• The Hollywood Reporter on LinkedIn
  • Follow THR on Pinterest

Lady Gaga's 'Judas' Upsets Religious Groups

Lady Gaga
Terry Richardson

"She is trying to rip off Christian idolatry to shore up her talentless, mundane and boring performances," says the president of the Catholic League.

Lady Gaga is stirring up controversy with the lyrics and video for her new song, "Judas."

The tune features lyrics like: "I want to love you,/but something’s pulling me away from you/Jesus is my virtue, and Judas is the demon I cling to….I’m just a holy fool,/ oh baby he’s so cruel,/ but I’m still in love with Judas, baby.”

Fumes Bill Donahue, president of The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, in a statement: "This is a stunt... Lady Gaga tries to continue to shock Catholics and Christians in general: she dresses as a nun... she swallows the rosary. She has now morphed into a caricature of herself.

"She is trying to rip off Christian idolatry to shore up her talentless, mundane and boring performances. Another ex-Catholic whose head is turned around... Is this the only way to jet up her performance? This isn't random, we are getting closer to Holy Week and Easter."

Gaga plays Mary Magdalene in the forthcoming video, which her creative director, Laurieann Gibson (who was behind the Grammy egg), told The Hollywood Reporter that "Judas" shouldn't be offensive.

"It went through several changes and late-night debates because at one point, there were two completely different views and I was like, 'Listen, I don't want lightning to strike me! I believe in the gospel and I'm not going there.' And it was amazing because to have that conversation about salvation, peace and the search for the truth in a room of non-believers and believers, to me, that was saying God is active in a big way. And the place that it came to is surreal. We don't touch on things that we have no right touching upon, but the inspiration and the soul and idea that out of your oppression, your darkness, your Judas, you can come into the marvelous light. So it's about the inspiration and to never give up… We've created a new Jerusalem.
 
When asked if she would have walked away from the video if she didn't agree with the final treatment, Gibson said, "Absolutely. I do believe God inspired and worked on everyone's heart, but yes. I would have been like, “Good bye, I ain't doing it. No way.” But the place it came to is really magical. And she's dancing her face off.

On Saturday -- one day after it was released -- the video had 620,242 listens on YouTube by noon ET.