When was the first time you heard the name, “Lady Gaga?”
If you’re in the key advertising demographic, chances are it was during this video on PerezHilton.com:
At the time, Perez Hilton (originally self-titled “Hollywood’s Most-Hated,” but now would be named “Hollywood’s Most-Loved-for-Shilling”) posted the above video describing his first time at the MTV Video Music Awards (Sept. 2008) as a VIP. A giddy Perez thanks MTV’s staff and name-checks his new celeb friends (“Thank you Lauren Conrad and Audrina Patridge!”) before sharing his taste-making thoughts:
“Christina was great. Christina was definitely inspired by Lady Gaga. Uh-huh! [sings] Just dance, Christina!”
“I love that fucking remix of Genie in a Bottle. That was like the hottest shit ever — did Lady Gaga produce that [laughs]?”
Strangely, however, only two of the hundreds of comments claimed to have heard of the artist Perez was attributing with such influence — an artist sitting at home watching while Aguilera was on stage performing.
As one commenter puts it:
“id [sic] never heard of lady gaga before people started comparing her and christina[.]“
While this virtual unknown’s influence was dubious, Perez’s influence was never in doubt, and in the months to come, it was maliciously felt. With hundreds of thousands of views and hundreds of comments for this video alone, it was the first in a systematic onslaught of malicious and libelous marketing designed to damage the reputation and integrity of Christina Aguilera’s brand while replacing it with a manufactured credibility, reach, and integrity for a then-nascent Lady Gaga. Perez’s routine linking of Aguilera to fraudulence and failure was disseminated throughout the blogosphere and soon traversed all media.
Shortly after the VMAs, a Google ad appeared: “Christina goes GaGa – XTina dressed like Lady GaGa at VMAs. Get GaGa’s new CD here!”
By November, just two months after Perez began his negative campaign, Gaga was asked by Us Weekly to comment on Aguilera’s alleged copying. She replied:
“Anyone with two eyes can see the resemblance” and “I’m really flattered to have inspired a superstar.”
Then, in one of Gaga’s first televised interviews, she took the opportunity to further the controversial claim of how “obvious” Aguilera’s resemblance to her was:
On May 16th, 2010, Perez gleefully tweeted Gaga directly about Aguilera, falsely claiming: “Christina Aguilera sex tape found!”
Then, in June, Perez hosted a video chat at his home with none other than Lady Gaga’s A&R Martin Kierszenbaum and KISSFM’s Assistant Program Director and Music Director, Julie Pilat. Perez characterized Aguilera as an artist whose best days were behind her, while Gaga’s Kierszenbaum looked on poker-faced. Curiously, KISSFM is the station that allegedly did not play Aguilera’s new record upon release.
Fast-forward to Aug. 2013, Perez and Gaga are no longer BFFs (rumoured to have fallen out over an interview where he refused to stop filming and also intervened on her alleged drug abuse), and are now fighting on Twitter. Gaga angrily accused him of stalking her in tweets that have since been deleted:
“STAY AWAY FROM ME + MY FAMILY YOU ARE SICK TRYING TO RENT AN APARTMENT IN MY BUILDING TO STALK ME. LEAVE ME ALONE!!!”
“DO I NEED TO BE SHOT IT IN THE HEAD FOR PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND THAT HIM AND EVERYONE ELSE THAT HARASSES ME HAS GONE TOO FAR? IM A HUMAN BEING”
Perez denied her claims and threatened to reveal Gaga’s alleged personal and professional unethical practices.
It was then that he tweeted Aguilera:
“I hope we can talk one day. #Love”
One of her fans requested he “SPEAK ABOUT BIONIC,” the album Aguilera was promoting at the time of Gaga’s emergence and Perez’s accompanying smear campaign.
This was his response:
“I would like to speak with her privately first. I am so sad over all that.”
What “all of that” could Perez be “so sad” over?
He then tweeted this admission to Aguilera and other artists of “#Sabotage” and “#TruthTea:”
For fans of Aguilera, this is the long-suffering confirmation of Perez’s systematic re-branding of a multiple Grammy-winning veteran as both an expired artist as well as a clone of a nascent one. In an act of what can be seen as further confirmation of guilt and atonement, Perez is encouraging the purchase of Aguilera’s Bionic, the album he once systematically derided a failure before it was released, re-branding her as “Floptina,” “XpiredTina Aguielra,” “Clonetina” and “Failtina,” while defining Lady Gaga as the genuine and appealing version of her.
UPDATE Aug 28, 2013: Christina Aguilera just wrote a letter to her fans that appears to acknowledge the JusticeforBionic campaign:
Thank you for [...]
Seeing beneath the surface.
Searching for the truth.
I’ve heard you guys go to bat for me, speak volumes and continue to defend and encourage what I do as an individual.
Read the full letter here.