Close
BRAND NEW ON E!
Music Channel - Category Header 920x60

News/ 

Lady Gaga Slurs, er, Slips Up: Calls Madonna Comparisons "Retarded"

Lady Gaga, NME Cover NME

There's no doubt about it all right: Lady Gaga was born this way. By which we mean, controversial.

But those born another way—namely, not down with antiquated, offensive and non-PC slurs—aren't so supportive of her latest sound bite.

So what'd she say this time?

PHOTOS: Fashion Spotlight: Lady Gaga

Well, it started out harmless enough.

When discussing with NME magazine the persistent sentiment that her song "Born This Way" bears—from the tune's melody to its message to the video's imagery—a more than passing resemblance to Madonna's "Express Yourself," she attempted to defend her artistic integrity by denying that there was any intentional similarity.

"I swear to you. I am not stupid enough to put out a record and be that moronic," she told the mag.

"Listen to me. Why the f--k…? I'm a songwriter. I've written loads of music. Why would I try to put out a song and think I'm getting one over on everybody? That's retarded. What a completely ridiculous thing to even question me about."

But according to some equal rights activists (who ordinarily hail the singer's inclusive comments), the only completely ridiculous thing about it was Lady Gaga's unfortunate word choice.

In fairness to the singer, she was obviously shaken by the line of questioning, just moments later, according to the magazine, starting to cry, tell of her "shell-shockedness" and concern that fans don't think her a plagiarist. But if that's her defense, she's gonna have to do better.

"The Spread the Word to End the Word campaign is for everyone to learn more about the hurtful impact of the R-word on people with intellectual disabilities their families and friends," Kirsten Seckler, a spokeswoman for the Special Olympics, tells E! News. "We invite Lady Gaga to join our campaign by visiting r-word.org and taking the pledge and hope that she will use her voice to help us eliminate harmful language toward our athletes—as she has done for so many others."

For those unaware, use of the word "retarded" has long been derided by activist groups for its casual use, negative connotation and inherently prejudiced attitude toward the intellectually disabled—it's the hate speech equivalent, for them, as the already verboten N- and F-words.

A rep for the "R" Word Campaign tells E! News that the word is offensive, plain and simple.

"It's unfortunate whenever a celebrity uses the ‘r' word in careless expression," the group said in a statement. "The use of the ‘r' word offends millions of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families and their friends.  We remind everyone who is offended by the use of this ugly word that it's okay to stand up and say that you are offended.  It's not about freedom of speech, its simply about respect."

As for Gaga, her reps have yet to comment on the budding outcry.

—Additional reporting by Marcus Mulick

VIDEO: Lady Gaga talks AIDS awareness

RELATED VIDEOS:

FROM AROUND THE WEB
MORE ON EONLINE

Toned Tummy

Brooke Burke-Charvet flashes her fab abs in a tiny top