Lady Gaga's Scrapped Terry Richardson Music Video For 'Do What U Want' Is A Graphic Anti-Couture Nightmare
The latest chapter of the Terry Richardson saga has unfolded, and it concerns none other than Mother Monster herself, Lady Gaga. Gaga's much-anticipated music video for the song "Do What U Want" was reportedly slated to be released in December 2013, but several last-minute casting choices and one very questionable director have caused the project to stall. Ever the controversy-chaser, Gaga chose Terry Richardson as her director for the ill-fated project, and though she blamed materialistic executives as the cause behind the song's delayed production, some critics theorize that Richardson's believed misconduct has the singer reconsidering her video.
In a recently leaked clip of Gaga's video, it's clear that fashion was at the forefront of the song's intended focus thanks to Richardson's involvement, but the final product is more than a little unsettling and quite anti-clothing. Gaga begins the film evidently nude under a sheet as she prepares for some type of medical procedure. After whatever anesthesia she has been prepped with takes effect, Gaga enters a kind of dark fantasy world in which she wears newspaper clipping containing stories about herself and flails about, while a gleeful Terry Richardson photographs her. The only semblance of real clothing Gaga wears is a ruffled ball gown made out of you guessed it —newspaper. Which would have been almost beautiful if it weren't instantly replaced by a shot of Gaga in her birthday suit. This is to say nothing of the women dressed as nurses in what can barely be described as clothing, given that it covers as little skin as the average pair of underwear.
Who is fully clothed in the video, however, is Richardson, clad in his signature plaid shirt, and a medically outfitted R. Kelly, whose child pornography allegations resulted in his dismissal from the project. So for all of her feminist posturing and her commitment to encouraging fans to take pride in themselves, "Do What U Want" only gives men the chance to actually do what they want and to be clothed while they do it. Perhaps Gaga simply wanted to embrace her nude form as a way to harken back to "Born This Way", but between Terry Richardson's direction and the lack of clothed women, the video isn't exactly what one would call empowering, in terms of fashion or for its female viewers.