A few weeks ago, Johnny Depp blamed critics for the miserable performance of his latest blockbuster, The Lone Ranger. This week, it’s Lady Gaga’s turn.
In what could very well be a tightly scripted publicity stunt, Gaga let loose on Twitter, telling her fans not to listen to bloggers because they ruin music and treat artists unfairly. She even invented a #STOPHarassingTheArtist hashtag. It’s not clear what bloggers are harassing Lady Gaga – she’s such a massive pop star it’s hard to imagine her trolling blogs and weeping over every harsh comment. Isn’t she busy touring and approving costumes and building her floating mansion in Greece?
The same can be said of Depp. I haven’t seen The Lone Ranger so I don’t know if it’s as horrible as everyone says or if it’s actually pretty good. What I do know is that my choice not to run to the theater to see it has nothing to do with what some critic said and everything to do with Depp’s bizarre, hokey “Native American spirit warrior Tonto” getup. I made my decision about a year ago when the first stills from the movie appeared online. An “Open Letter To Johnny Depp’s Tonto” published by McSweeney’s around that time made me smile and nod in appreciation, but it didn’t cement my decision not to see the film. The trailer was what sealed the deal for me. The images spoke for themselves.
In Depp’s case, his blaming of the bloggers and critics just sounded like a case of Rich White Male Celebrity Problems (sorry Johnny, you’re not Tonto). Get over it, dude. Choose better movies that don’t suck up all of the studio’s money. Go relax on your private island for a bit, regroup, purge all of the fringe from your closets, and come back with a great little film where you actually act. No one feels sorry for you, or your Lone Ranger producers. You’re a celebrity and we want to love you, but whining about a flop after a wildly successful career? Not cute.
When it comes to Mama Monster, it’s very likely that this could all be a way to drum up some publicity in an “artsy,” conceptual way. Ranting on Twitter and then making a promo video telling people NOT to buy the new album Applause because Lady Gaga is “over” is very clever. Her legions of fans will buy her music no matter what the “bloggers” say. In fact, if the evil bloggers slam it, her diehard little Monsters will probably buy it twice.
Lady Gaga’s "message" has always been to be yourself and stop caring what anyone thinks of you, so I’m not sure why she cares about a few critics. Her brand is that of the oddball outsider, even though she’s definitely not an outsider anymore. She went on Ryan Seacrest’s radio show – not exactly the most underground, punk rock move, but she’s Gaga and she can do whatever she wants. She’s even spooning a giant crystal in performance-artist-to-the-stars Marina Abramovic’s weird new video (remember, she’s the one who stared down Jay-Z at his “Picasso Baby” stunt at Pace Gallery a few weeks back, and she covered James Franco in gold leaves for an episode of Iconoclasts – aka the “two celebrities kissing up to each other on TV” show on The Sundance Channel). But enough about Abramovic.
We want to love our favorite celebs, and sometimes we even adore them after they screw up. We forgive them because they entertain us, make us happy, and inspire us to dance alone in front of a mirror in our darkest hour. When they whine about a few insignificant bloggers and critics, though, it’s a real turnoff. The fans don’t care what a few bloggers say, so why should they?
As much as Gaga borrows from Madonna you'd think she'd adopt the attitude that's given Madonna a long career: