culture where violence isn't tolerated, where survivors are supported and where all our young people, men and women, can go as far as their talents and their dreams will take them."
The PSA was followed by a few words from Brooke Axtell, a survivor of domestic violence, who shared her story before giving the stage over to Katy Perry. Here's what she had to say:
"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 extend into the night, let it part the darkness. Let it set you free to know who you truly are: valuable, beautiful, loved."