Lady Gaga added a wheelchair routine to her Sydney, Australia show, but disability groups were none too pleased with gesture. Odd, since the routine is hardly new.
Songstress Bette Midler performed a number, also wearing a mermaid’s tail, in her Vegas act and on national television 20 years ago, without a similar outcry.
The late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain also used a wheelchair as a prop at the 1992 Reading Festival to jab journalists who had speculated about his health and use of drugs.
Midway through her show before about 1,000 fans, Gaga appeared on stage in a wheelchair wearing a PVC mermaid tail. She sang her single “You And I.”
While the audience roared in delight, disability groups contacted by the media expressed disapproval.
“I haven’t seen Lady Gaga’s performance, but respect her artistic expression as an artist,” Jesse Billauer, founder of the Life Rolls On Foundation, told gossip site radaronline.
“Since this isn’t the first time she has used a wheelchair in her performances, I invite her to learn more about the 5.6 million Americans who live with paralysis,” she said.
“They, like me, unfortunately, don’t use a wheelchair for shock value.”
“Dear @ladygaga how about using your celebrity status 2 try 2 get us out of wheelchairs. Instead of cruising one. Cool?!’ The Roman Reed Foundation, which promotes spinal cord injury research, posted on its Twitter page.
Someone should be protesting how Gaga shamelessly recycles other star’s acts.
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