Lady Gaga’s Most Controversial Music Videos

Lady Gaga may have mellowed out over the past few years, but during the first leg of her career, she never missed an opportunity to provoke. As Lady Gaga was one of the driving forces behind the music video revolution of late 2000s, it’s not a surprise that she created some controversial music videos along the way. Let’s take a look at some of her most controversial clips.

R. Kelly and Lady Gaga perform onstage | Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic

‘Judas’

Lady Gaga performs onstage during SiriusXM + Pandora Present Lady Gaga At The Apollo | Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for SiriusXM

 Like one of her main sources of inspiration, Madonna, Lady Gaga has occasionally taken aim at the Roman Catholic Church. The music videos for “Bad Romance,” “Alejandro,” and “G.U.Y.” all contain blasphemous use of Catholic iconography. However, if any video in the Gaga oeuvre takes the cake for blasphemy, it’s definitely the video for “Judas.” The song “Judas” is literally about the singer being in love with Judas Iscariot, the man who betrayed Jesus; some have interpreted the song as being a metaphor for Gaga’s struggles with her personal demons. The video for the song isn’t interested in metaphors.

Gaga took The Da Vinci Code and flipped it upside down; in the video, she plays Mary Magdalene and can’t decide whom she loves more – Judas Iscariot or Jesus Christ. She also recreates the famous episode from the gospels where a woman washes Jesus feet with her hair, only Gaga washes the feet of a biker Jesus in a hot tub as Judas looks on. Gaga was probably hoping the video would spark enough controversy to propel the song to the top of the charts; Madonna had done something similar with the video for “Like a Prayer” back in 1989. Gaga was unable to replicate that feat, as “Judas” was not nearly as popular as her previous singles.

‘LoveGame’

Lady Gaga at an album release party | Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images

 “LoveGame” is the least subtle and most risque single that Gaga has ever released. The video matches the song in both style and content. There are a few scenes of intimacy in this video which might make Madonna, Janet Jackson, and Christina Aguilera blush. The video was very popular on the internet, but it was a little too steamy for network television. MTV Arabia banned the clip for violating family values. Samer al Marzouki, the head of the channel, explained “Our policy to keep away as much as possible from sex, religion and politics unless it’s educational.”

‘Do What U Want’

Lady Gaga and R. Kelly performing on Saturday Night Live | Photo by: Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Here’s the point where Gaga crossed a line that she regretted. For her R&B track, “Do What U Want,” Gaga collaborated with R. Kelly. If performing a song about sex with the singer who has been accused of horrific sexual violence wasn’t enough, she recruited photographer Terry Richardson to shoot the video; Richardson has also been accused of sexual misconduct. After filming part of the video, Gaga came to regret her choice of collaborators and decided not to release the video. Following the release of the Lifetime documentary series Surviving R. Kelly, Gaga decided to remove “Do What U Want” from all music streaming platforms.

How to get help: In the U.S., call the RAINN National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 to connect with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.