In case you haven’t heard, we as a culture are back to hating Lady Gaga this week, thanks to her teary assertions that her latest single, “Judas,” was sent to her by God, her refusal to acknowledge the similarities between “Born This Way” and “Express Yourself,” and a hilariously bad (and meme-worthy) album cover. But she may have crossed a line with her latest exploit: refusing pop-music patron saint “Weird Al” Yankovic.
According to a lengthy post on Weird Al’s blog, Gaga wouldn’t give permission for him to release the parody “Perform This Way”—a hiccup that has subsequently delayed the release of Yankovic’s upcoming album. Weird Al has historically always sought (and received) permission for his parodies, presumably expecting that most pop stars, regardless of how notorious their three-year careers have been, are willing to defer to his three-decades-plus track record of musical success and being a generally awesome and beloved figure. But apparently this is one of Madonna’s footsteps Gaga isn’t willing to follow in, even after Weird Al offered to donate all proceeds from the song and video to the Human Rights Campaign.
UPDATE: According to TMZ and A.V. Club founder/NPR Music Editor Stephen Thompson, Lady Gaga's camp is saying she never even heard "Perform This Way," much less rejected it, and is "a huge Weird Al fan." We've reached out to Weird Al for a response and will report any further developments.
UPDATE UPDATE: Looks like our hours-long national nightmare is over: According to a tweet from Thompson, who spoke to Weird Al, Lady Gaga has personally approved the release of "I Perform This Way." As for how this whole thing got started, according to a new blog post from Weird Al, "Gaga’s manager has now admitted that he never forwarded my parody to Gaga – she had no idea at all. Even though we assumed that Gaga herself was the one making the decision (because, well, that’s what we were TOLD), he apparently made the decision completely on his own."
So, haters will have to find another reason to rally against Ms. Germanotta this week.
But “Perform This Way” is not lost to the ages, because, in Weird Al’s words, “Of course I will respect Gaga’s wishes. However, given the circumstances, I have no problem with allowing people to hear it online, because I also have a personal policy not to completely waste my stinking time.” Give it a listen and shed a single tear for what would have surely been an amazing accompanying music video.