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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 4, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 22
Lady Gaga censored on Glee, Good Morning America
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Lady Gaga censored on Glee, Good Morning America

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

When 'Born This Way,' the first single named after the 2011 album and third studio release by pop icon Lady Gaga was released, it caused an uproar. Some members of the LGBT community liked it. Others did not. But as the song climbed the charts and those catchy lyrics ('No matter Gay, straight, or Bi/Lesbian, Transgendered life/I'm on the right track, baby/I was born to survive') crept into the mainstream, there was no debate that the Gay anthem was a hit.

In Malaysia and the Philippines, radio stations snipped the LGBT lyrics from 'Born This Way' because of a governmental reaction to the words. No surprise there; sometimes foreign governments that are not LGBT-friendly, or rule based on religious influence, censor artists - even the queen of the Gays, Lady Gaga.

That Glee would stoop to this level, however, was a bit of a surprise. In a recent episode, hailed as a triumph for LGBT representation on network television, some of Lady Gaga's lyrics were omitted. Even though Gay character Kurt (Chris Colfer) wore a shirt that stated 'LIKES BOYS,' the Glee cast left out the LGBT-specific verse.

Then, last week, Lady Gaga omitted the lyrics during a live appearance on ABC's Good Morning America.

What gives?

'One could argue time restraints on GMA caused the singer to shorten the tune,' wrote Lisa Derrick, a pop culture journalist for Huffington Post. 'But Glee? Really?! Glee certainly has plenty of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual story lines, and infamously used the pejorative term 'Tranny' in the Rocky Horror Picture Show episode, so it's not like the program is unfamiliar with Transgenders. Or unwilling to acknowledge they exist, even though it's with a slur.'

To be fair, shows like Good Morning America sometimes ask musicians to shorten their sings to fit an allotted time slot, so it is possible that Gaga was asked to do the same thing. But even so, Lady Gaga has the power. She was the one singing into the mic and could've cut any number of other lyrics to accommodate the very people the song was written for - us, the LGBT community.

Historically, GMA does not have a good track record when it comes to LGBT issues. The show asked Britney Spears to perform sans drag queens, cancelled Adam Lambert's appearance after his same-sex kiss at the American Music Awards, and expressed worry over two Oscar-winning actors hugging.

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