Lady Gaga has apologized for her prior collaboration with R Kelly, after coming under fire for working with the embattled singer who is the subject of a scathing new docuseries about sexual abuse allegations.
‘What I am hearing about the allegations against R Kelly is absolutely horrifying and indefensible,’ Gaga wrote in a statement on Wednesday apologizing for the 2013 single Do What U Want.
‘As a victim of sexual assault myself, I made both the song and the video at a dark time in my life, my intention was to reate something extremely defiant and provocative because I was angry and still hadn’t processed the trauma that had occurred in my own life,’ she continued.
Gaga said that she stands behind the women who spoke out in the docuseries Surviving R Kelly, and feels ‘strongly that their voices should be heard and taken seriously.’
Lady Gaga, seen above with R Kelly on SNL in 2013, has apologized for the collaboration
Lady Gaga poses with the award for Best Original Song – Motion Picture for ‘Shallow (A Star is Born)’ on Sunday and will likely be nominated for multiple Oscars
Gaga posted this apology statement on Twitter on Wednesday night
Gaga went on to say that she intends to remove the song from iTunes and other streaming platforms, and will never work with R Kelly again.
The apology comes just six weeks before the Oscars, where Gaga, who took home best original song at the Golden Globes on Sunday, will likely be up for multiple awards.
It follows a Monday interview with a producer behind the Lifetime docuseries Surviving R Kelly, who harshly criticized Gaga.
Producer Dream Hampton said on Sirius XM’s The Karen Hunter Show that while Gaga’s refusal to participate in the program was not a huge disappointment, she did still have some questions for the singer.
‘I wanted to know how Lady Gaga could be on SNL with him as someone who advocates for domestic abuse survivors and was, you know, had this ridiculous performance with him on SNL,’ explained hampton.
Gaga not only worked with Kelly, but defended the singer during a 2013 press conference in Japan when asked why she collaborated with the embattled artist after his child pronography trial.
‘R Kelly and I have sometimes, very untrue things written about us, so in a way this was a bond between us,’ said Gaga of their work together on the single ‘Do What U Want.’
Survivor: Lady Gaga was criticized by Dream Hampton in an interview on Monday, with the Surviving R Kelly producer again noting her refusal to participate in the show (Lisa Van Allen above, one of Kelly’s accusers, recounting how she learned he wanted to kill her)
Collaborators: Gaga said she and R Kelly have ‘very untrue things written about us, so in a way this was a bond between us’ during a 2013 interview (left in 2013 on SNL, right that same year at the American Music Awards)
Gaga is also one of the most vocal members of the Time’s Up movement, and has very publicly supported women like Ke$ha and Christine Blasey Ford when they went public with their allegations of sexual harassment and abuse.
‘@LadyGaga’s silence on this entire @RKelly ordeal goes to show how white women seldom return the favor when it comes to supporting Black women during the #MeToo era,’ wrote journalist Ernest Owens on Twitter.
‘Hold up lady gaga had that whole performance about sexual assault survivors but she couldn’t interview for the r Kelly docuseries?? An abuser??’ noted another Twitter user, referencing Gaga’s performance at the 2016 Academy Awards.
Gaga lavished praise on Kelly back in 2013 after selecting him to appear on her Artpop single ‘Do What U Want’ at the suggestion of her producer.
That was five years after Kelly was acquitted in his child pronography trial that centered around a sex tape that allegedly showed him raping and then urinating on a 14-year-old girl.
There were also allegations from a number of other young woman at that time, but it did not stop Gaga and Kelly from staging provocative and highly sexualized performances of the song at the American Music Awards and on Saturday Night Live.
The two even shot a video with Terry Richardson, who had also been accused of sexually assaulting multiple young women at that time.
Both Kelly and Richardson have long denied the remarkably similar allegations made against them by multiple women over the past two decades.
That video was eventually shelved after it was deemed too sexually explicit by members of Gaga’s camp.
‘I’m confused how @LadyGaga can be so vocal in her support of #MeToo yet remain silent about R. Kelly who by the time she collaborated with him was a well known pedophile and sexual predator,’ said writer Tzynya L. Pinchback in a post over the weekend.
Gaga also showed her affinity for Kelly on Twitter, quoting their song in a 2013 tweet and the following year writing: ‘#ARTPOPMemories Me & the sensational R Kelly turning up the Oval Office, Doing What We Want, no matter what they say.’
That tweet included a photo of her and Kelly at the AMAs, a performance in which the two role played Bill Clinton and former White House intern Monica Lewinsky on a set designed to look like the Oval Office.
She did eventually record a second version of the song with Christina Aguilera and has stopped performing it in concert, with a recent guest at her Vegas residency telling DailyMail.com that Do What U Want is not on the set list.
Alleged victim: Gaga refused to participate in the new Lifetime docuseries Surviving R Kelly and has yet to comment on the allegations made against the singer by his victims (Kelly and the underage minor who was alleged to appear in a sex tape with him at the age of 14)
Tweet: Gaga is also one of the most vocal members of the Time’s Up movement, and has very publicly supported women like Ke$ha and Christine Blasey Ford
‘@LadyGaga’s silence on this entire @RKelly ordeal goes to show how white women seldom return the favor when it comes to supporting Black women during the #MeToo era,’ wrote journalist Ernest Owens on Twitter
‘Hold up lady gaga had that whole performance about sexual assault survivors but she couldn’t interview for the r Kelly docuseries?? An abuser??’ noted another Twitter user, referencing Gaga’s performance at the 2016 Academy Awards
‘I’m confused how @LadyGaga can be so vocal in her support of #MeToo yet remain silent about R. Kelly who by the time she collaborated with him was a well known pedophile and sexual predator,’ said writer Tzynya L. Pinchback
The singer did not however speak out about Kelly, something that Azealia Banks called her out on in 2017 after the release of a Buzzfeed expose about some of the alleged victims.
‘Is Gaga going to speak on behalf of this or …. is she okay with collaborating with him yet again after proving he’s a trash individual?’ wrote Banks on Twitter.
In her since-deleted thread, Banks went on to state: ‘She said I have “a bad attitude” … how about this man has actually been videotaped peeing on a fourteen year old?’
Banks continued: ‘These people need to be held accountable for their hypocrisy. And are soooo quick to condemn and ostracize black women for having “a bad attitude.”‘
She then closed out by stating: ‘Kesha’s womanhood is more important to Gaga than the womanhood of the girl being peed on. So she will boycott luke and use r.kelly.’
Surviving R Kelly’s producer and driving force, dream hampton, spoke about the issue of race when it comes to sexual assault in an interview with The New York Times last week.
‘We know black boys are perceived to be older than they are by police, and we absolutely do an equivalent thing to black girls,’ explained hampton.
‘We perceive them to be more sexual at an early age. We perceive them to be older. And that is rooted — there is no other way to say it, and it’s not hyperbole to say — it’s absolutely rooted in this country’s history of slavery, which has gone on longer than it hasn’t.’
It was also hampton who told the Detroit Free Press that Gaga refused to participate in the series, saying: ‘We asked Lady Gaga. We asked Erykah Badu. We asked Celine Dion. We asked Jay-Z. We asked Dave Chappelle.’
All declined, with John Legend the lone male artist to participate in the series.
Legend tossed aside the praise that was directed his way for that move and said it was hampton and the brave victims who deserved the accolades for speaking out.
‘No one cared because we were black girls,’ said writer Mikki Kendall during the series, referring to both the media who did not fully cover the allegations and the members of the music industry who welcomes the singer back into the fold.