NYC Politician Criticized for Calling Lady Gaga a ’Slut’
The borough president of Staten Island has some harsh words for Lady Gaga.
James Molinaro called the pop icon a "slut" during the launch of an anti-substance abuse initiative as he pointed to pictures of Gaga lighting up a joint during her show in Amsterdam last week, the Staten Island Advance reports.
The Staten Island borough president is one of five in New York City, whose five counties are divided into boroughs. The position was once politically powerful, but is now largely ceremonial. Staten Island, probably best known for its regular ferry service to Downtown Manhattan, is the city's least-populated, most suburban and by far most conservative borough. Molinaro is the only Republican borough president.
During the concert, an adoring fan reached out to the singer and handed her a lighter and a plastic bag full of pot, EDGE reported.
"Holland, is it real?" Gaga asked before smelling the bag and then confirming in fact, it was the real. She took a few puffs of the joint before saying it was "not enough" to get her high and that she does enjoy the "wondrous marijuana."
"I want you to know it has totally changed my life and I've really cut down on drinking," the pop singer said. "It has been a totally spiritual experience for me with my music."
In Molinaro's eyes, this makes Mother Monster a "slut."
His remarks came on Monday during an event for the Staten Island's Tackling Youth Substance Abuse program. Molinaro stood in front of a poster that had pictures of Gaga at the Amsterdam concert and the text, "Stop glorifying drug use in the media."
"There's Gaga. Here's this ... this ... I would call her a slut. This slut is influencing many, many children ... and it's right to do. It's fine, it's part of it," he said. "My niece has two daughters, 12 and 14, [and] they love this woman. Why? Why?"
Molinaro then went on to criticize Hollywood in general. "So, we have a job to do also with these actresses, actors, ballplayers. They use drugs as if it's nothing. We shouldn't praise them. We shouldn't honor them. We should really hit them. We should hit the sponsors that she has ... where her millions of dollars come from," he said. "To me, she's not an actress, she's a slut ... in the pure meaning of the word."
Drug abuse hit home for Molinaro when his own son, Stephen, died of a drug overdose in 2006. He said that rehabilitation programs did not work for his son.
"I remember many days my son crying in my arms, 'Help me,'" the politician said. "That's why I say prevention is the best cure. What we're doing here today is alerting the moms, the dads, the children."
When the New York Times reported the incident a number of its readers reacted to Molinaro's harsh words for Gaga.
"Slut is not a term usually applied to drug abusers, so it appears that Borough President Molinaro may have other issues with Gaga, none of which, if he were to voice them would likely garner much sympathy from the general public," one reader wrote.
They weren't the only ones. AM New York reported that other politicians in New York piled on Molinaro.
Debi Rose, a city councilmember from Staten Island, called the comment demeaning. "As a fan and one who can relate to Gaga's little monsters, I found the language used yesterday to be inappropriate for public discourse," she said.
Scott Stringer, the borough president of Manhattan, strongly defended Lady Gaga, who hails from his borough. He called her a positive inspiration for various causes and called attention to her anti-bullying work. AM New York reported that Stringer is a close friend of Gaga's parents.
The National Organization for Women also criticized the comment. NYC NOW Executive Director Sonia Ossorio told AM New York that "there is no reason for any person, let alone politcians, to use that word against women."
"When a man so easily throws around the word slut, it shows the caliber of man that he is," she told the paper. Ossorio added that Molinaro's anti-drug initiative "was invalidated and lost when he called her a slut."
Watch a video of Lady Gaga at the Amsterdam concert below: