R. Kelly is back in the headlines following the airing of Lifetime’s investigative docu-series Surviving R. Kelly, in which survivors and people from the singer’s inner circle come forward with new allegations about his sexual, mental and physical abuse.
Lady Gaga is also coming forward to stand with the survivors and apologize for collaborating with Kelly on “Do What You Want” from 2013’s Artpop.
I stand by anyone who has ever been the victim of sexual assault: pic.twitter.com/67sz4WpV3i
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) January 10, 2019
“I stand by anyone who has ever been the victim of sexual assault,” Gaga captions a note on Twitter. “I made both the song and video at a dark time in my life, my intention was to create something extremely defiant and provocative because I was angry and still hadn’t processed the trauma that had occurred in my own life.”
She continues, “If I could go back and have a talk with my younger self I’d tell her to go through the therapy I have since then, so that I could understand the confused post-traumatic state that I was in—or if therapy was not available to me or anyone in my situation—to seek help, and speak as openly and honestly as possible about we’ve been through. I can’t go back, but I can go forward and continue to support women, men and people of all sexual identities, and of all races, who are victims of sexual assault,” she added.
Some critics are not all that pleased with Gaga’s apology. When the song was originally released, Gaga brushed off the controversy around working with Kelly.
I like how she didn’t address the fact that she was asked about the R Kelly allegations when that song came out and she said that they were untrue.
— Twerk-Bajir (@JoePGould) January 10, 2019
“Both R. Kelly and I have, sometimes, very untrue things written about us,” she said at a 2013 news conference in Japan, defending her decision to collaborate with the musician. “In a way, this was a bond between us. We were able to say, ‘The public, they can have our bodies, but they cannot have our mind or our heart.’ It was a very natural collaboration.”
Gaga says she plans to remove the song from iTunes and other streaming platforms. I guess we’ll always have the slept-on version of the song with Xtina.