Lady Gaga outrages disabled groups with wheelchair performances
Lady Gaga has always enjoyed pushing the boundaries of fashion—if not good taste—with her clothing choices, whether it’s parading around pantless in Paris or sporting a dress made of raw meat.
But using a wheelchair as a fashion accessory—rolling out on stage in front of an audience of 1000 people in Sydney Town Hall in Australia on Thursday—has some wondering if the pop provocateur has gone too far.
“I invite (Lady Gaga) to learn more about the 5.6 million Americans who live with paralysis,” a steamed Jesse Billauer, founder of the quadriplegic advocacy group Life Rolls On, told Radar Online. “I extend a personal invitation to Lady Gaga to attend one of our Life Rolls On events where quadriplegics and paraplegics surf, skate, and snowboard, so she can see how much is possible beyond a wheelchair. Maybe that will be most shocking to her of all.”
The Roman Reed Foundation, a spinal cord injury research group, Tweeted: “Dear @ladygaga how about using your celebrity status 2 try 2 get us out of wheelchairs. Instead of cruising one. Cool?!”
Her Ladyship was even pelted with raw eggs as she was leaving a gay bar in Sydney after her wheelchair-bound performance.
This isn’t the first time Lady Gaga raised the ire of various advocacy groups by taking a wheelchair out for a spin. She rolls around in a wheelchair, immobilized with a neck brace, in the video for her hit “Paparazzi.” She also performed in a wheelchair at the 2009 MTV Music Awards.
At the time, Gaga dismissed the controversy by telling Vanity Fair that she was trying to “show the hilarity to which people will fame-whore themselves.”
Gaga also noted that she had met “girls in wheelchairs crying” who told the pop diva that the “Paparazzi” video had “changed their lives.”
But Billauer remains unimpressed by Gaga’s antics. Speaking of the disabled who participate in the Life Rolls On events, he says, “They, like me, unfortunately, don’t use a wheelchair for shock value.”
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