Barack Obama | Bullying | Lady Gaga | News

Lady Gaga Attends Obama Fundraiser in Silicon Valley, Questions President About Anti-Bullying Policies

Days after vowing she would meet with the President over the bullying suicide of Jamey Rodemeyer, Lady Gaga paid to attend a $35,800 per couple fundraiser at the home of Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg last night, according to a White House press pool report:

Gaga At 8pm pool was brought through the house, where Poker Face by Lady Gaga was playing, and into a white party tent set up in the back of the house. There were 7 large round tables – three on each side and one square in the middle in front of a small open space with an American and California state flag set up, where President Obama spoke.

At 8:03 pm Lady Gaga entered… delicately walking on sky-high heels (she towered over everyone, a good 2 feet taller than POTUS). She was wearing a floor-length sleeveless lacey black dress, her blonde hair was gathered in a bouffant up-do adorned with a black hair piece with a black veil down the back, which she swept to the side and in front of her left shoulder. (The hair added about 6 inches to her stature). She took a seat at the middle table in the tent and stood up with the other guests when POTUS entered a few minutes later.

Event was print pool only so no press photos.

POTUS spoke for about 8 minutes, with Lady Gaga sitting front and center. And although he never acknowledged her obvious presence, it seems likely the two crossed paths during greetings inside the house before the dinner.

ABC News has more:

According to a source present in the tent fundraiser, Gaga asked a question during the Q&A. She first thanked the president for what he’s accomplished, then read from what she said was a letter from a fan about the suicide of another fan who had been subjected to bullying. She thanked Obama for hosting his anti-bullying conference with Michelle Obama, and then made a general plea to everyone in the room, including the president, to do what they can to prevent bullying. Obama thanked her, spoke about his administration’s anti-bullying campaign, and then more generally about the importance of values and who we are as Americans. Before the dinner, Gaga came through the photo line with her manager. She and Obama reportedly spoke for two minutes, with many others in the room.

Gaga dedicated a performance of "Hair" to Rodemeyer over the weekend at an IHeartRadio concert. Watch the performance, in which she notes "bullying is for losers", HERE.

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Comments

  1. Love or hate her, at least she is true to her word.

    P.S. I must see a picture of her outfit. It sounds deliciously bizarre.

    Posted by: Rodney Wollam | Sep 26, 2011 9:11:41 AM


  2. That phony would do anything for publicity.

    Posted by: EW | Sep 26, 2011 9:25:07 AM


  3. @ EW - Appropriate handle.

    She talks the talk, but also walks the walk. If you think she is phony, you're welcome to your opinion. But as a pop star, she's done more that anyone to support LGBT causes.

    I would have loved to have seen that entrance! Thank you Gaga!

    Posted by: Married in MA | Sep 26, 2011 9:35:02 AM


  4. Phony or not, if a little publicity is the price for getting the President's ear on the issue of anti-gay bullying and teen suicides, then I think it's a fair trade.

    Good for Gaga.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Sep 26, 2011 9:54:21 AM


  5. I think it's commendable that Lady Gaga appeared at this function to take up the cause of fighting anti-gay bullying. Highly commendable, in fact. I doubt there are any other female music performers who would do this - not Rihanna, not Britney, not Kesha, not Beyonce.

    Posted by: bruce | Sep 26, 2011 9:57:32 AM


  6. I dont understand all the Gaga hate. Can someone explain why so many hate our biggest allies? Arguably THE biggest star right now is on OUR side. She does not need us for publicity. She is giving us her publicity. Do you understand this concept EW? WE are not giving HER anything. SHE is giving her publicity to OUR CAUSES. Let me know when you finally understand this. She is taking her media capital and spending it on us, instead of promoting something else. If assholes like EW spent as much time crucifying our REAL enemies as they do coming up with snide things to say about our heroes then we'd accomplish a lot more. Ever heard of Maggie Gallagher, EW? She hates you. Go come up with something to do about her and quit giving Gaga a hard time.

    Posted by: JWL | Sep 26, 2011 10:04:40 AM


  7. I think she's done so much for our group so thank you GAGA!

    Posted by: Ted | Sep 26, 2011 10:08:02 AM


  8. Gaga does good.

    Posted by: Philo | Sep 26, 2011 10:20:47 AM


  9. Geez are people really so cynical that they can't believe that someone in state of power/influence would actually try to make the world a better place...

    and really if Gaga wanted publicity she could get a reality TV show or a Magazine cover -> but NO she took time out of her life (and $$$) to fight for bullying victims

    Posted by: luke | Sep 26, 2011 10:24:19 AM


  10. @EW: You must have not had an audience with anyone as I've never even heard of you. What have you done to prevent bullying? Ever?

    Jealous much?

    Posted by: Marc C | Sep 26, 2011 10:24:54 AM


  11. The problem is that Obama is not pro-gay. His response to Lady Gaga was a mere platitude and nothing of any substance. Obama has been a huge disappointment on gay rights. On DADT repeal, he had to be dragged kicking and screaming into supporting it.

    Posted by: jason | Sep 26, 2011 10:25:50 AM


  12. Sorry Jason, you cannot name a President who has done more for the gay community under his watch than Obama and given the state of politics, he will be the last because people like you cannot be bothered to read beyond the news bites.

    Posted by: Polyboy | Sep 26, 2011 10:31:59 AM


  13. Obama may not be 'pro-gay' enough for your liking, but he is more gay supportive than any other person running for president at the moment (excepting no-chance Fred Karger, and even that's arguable).

    Posted by: Gregoire | Sep 26, 2011 10:46:17 AM


  14. @Johnson: Only a Republican would wish for someone's death.
    Were you at the debates cheering for the death of the dying unemployed man too? Or perhaps you were one of those who booed the gay American soldier serving in Iraq?
    You disgust me.

    Posted by: Rodney Wollam | Sep 26, 2011 10:48:11 AM


  15. @Gregoire: That includes Karger, who wants the issue of gay marriage to be left up to the states (which effectively makes it an impossibility in places like the deep South).

    Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 26, 2011 10:50:16 AM


  16. "I dont understand all the Gaga hate. Can someone explain why so many hate our biggest allies?"

    Because some of us are as sick and tired of straight women presuming to represent us and speak for us (regardless of how well-meaning they may be) as we are of those of you who live your lives vicariously through them, bow at their feet, and docilely follow them, even when they insult us with lines like "Don't be a drag, just be a queen".

    It is time for gay men to stop hiding behind women's skirts, speak for ourselves--with some courage, open a dialogue with straight men, and really solve the problem of homophobia in the context of the overall male culture.

    That is the only thing that will bring about real change in the long run.

    Of course, you have to have a truly male identity to begin with to do that, which is obviously a challenge for a great many of you.

    Posted by: RIck | Sep 26, 2011 10:59:54 AM


  17. I have no problems with Gaga's activism. There's no doubt in my mind that she is genuinely supportive of our community and our cause. And I agree, she puts her money where her mouth is every time. Don't understand the hate directed towards her in that aspect.

    All that said... too bad her music is complete trash.

    Posted by: BEAHBEAH | Sep 26, 2011 11:01:29 AM


  18. @ Johnson - A fading star? Yeah, right... she's going to around for a long time. Same people said that about Madonna in the eighties. She's still kicking.

    BTW this was not a photo op for Gaga. There were no cameras, no video... and it cost her over $35K. Have you done as much?

    Posted by: Married in MA | Sep 26, 2011 11:04:41 AM


  19. LOL @ RICK.

    You are the first man I've ever heard of who suffered penis envy toward women.

    Jesus, help him....LOL.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Sep 26, 2011 11:07:03 AM


  20. Was the president expected to take her seriously in her get up? Or was it "Lady Gaga Goes to Washington" instead of "Stephanie Germinotta Talks About Bullying"?

    Good for her for going, and paying a drop in the ocean of the millions she makes from her fans to attend, but it doesn't sound like she really caught his ear. And quite frankly, I doubt it's her fault, since it doesn't seem like the kind of event where anyone but the President is going to have much say about the issue, pop star or otherwise.

    I also think it's great that fans are so defensive that they react with arguments that suggest that gaga's contributions outweigh the contributions that people who don't make millions of dollars each year are able to put in. Is Gaga picking up the phone and sitting all night in case kids decide to call the crisis line? Nope. But apparently that means so much less than her stage theatrics and a 15-minute production of a song. Is she the one doing intakes on kids who end up in crisis centers? Nope. But apparently it's not as important has her high profile and reportedly ineffective visit to a POTUS conference dinner, which blasts work like that out of the water.

    It's also pathetic that the other argument is that people who criticize Gaga's all-consuming stage persona and her investigate her sincerity AREN'T also criticizing anti-gay figures. How absurd and specious. Maybe those people should join FOX News, since they seem just as willing to lob a "if you're criticizing America, why aren't you criticizing terrorists" argument just as much as Monsters seem to like throwing around the "if you're criticizing Gaga, why aren't your criticizing Maggie Ghallagher" dribble.

    What Gaga does is important from where she is (far removed with only the internet to connect her directly to fanbase), but it's sad that her fans defend her contributions by ignoring the reality of her privilege and resources and denigrating the work that happens on the ground by people who aren't in Mugler corsets and McQueen hoof heels. Those are the people who really do the work for kids in crisis, outside of their 9 - 5 jobs, and who will never develop a drooling fanbase of gay men willing to throw $150+ to see them or thank them. From her fans' defensive arguments, you would think that every volunteer should just pack it up because they'll never send a message that reaches millions of people on Twitter. Who are they, picking up the phone and talking a kid down, when Gaga can make a lukewarm anthem in 15 minutes and be celebrated as the REAL hero for our community. Have her many screaming fans taken the time to stop at a local crisis line, shelter, or LGBT center and thank one of those people, let alone offer their own time?

    Instead, those fans will be just as likely to NOT join an organization like PFLAG, Trevor Project, Ruth Ellis, True Colors, NSPL, or SPEAK UP. And can you imagine what would happen if this drooling fanbase decided that instead of throwing their money at Gaga, they would donate that $150 to one of those groups? But their time is better spent clubbing and drinking and partying to the latest Gaga single than volunteering or donating. Thankfully for them, listening to "Born This Way" allows everyone to FEEL as though they're contributing, even if they're not. Meanwhile, shelters and centers for gay youth shut down from a lack of funding. The number of beds for youth in homeless shelters reduces. One less person picks up the phone when a kid on the verge of suicide calls late at night. In fact, in Michigan, Ruth Ellis Center struggles every year to have the resources and staff to support homeless LGBT youth of color. In Atlanta, there isn't even a city LGBT center for kids to go. Thank God that Youth Pride exists, because gay kids under 21 would have nowhere else to go in a community concerned primarily with gay bars and high-priced VIP pride parties.

    Lady Gaga may be doing her part, but I have to wonder what sort contributions many of her rabid fans are making while they broach of the topic of her detractors' supposed inactivity? It's good to ask what EW is doing, but really, what have YOU done? Giving your money to Gaga doesn't count as giving back to a community that needs you.

    Posted by: luminum | Sep 26, 2011 11:09:34 AM


  21. Rodemeyer was a fan of Gaga and he directly referred to her before he killed himself. THAT is why she spent $35,000 for two minutes with President Obama. Get over your bitchy selves. It wasn't for you, it was for Jamey Rodemeyer.

    Posted by: Boone | Sep 26, 2011 11:12:39 AM


  22. @Derrrick Tell me, Derrick, how would you feel about a white man presuming to speak for and represent African-Americans, recording an "anthem" for you without your consent, and including a line n it like "Don't be a dropout, just be an unemployed thug"?

    Yeah, that's what I thought....

    Posted by: RIck | Sep 26, 2011 11:13:41 AM


  23. and you know, Luminum, your essay of excuses only proves me right.

    we get it. you choose to dislike Gaga. doesn't make you noble, nor a unique rebel.

    it makes you just like every other tired-ass homosexual who needs to dislike what they feel everyone else likes in order to feel special.

    newsflash - you're not special.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Sep 26, 2011 11:23:12 AM


  24. @RICK...You must be such a sad person.

    Posted by: wonderer | Sep 26, 2011 11:27:25 AM


  25. When Lady Gaga can find her voice without the constant visual circus and distraction, she will probably have grown up and will finally understand, hopefully along with her fans, that the seriousness of the issues she is supposedly passionate about deserves the respect that a serious person might give them. Paying to gain access to the President in a clown outfit and then making another of her adolescent pleas where it is inappropriate and disrespectful only further reveals her lack of true self-empowerment. It isn't her fault that she is young, but it certainly makes you wonder why she is given such credence by some and seen as a joke by so many others. While I respect her desire to show she is moved by her fans, I think it is misguided and naive to demand anti-bullying laws. It would be impossible to legislate. Instead we should focus our attention on providing more psychological counseling to children and adolescents free from political and religious agendas, and demand that our government respect the separation of Church and State as per the founding laws of our country, thus allowing for a truly serious national conversation that might help to empower our Youth independent of fluffy pop, even if it is enjoyable or a beacon of hope to those caught in the dark.

    Posted by: Alex N | Sep 26, 2011 11:30:57 AM


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