Lady Gaga is not one to make a promise to her Little Monsters and not keep it. That explains why she raised her hand and asked President Obama a question about bullying at a Silicon Valley fundraising event for the Commander in Chief over the weekend at the home of Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg.
The $38,500-per-couple event for around 70 guests took place under a tent in Sandberg’s yard and, according to ABC News, it’s where Gaga made good on a Twitter vow she’d posted last Wednesday in reaction to the suicide of bullied teen Jamey Rodemeyer . Gaga — who turned heads in a black dress with a dramatically plunging back, extremely high heels, a blond upswept hairdo and a black veil covering the back of her hair — brought up the issue during the Q&A segment of the event.
Though a transcript of the exchange is not available, according to reports, she first thanked Obama for what he’s done so far on the subject — which includes a forum held earlier this year about bullying and an “It Gets Better” video — and then read from what she described as a letter from a fan about the suicide of another Little Monster who had been bullied.
After congratulating the president on all of the things he’s accomplished so far in his first term, Gaga made what was described as a “general plea” to everyone in the room, including the president, to do what they can to prevent bullying. Obama then reportedly thanked her, re-iterated his administration’s anti-bullying work and spoke in general about the importance of values.
Gaga also reportedly had a bit of face time with Obama before dinner, when she walked through the photo line with her manager and spoke to the president for two minutes in a room full of other guests. The singer dedicated her song “Hair” to Rodemeyer at Saturday’s iHeartRadio festival in Las Vegas, speaking out in support of the gay teen who committed suicide last week after enduring years of bullying by his school peers.
Just days after the 14-year-old’s death, Gaga was so shaken that she called on Obama to enact laws that would make bullying a hate crime. “The past days I’ve spent reflecting, crying, and yelling,” she tweeted on Wednesday. “I have so much anger. It is hard to feel love when cruelty takes someone’s life.” She went further, posting Rodemeyer’s “It Gets Better” video, and insisting that bullying “must become illegal. It is a hate crime.”
It was then that she revealed she planned to meet with Obama to discuss the matter.
MTV’s ongoing “A Thin Line” project provides stories and resources for anyone who believes they are being cyberbullied or who is looking for ways to stop harassment by digital means. And check out our story for more info on the results of a recent MTV/Associated Press study about the prevalence of digital abuse and cyberbullying among young people.
What do you think of Lady Gaga’s activism on the bullying issue? We want to hear from you in the comments section.