The gay senior vice president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has lashed out at Lady Gaga for wearing fur.
‘Many of your gay fans, I among them, have long admired what you told Ellen: “I hate fur and I don’t wear fur”,’ said PETA’s Dan Matthews in an open letter to the international popstar, referencing an interview on the Ellen deGeneres show in 2007.
‘By wearing those dumb furs in a heat wave, you’re making yourself a target just like the mindless Kim Kardashian.’
Lady Gaga was photographed wearing an Armani hot pink fur jacket in New York last week and a voluminous grey knee-length coat in Bulgaria yesterday.
Gaga has not confirmed whether the fur is fake. ‘For those press and such who are writing about whether or not my fur is actually real, please don’t forget to credit the designer HERMES. Thank You! LOVE, gaga,’ she said on Twitter yesterday.
Many of her fans were disappointed. ‘I would try find the funny side if i didnt think the fur industry was such a disgusting trade…’ commented one. ‘How could you? That’s so messed up, I thought you stood up for better values than fashion at the cost of animal suffering,’ said another.
The performer, who is about to start her European tour, also posted a short art film she made called ‘dressage’ which ends with her wearing the grey fur coat. In a voiceover she says she is making films to challenge herself and that ‘I have to start breaking the rules that I made about fame’.
Matthews is no stranger to attention-grabbing celebrity stunts. He was behind the successful ‘I’d rather go naked than wear fur’ campaign with supermodels Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford (whom both later wore fur) in the 1990s.
In an interview with USA Today in 2007 Matthews said that going fishing after he had been a victim of gay bashing taught him to empathise with animals. He said:
‘Around the time I got beaten up for being gay, gasping for breath, surrounded by people looking down at me laughing, I caught a very big fish.
‘When I pulled him on the boat, it was just an ugly flounder, and he was gasping for breath, too, and in that instance, the flounder was the only creature I could relate to. I had turned into the bully.’