Gaga Wheelchair Stunt Sparks Outrage

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July 14, 2011 | 11:30am EST

Lady Gaga has sparked outrage with her wheelchair stunt at a gig in Australia, prompting campaigners to accuse the singer of exploiting disabilities for “shock value”.
The Poker Face hitmaker stunned fans by taking to the stage in Sydney on Wednesday in a wheelchair to sing her track You and I.

Photographs from the concert show her wheeling herself across the stage as she performs the song, but the stunt has been blasted by disability campaigners in her native U.S.

An official from the Life Rolls On Foundation has urged Gaga – who also used a wheelchair in the promo for her hit Paparazzi – to prove the incident was not simply a publicity stunt by attending an event to learn more about disability issues.

Jesse Billauer, founder of the Foundation, says, “Since this isn’t the first time she has used a wheelchair in her performances, I invite her to learn more about the 5.6 million Americans who live with paralysis. They, like me, unfortunately, don’t use a wheelchair for shock value.

“I extend a personal invitation to Lady Gaga to attend one of our Life Rolls On events where quadriplegics and paraplegics surf, skate, and snowboard, so she can see how much is possible beyond a wheelchair. Maybe that will be most shocking to her of all.”

And a representative for the Roman Reed Foundation posts on “Dear ladygaga how about using your celebrity status 2 try 2 get us out of wheelchairs. Instead of cruising one. Cool?!”