Why Did Lady Gaga Leave ‘American Horror Story’?

Bad news for fans of Lady Gaga: The Mother Monster has not returned to American Horror Story since Season 6 and it doesn’t look like she’ll be making an appearance in Season 9 either. 

Prior to her time on American Horror Story, Lady Gaga’s acting roles were far and few between. She had a very small role in The Sopranos and made cameos in shows like The Muppets and Saturday Night Live. Before making her debut as the vampire countess of Season 6, Lady Gaga was known mostly for her music. 

So, why did Gaga leave the AHS cast? Here’s what we know. 

Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga | Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Gaga’s roles in ‘American Horror Story’ 

Lady Gaga had two roles in her time with the popular FX drama series.

Her first was that of the Countess, a vampire queen bee, in AHS Season 5: Hotel. To perform the role perfectly, Gaga researched the horror movie villains from Psycho and The Silence of the Lambs to get the cold meanness down. 

“I find it funny that people wonder if that’s just the way that I really am, so this was very easy for me to just kind of walk in here with my blonde hair on and just be a b*tch and be rude to everyone and that’s just what I do, because you’ve seen me do something like that before,” Gaga said in an interview with Variety.  

Her second role was Scáthach, an immortal witch, in AHS Season 6: Roanoke. The role required her to act even less human than she did as a vampire. Regardless, she pulls it off flawlessly. 

Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga | Photo by GONZALO/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

A very heated discussion 

In Gaga’s Netflix documentary, Gaga: Five Foot Two, she handles the subject of power dynamics and sexism in the media industry with brutal honesty. The documentary follows her life through a year that was successful professionally, but a personal struggle nonetheless. 

At one point in the documentary, there is footage of an argument between Gaga and the AHS producers. After a long day of shooting and unexpected changes in creative choices, Gaga simply had enough. Even though this is out of character, the miniature meltdown is completely understandable as the artist/actress was on the verge of a breakup with her then-boyfriend, Taylor Kinney, as well as constantly suffering from a painful case of fibromyalgia. Anyone would crack under those circumstances. 

It turns out that there were ultimately some creative differences in the mix as well. 

“When they wanted me to be sexy or they wanted me to be pop, I always put some absurd spin on it that made me feel like I was still in control,” said Gaga in a scene from the documentary Gaga: Five Foot Two

Whether or not this is the reason for Gaga not returning to American Horror Story has not been officially confirmed. 

Finn Wittrock, Naomi Campbell, Lady Gaga, Lennon Henry, Ryan Murphy and Angela Bassett
Finn Wittrock, Naomi Campbell, Lady Gaga, Lennon Henry, Ryan Murphy and Angela Bassett | Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

What is the future of ‘American Horror Story’? 

Lady Gaga has gone on to continue her acting career, recently earning the Oscar for “Best Original Song” for “Shallow” in A Star is Born. Since her unfortunate breakup with Kinney, she also has a new romance blooming with audio engineer Dan Horton. But, what is in the cards for American Horror Story?

It has been confirmed that neither Sarah Paulson nor Evan Peters will be returning for AHS: 1984. It will be the first season without both of these AHS alumni. However, Emma Roberts, Billie Lourd, Cody Fern, and Leslie Grossman are all set to return for Season 9. The theme of this season seems to revolve around ‘80s slasher flicks, but more will be revealed later this fall. 
American Horror Story: 1984 will premiere on Sept. 18 on FX.