Warning: This article deals with explicit themes of rape/sexual assault and may be triggering for survivors of abuse.
In November last year, Lady Gaga released a song called ‘Do What U Want’.
When the song was released, she promised a Gaga-standard crazy music video to go with it. The video was to star rapper R Kelly, and be directed by none other than Terry Richardson, the man behind Miley Cyrus’ ‘Wrecking Ball’ clip.
However, Lady Gaga never released that video.
At the time, the singer cited time constraints and “those who have betrayed me” as the reasons behind the video’s disappearance. But, this week, a leaked version has been obtained by TMZ, and everyone’s starting to wonder if the video was actually pulled because – even for a song with the principle refrain ‘do what you want with my body’ – it was glorified rape.
This is the leaked video. It’s very short, but very NSFW.
For those of you who can’t watch, the clip starts with naked Gaga being put under anaesthetic by rapper R Kelly. Once she is unconscious, she is gyrated on by a bunch of dancers. She then writhes around on the floor naked in some newspapers.
Some context: R Kelly and Terry Richardson both do not have a clean record when it comes to sexual assault allegations. Kelly was charged after video surfaced of him allegedly having sex with and urinating on an underage girl in 2002. Following a series of procedural blunders on behalf of the prosecution, he was found not guilty in 2008. Terry Richardson has been accused of various exploitative behaviours when working with fashion models. The release of the video would have coincided with heightened allegations surrounding Richardson, with several online petitions asking brands and publications to boycott his work.
A source told the New York Post: “Gaga had a video directed by an alleged sexual predator, starring another sexual predator. With the theme, ‘I’m going to do whatever I want with your body’? It was literally an ad for rape.”
Thank goodness someone in the land of Gaga realised what a heinous idea this was.
If this post brings up any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call the NSW Rape Crisis Centre on 1800 RESPECT (1800 424 017). It doesn’t matter if you do not live in NSW, or even in Australia, they will take your call and, if need be, refer you to a service closer to home.