Pop music fans are known for their passion and loyalty, and Lady Gaga‘s Little Monsters are certainly in the debate regarding Most Passionate Fanbase (we see you, too, BeyHive, Directioners and Beliebers). But with rabid fandom sometimes comes an uglier side, made worse by the Internet, hinging on bullying and threats directed at whoever dares to criticize a particular stanbase’s queen. While it’s ridiculous to generalize about an entire group of fans based on a few incidents, there’s no getting around the fact that certain sects of Gaga’s Monsters have been known to represent the exact opposite of the star’s Born This Way, anti-bullying mantra.
Kelly Osbourne, Deadmau5 and now Perez Hilton have all claimed that they’ve received death threats from fans after criticizing Mother Monster. So Monday (August 19), probably spurred by her ugly Twitter spat with Perez Hilton, Gaga penned an open letter asking fans to stop with the vitriol. “Sending threats of any kind, using hateful or abusive language, and the provoking of others on the internet is not supported by me or anything that I stand for,” she wrote. “What I’ve seen transpiring is wrong and upsetting to me[...] what I see on the internet is not what I see at my shows.”
Gaga added: “I ask you to take a pledge with me to continue the change toward positivity, and to recognize that this behavior is wrong.” Read the full text below, or at the Born This Way Foundation.
I’ve said this to the fans time and time again, whether it be in person or in tweets, as well as the through the message and campaign of the Born This Way Foundation. My mother and I are passionate about tolerance, acceptance, and kindness, and I’ve made it a point early in my career to make it known that this is what I stand for as an artist.
While it may be difficult at times to hear the things that people say and write about me, or the nature of the industry that builds us up to tear us down, I feel the need to address you all here on behalf of the Born This Way Foundation.
Sending threats of any kind, using hateful or abusive language, and the provoking of others on the internet is not supported by me or anything that I stand for. What I’ve seen transpiring is wrong and upsetting to me, and I’ve made it very clear how I feel about equality and compassion.
I know how angry you feel sometimes, and I know that when they say things about me you feel that they are saying them about you as well. But music is about love, and is about sharing in the magic of theater. Although pop culture and society have become more negative and critical of the artist over the years, by engaging in this negativity you are allowing it to spread.
I ask you to take a pledge with me to continue the change toward positivity, and to recognize that this behavior is wrong. We are stronger than this. We know what we stand for, and what we stand for is bravery. I know this because what I see on the internet is not what I see at my shows. People deal with their insecurities in many different ways. The anonymous nature of social media has made it easy for many to vent their anger by bullying others with no recourse or accountability. But this is not a healthy way to handle your emotions.
This is exactly what my mother and I aim to teach with the Born This Way Foundation. Promoting skill building and mental health awareness that provides another outlet for your feelings. Put it in your art, put it in your music, put it in your creativity. Stop the Drama, Start the Music.
I also ask that Twitter and other social media platforms support this effort to monitor and control abusive and threatening language, as I don’t know that I am powerful enough to stop it myself. Please represent me and our community with the values we cherish and live by.
I love you.”
You can’t blame a star for fan actions, certainly when the star is preaching the exact opposite behavior. But Kelly Osbourne had her share of supporters when she called Gaga a hypocrite, saying “Don’t say, ‘When you see bullying, intervene,’ while letting your fans send me death threats. If my fans did that, I would not stand for it.” But, to be fair, Gaga has told her fans to stop threatening and cyber-bullying in various tweets and informal pleas, though this letter serves as her clearest, most direct admonishment yet.
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