By Courtney E. Smith
Reports have surfaced that Lady Gaga scrapped her music video for Artpop single “Do What U Want” amid controversies surrounding R. Kelly, the featured artist on the song, and the director, Terry Richardson.
Page Six reports that the video was shot in September and was scheduled for a December 2013 release, although Gaga posted to her website in January that it would not be released. Gaga claimed she was only given a week to plan and execute the video, which may be true, but doesn’t account for the time lapse between its filming in September and release in December, when it would have been in post-production. She went on to say, “Those who have betrayed me gravely mismanaged my time and health and left me on my own to damage control any problems that ensued as a result.” The post continues, offering negative impressions and placing blame on her now former management team.
But the video’s release date was also when an explosion of interest surfaced in both Kelly and Richardson. A Change.org petition was launched in October of 2013, demanding that “Harper’s Bazaar, GQ, Vogue, H&M, Mango, Harpers Bazaar, Mercedes Benz, Supreme, & all other brands” stop using Richardson as a photographer in the wake of allegations that he sexually abused models. The discourse on Richardson reached a new peak this week with the release of New York magazine’s hotly debated cover story on the photographer.
Then, on December 16, the Village Voice published unvarnished sexual abuse allegations against Kelly from his victims in the 1990s, in the form of a Q&A with writer Jim DeRogatis who reported the trial fully for the Chicago Sun-Times and has continued reporting on Kelly since. It sparked a discourse that turned into a public backlash against Kelly’s return — much of which was due to his co-sign from Gaga on “Do What U Want.”
Page Six claims that the scrapped video included scenes of Gaga emulating her hip injury from last year, with Kelly as her doctor — who adds that, after he puts her under, she’s “going to be pregnant.”
TMZ posted a clip of the video, which seems to go along with Page Six‘s claims.
The duo’s last live performance of the track was at the Billboard Music Awards on Nov. 24, 2013.