Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation Only Gave $5,000 to the Cause. WTF, Gaga?
Oh, look: another celebrity-fronted charity foundation that doesn't really do all that much charity work. This time the culprit is Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation, which would much rather spend its 2.1 million dollars on anything other than giving it away to organizations or individuals in need. Because, you know, "charitable foundation" these days is just code for "vanity project to make me feel better about myself and my exorbitant wealth!" Uuuuugghhhh.
According to writer Roger Friedman who did the research, the vast majority of the money went to that oh-so-descriptive and informative "other" category. Over $806,000 of it, in fact! The rest breaks down as follows: $300,000 for strategic consulting; $62,836 for stage productions; $50,000 for social media; another $50,000 for event coordination; $406,552 for legal; $150,000 for philanthropic consulting; $60,000 for research; $58,768 for publicity fees; $78,000 for travel; $72,000 for the BTWF's employee salaries; and $808,661 for "other" expenses. Only $5,000 was spent on grants to organizations or individuals.
Seems like the only people that actually benefitted from the foundation's existence were Lady Gaga herself, lawyers, consultants, and publicists. COOL STORY!
The biggest expense, $808,661 for "other" is, perhaps, the most upsetting. "Other?" What in the actual fuck does that even mean? To lump a bunch of random stuff all together into one big "other" slush fund, especially considering the incredibly paltry amount given to, you know, actual charity work — I cannot get over this. FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS! — is sort of offensive to the many kids (and yes: I'm sure MANY of them were kids/fans of Gaga's) who donated $2.6 million dollars of their own hard-earned money to the foundation.
Because: what the fuck constitutes an "other" expense? Likely those are fees for incidentals — expenses that just "come up" as a production rolls along — but what sort of things come up when you're not using your money for what you said you would? We imagine the breakdown looks like this:
$808,661 "Other" Expenses:
- $42,692 for hair extensions, all colors
- $39,777 for a tiger to keep around just 'cuz
- $12,701 for body paint
- $67,499 for glitter, LARGE
- $43,113 for glitter, SMALL
- $15,604 for a sign that plays "The More You Know!" PSA theme song when Gaga leaves the room
- $41,202 on Diet Coke
- $73,222 on actual coke
- $300,001 for fly nail art
- $120,505 for equality flags to keep around the office
- $52,345 for Chik-fil-a Fridays (free lunch!!)
Because clearly it could be just about as random as all of that, given the absurd vagueness of the word "other." Goddamn "other;" goddamn it straight to hell 'cuz it was ♪♫♪ born that way♪♫♪.
And the saddest part about it is that this isn't even the first time this has happened with Gaga (maybe that's why the legal fees were so impressively large). The singer was also sued and forced to pay $100,000 for scamming a Japanese earthquake relief charity. I suppose the question that remains now is: what sort of monsters (and not the good kind) does she have running stuff for her? Or does she just care that little?
Listen, there are many, many instances of this sad sort of affairs, but there's always a chance you could give your money to places that will actually use it for good rather than gummy bracelets and faux-karma points. Like the Elton John AIDS Foundation, or The Trevor Project, or the It Gets Better Project. Just give your money to literally anyone other than Lady Gaga. Please.