Unlike Bette Midler, Lady Gaga’s Mermaid In A Wheelchair Upsets Disability Groups

Lady Gaga Wheelchair Act Upends Disability Groups (watch!)
By TheImproper, July 14th, 2011

Lady Gaga added a wheelchair routine to her Sydney, Australia show, but disability groups were none too pleased with gesture. Odd, since the routine is hardly new.

Songstress Bette Midler performed a number, also wearing a mermaid’s tail, in her Vegas act and on national television 20 years ago, without a similar outcry.

The late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain also used a wheelchair as a prop at the 1992 Reading Festival to jab journalists who had speculated about his health and use of drugs.

Midway through her show before about 1,000 fans, Gaga appeared on stage in a wheelchair wearing a PVC mermaid tail. She sang her single “You And I.”

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While the audience roared in delight, disability groups contacted by the media expressed disapproval.

“I haven’t seen Lady Gaga’s performance, but respect her artistic expression as an artist,” Jesse Billauer, founder of the Life Rolls On Foundation, told gossip site radaronline.

“Since this isn’t the first time she has used a wheelchair in her performances, I invite her to learn more about the 5.6 million Americans who live with paralysis,” she said.

“They, like me, unfortunately, don’t use a wheelchair for shock value.”

“Dear @ladygaga how about using your celebrity status 2 try 2 get us out of wheelchairs. Instead of cruising one. Cool?!’ The Roman Reed Foundation, which promotes spinal cord injury research, posted on its Twitter page.

Someone should be protesting how Gaga shamelessly recycles other star’s acts.

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11 thoughts on “Unlike Bette Midler, Lady Gaga’s Mermaid In A Wheelchair Upsets Disability Groups

  1. Lady Gaga loses points with me every day. The fact that she ripped off Madonna is one thing, the fact that she is blatantly ripping off Bette is insane…does she think no one notices? Or that we are just too stupid to say anything about it?

  2. Who cares?
    People imitate others ALL the time. No one is an origianl, maybe original of “their time” , but thats as far as it goes.
    Its a wheelchair. If you are offended, turn off the tv. I’m offended when people use animals in jokes- ok so I just dont listen to them. Easy. This is a great world that there are so many freedoms- people need to worry about themselves and get the stick out of their

  3. i saw bette midler’s act way back in the day. nobody was offended, to my knowledge, and the entire show was hysterical! unlike lady gaga, bette is an extremely talented original.

  4. I’m not sure why the Life Rolls On Foundation, or any other similar disability foundations/groups have any reason to be offended, or even how it’s distasteful (other than Lady Gaga’s obvious aversion to creating art over recycling the art of others). Neither she nor the original Divine Miss M are portraying characters with a disability. They’re landlocked mermaids for crying out loud. Last I checked – mermaids couldn’t walk.

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