Dear Non-Stop Talk About The Oscar Slap - Please make some room for a beautiful story from the Oscars. The story of Liza Minelli and Lady GaGa makes me tear up as I sit watching it here in Rochester, Minnesota.

94th Annual Academy Awards - Show
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Will Smith has had quite a last 24 hours. He won an Oscar, slapped Chris Rock in front of tens of millions of people live on the Academy Awards, and now, about a day later, has issued a public apology for his behavior on the show. Read More: Will Smith Apologizes to Chris Rock; Read His Full Statement

I'm not saying it's not worth talking about, holy heck, it is SO worth talking about on many levels. It's just that, the same night, an amazingly talented performer was on stage for the first time in a long time. She presented the Best Picture award with Lady Gaga and if you click play, and you don't at least tear up, I'll be surprised.

Growing up, Liza Minelli's life wasn't always easy, she had a major movie star for a mom, after all. But Minelli says it was happy...

“One of the biggest misconceptions about my mama is that she didn’t provide me with a happy childhood,” says Liza Minnelli one sunny afternoon from New York. “There were highs and lows for sure, but I can say I was very happy. If people choose to believe that or not, it’s up to them, but I know I was happy.”  (VOGUE)

Maybe it's the mixture of hard and happy that gave her the fortitude she needed to succeed on her own, winning an Oscar, two Grammys, four Tonys, and an Emmy. In and out of the tabloids, sure, but always moving forward and thru it all, that voice!

To the Tweet above (did you watch the video...I hope you watched the video) a person responded,

It's beautiful! But why did they do that to Liza ? She should've never, been placed in that situation. To reduce such an icon to a mere shell of herself in front of the world is really just pathetic on the Academy's side. Invite her to enjoy the night, don't make her a spectical.

That person may have seen her as a shell of herself, but what I saw was a woman saying, "Screw you world that thinks if you're not young, beautiful, and standing up you have to hide away. Here I am, look at me, I'm awesome."

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The beauty of the Minelli / GaGa time on stage isn't as easy to see for everyone, and that's thanks to Lady Gaga's incredible talent for subtlety. She stepped out of the spotlight so Liza could enjoy her moment. Then, when there were moments Liza Minelli needed some help, it was matter-of-fact and smooth.

It was a master class in not robbing someone of their dignity. And yes, it made me tear up. Awesomeness from one person to another does that to me. 

As always, if you have a comment, complaint, or concern about something I wrote here, please let me know: james.rabe@townsquaremedia.com

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