Lady Gaga Pens 'Billboard' Op-Ed On Sexual Assault & Joins These Celebrities Who Have Published Calls For Change

Lady Gaga performs on stage at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles February 8, 2015. AFP PHOTO/ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Source: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

Lady Gaga has been a political activist for a long time, and now she's joined the fight against sexual assault on college campuses. Gaga teamed up with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to write an op-ed for Billboard in support of Cuomo's sexual assault policy for New York's universities. The state's public colleges already follow a uniform set of sexual assault rules, but private universities don't have to comply unless Cuomo's proposed "Enough Is Enough" bill becomes law. Based on what she wrote in Billboard, Gaga, a sexual assault victim herself, wants students to be safe on their college campuses and fully supports Cuomo's sexual assault policy. Along with Lady Gaga's Billboard op-ed on sexual assault, what other celebrities have written op-eds calling for change?

Gaga and Cuomo's op-ed says: "Today, too many college students experience sexual assault, too few of the assailants are prosecuted, and too often the survivors lack the resources they need to recover." The "Enough Is Enough" bill and campaign Cuomo introduced in February propose a statewide definition of affirmative consent as "a clear, unambiguous, and voluntary agreement to engage in specific sexual activity," an amnesty policy that ensures victims have immunity from other campus policies, like drug and alcohol use, and a survivor's Bill of Rights. 

Lots of celebs have written op-eds calling for social or political change in the past, and Lady Gaga is not the first to write one for Billboard. Here's a list of four recent op-eds by celebs.

John Legend

Following the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner in 2014, John Legend wrote an op-ed in Billboard encouraging young people to demand change, rather than wait for gradual improvements, when it comes to structural racism. "Slavery ended 150 years ago," Legend wrote. "The most egregious elements of Jim Crow were deemed illegal 50 years ago. But the problems of structural racism are old and ongoing." 

James Franco

In May, James Franco penned an op-ed in The Washington Post raving about how much he loves McDonalds and wanted the fast food company to survive its sales slump. Apparently Franco worked at McDonalds after dropping out of college, and he said the company treated him fairly and even cut him some slack. Franco wrote: "All I know is that when I needed McDonald’s, McDonald’s was there for me. When no one else was." 

Angelina Jolie

After getting a preventative double mastectomy, Angelina Jolie wrote an op-ed in The New York Times explaining her choice and encouraging other women to get tested for the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes, since women who inherit mutations of these genes have a higher risk of developing breast cancer. Jolie wrote: "I choose not to keep my story private because there are many women who do not know that they might be living under the shadow of cancer."

Tom Hanks

In January, Tom Hanks published an op-ed in The New York Times explaining the importance of wider access to college after President Obama announced his plan to make two years of community college free for Americans. Hanks wrote: "I’m guessing the new Congress will squawk at the $60 billion price tag, but I hope the idea sticks."

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