Hey Gaga, can you wake up please?
I don’t care about what Gaga wears, what genre of music she wants to make, etc. I know that whatever she does it’s going to be good because she loves her work and is so passionate about it. She’s also passionate about being a good influence and having an impact on the world. She’s done so through offering her time, attention and money to so many people and causes. That’s enough for me to love and respect her and to be supportive and optimistic. I’m not a fan who complains about her creative decisions and I always enjoy seeing her grow as a person and an artist, even if the work sometimes doesn’t affect me.
However, I’m having a hard time understanding how she can be so ignorant in regards to the people she works with and is friends with - The people she praises to the media and her fans and whose careers and influence she’s constantly promoting. Every time she takes a photo w/ Terry Richardson and has her arms wrapped around him and every time she ignores addressing why the DWUW video was never released is disappointing to me. She might as well be telling her young fans straight up that women don’t matter, that it’s okay to turn a blind eye to sexual assault and sexual predators as long as the offender is talented and celebrated.
Maybe at the time when she told us that “many people write a lot of untrue things about R. Kelly.” and painted him as a victim, she was truly unaware of his past (one can only hope she wasn’t sympathizing with him while knowing what he had done), but knowing what she knows about him now, how can she not reflect on her words and not feel some sort of regret for the message she’s been sending? Countless monsters/fans know about R. Kelly’s issues and have written it off as a fabrication of the media and I don’t doubt that Gaga’s own words have played a factor in this mindset that they’re displaying. In their point of view, either R. Kelly is victim of not knowing better or he should be cut some slack for being an artist in the spotlight.
This indifference and defense of his actions are a disgusting perpetuation of rape culture.
Now moving on to an even bigger confusion - Countless articles have been written addressing both R. Kelly and Terry Richardson’s offenses due to the publicity that the music video they were working on was getting. Rightfully so, many publications were criticizing Gaga and other artists that these men have worked with like Beyonce and Lena Dunham:
Slate: Beyonce and Lady Gaga face questions over collaborations with R. Kelly and Terry Richardson
Jezebel: Lena Dunham talks R. Kelly, Terry Richardson
BKmag: Look at this tangle of thorns on R. Kelly, Lena Dunham, Terry Richardson and Beyonce
Flavorwire: Is the Christina Aguilera version of Do What U Want Lady Gaga’s attempt to distance herself from R. Kelly?
How could she be aware of one’s offenses but not the other’s? I don’t think it’s possible. Additionally, so many publications have recently come out to condemn Terry after yet another model came forward with her experience working with him and the sexual abuse she suffered. Either Gaga is living under a rock and doesn’t know what the internet is or she’s being willfully ignorant. Even if all of the women who have bravely come forward to talk about their experience with Terry were lying, direct quotes from him like this exist and have been quoted in many recent articles regarding his predatory behavior:
"Like I’ve always said, it’s not who you know, it’s who you blow. I don’t have a hole in my jeans for nothing."
In this quote, Terry is discussing how young models can break in to the industry.
oh, and then there’s this gem:
"A lot of it starts with me saying to a girl, ‘Do you want to do nudes?’ And they’re like, ‘I don’t want to be naked,’so I say, ‘I’ll be naked and you take the pictures. You can have the camera. You can have the phallus.’"
If direct quotes aren’t enough, how about some photos?
I don’t know what the fuck these photos are but they’re not art and it’s not respectable work. How hard can it be to realize that this guy has a problem he needs to own up to?
How can Gaga, who has come out with her own struggles of being taken advantage of by men in the industry, not have a the mind and conscience to stop working with Terry and to stop validating him and so many other men in power who prey on young women? I’m slowly and hesitantly coming to the conclusion that she just doesn’t care about this issue. What does her indifference imply in regards to her own experiences? I remember hearing her interview with Howard Stern where she mentioned she wasn’t angry about what happened to her but “sad”. I still don’t understand her feelings regarding this. Is she displaying maturity? But how can anger be the wrong response to someone getting away with dehumanizing you? How can you not be angry knowing you weren’t the first and certainly aren’t the last to be abused? If my memory is serving me right, in the same interview she said she was bringing her story up as a warning for young women trying to make it in the industry. However, in my opinion it’s not enough to tell women to be careful and to not call out the men and people in power who are protecting and actively engaging in this culture.
Whatever loyalty she feels towards Terry should pale in comparison to the responsibility she’s given herself as a role model and source of comfort to her young fans. She has done so many good things for them and as a result, they’ve put their trust and faith in her. How could she not be considering this? We know that she’s aware of how her fans view her. She’s given herself such a huge responsibility by putting herself into this role and I admire her for it but she shouldn’t be doing it half-heartedly anymore. I’m not fond of highlighting her faults, as she’s just a human being who I believe is doing her best - given all of the pressure, attention and scrutiny she’s under. Nothing she has ever done before has disappointed me in the slightest but this is an exception. It sucks to see one of the artists you admire most being gutless.
The only reason why this text is so damn long is because I hold her to a high standard. If she hadn’t built herself up to be a human rights activist and role model to millions of impressionable young people then I probably wouldn’t have written this at all.
(wtf is she even doing in this photo? Is she smelling him?)