Phil Reese

Why is Lady Gaga playing the discriminatory TODAY Show?

Filed By Phil Reese | July 07, 2010 6:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Media
Tags: boycotts, civil disobedience, GLAAD, justice, Lady Gaga, LGBT civil rights, marriage equality, Meredith Vieira, relationship recognition, same-sex marriage, TODAY show, wedding

Hey, we've all been there. We've all had jobs or done work just for the money.GaGaNoNo.png

Today I'm a proponent of "locally owned, locally grown," "buy local, shop local, eat local." I'm a nearly-vegan vegetarian (I did put mayo-based Cajun remoulade on my sandwich last night, so not there yet). But you know how I got through college?

"Welcome to McDonald's, would you like to try the new triple-fat fat McFatty today?"

Growing up slightly less than rich (okay, way more than slightly less), I understand doin' it because you need the money, but Lady Gaga isn't hurting for money: she's one of the richest stars on the planet.

Why, then — as the vice grip of intolerance and bigotry has seemed to tighten this year — is she playing a TV show that is blatantly and cruelly excluding her community in a very public way?

Later this week, La Gaga is playing the Meredith Vieira-helmed morning show in the midst of what is about to become a community-wide boycott. You see, the TODAY Show refuses to allow same-sex couples enter their "Modern Wedding" contest, despite same-sex marriage being legal in four states a short drive or train ride from the TODAY Show's Manhattan studio.

The show charges, "For the TODAY show wedding, the couple must be able to be legally married in New York, which is where the wedding will take place."

Of course, this just underscores the negligence of the New York state legislature who had had the chance to snag marriage equality for the past two years, and have blundered every step of the way. This should embolden our community to fight with more fervor, like groups such as Fight Back New York.

However, Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) contends that New York recognizes out-of-state marriage licenses for same-sex couples. A couple could get their marriage licence in their home state — say Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hamshire, Iowa, Connecticut or Washington DC — and have the wedding in Times Square, and it would be recognized and legal in New York state.

Meanwhile, the openly bisexual Lady Gaga, who spoke out against "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" on Larry King, has taken almost every opportunity to defend our community and marched along beside us at the National Equality March in October of 2009, but has said nothing about the TODAY Show's clearly outdated rules.

If Gaga doesn't plan to cancel her concert, the least she could do would be to make it an opportunity to make a bold statement. She could change the lyrics of Alejandro to "Al is unfair," the lyrics of "Bad Romance" from "I want your loving or your lover's revenge" to "We can't get married and we're taking revenge," or the lyrics of "Telephone" to "Stop banning, stop banning, gays deserve their shot on this show!"

In all seriousness, Lady Gaga needs to make a statement during her concert in defense of all of the second class citizens she claims community with. She could encourage viewers to sign the GLAAD petition, or call and write the producers. If not, you can bet there will be many folk in the crowd who do, and the competing messages may detract from the attention on her.

I would hope that the Gaga fans cognizant of this bigoted policy will help put the pressure on her to make a bold move. The question is, how do we make the "Haus of Ga" stand up and notice? There's got to be some "Little Monsters" out there who will Facebook, Tweet and blog about this, right?

Bottom line: this is a critical moment for Lady Gaga. She can just go ahead and make those dollars as planned, or she can take this stage and this very public opportunity to change hearts and minds and call attention to this blatantly homophobic policy.

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Nice post, but you do realize that GLAAD = Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, right? Not Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders.

Yes, Tanya, thank you--sometimes my fingers are faster than my brain.

Both organizations exist in our community but have very different missions. GLAAD is media and public image, while GLAD is litigation. I wanted to parse out the acronym for those less familiar, and ended up confusing people even more!

Mea culpa!


We don't know if Lady Gaga will (or will not) comment on the discriminatory TODAY Show wedding contest.

If would be great if she does.

However this may all blow over soon because:

NBC’s Today Show Asks To Meet With GLAAD



Hmmmm.... just to play devil's advocate for a moment... I doubt the Today Show pays all that much, so your linking her performance to the quest for riches might be off the mark? Truth is; those Friday Today Show concerts are a huge platform with millions of viewers who could be ensnared by the Gaga mystique and hence, message.
You have to bring the horse to water before you can (later) make them drink your anti-dicrimination message, eh?

>Bottom line: this is a critical moment for Lady Gaga.

Are you kidding me?
Did you see the Larry King or any other interview with this celebrity? There is nothing upstairs.

Why do you some of you continue to latch onto and encourage these tabloid scatterbrains to be your representatives and spokespersons?

Paige Listerud | July 8, 2010 6:17 PM

When Gaga was first picked to speak at the National Equality March, I was sure her speech was going to be a bisexual shame moment. However, girl toned down her look, focussed her remarks on the needs of LGBT and addressed her commitment to fighting homophobia in the music industry. Well done, Gaga.

It's appropriate now to remind her to broaden that promise to fighting homophobia in the "entertainment" industry, which, of course, includes infotainment shows like TODAY. Send on this post to her agent and I am sure she will make some statement pertinent to TODAY's misguided exclusion of same-sex married couples.