Listen ― I know you’re probably super busy wrangling unicorns and practicing your choreography with the coven of millennial anarchist witches you hired to appear with you at the Super Bowl halftime show on Sunday, so I’ll keep this relatively brief.
I just want to make sure you know that many of us are counting on you to address what’s going on in America right now during your performance.
I know you care about this country and I know you care about the women and the queers and the people of color and the immigrants and the Muslims who live here and who are terrified of what could happen to them over the next four years. I watched you powerfully address sexual assault at the Oscars. I’ve seen the moving speeches you’ve given at Pride events and marches. I’ve read about your support for the Black Lives Matter movement. I know who you are and what you stand for and I thank you for all of it.
But I’ve also noticed that in the last month, aside from a handful of social media posts, you’ve been unusually quiet about the current political climate and that just doesn’t seem like you. You feeling OK? Me neither, bb. I can barely get out of bed most mornings. But surely you must have more to say about the women’s march? The proposed border wall? That bunk “Muslim ban”? The nomination of what might be the most anti-queer cabinet in history?
I’m hoping that you’re just saving your wad for Sunday and then you’re going to blow it all in one radical spectacle of resistance unlike any unleashed during the Super Bowl or any time, for that matter.
There was a rumor going around that the National Football League asked you not to stir up any trouble or call out Trump on Sunday but the NFL says that’s totally not true. So you’re in the clear there. Phew! Besides, you’re a rebel and you’ve never been afraid to say what’s on your mind ― even if it makes people uncomfortable ― so even if you might get a little heat (or a giant fireball lands on your head), it’d be worth it, right? You can handle it, right?
Granted, there are some folks who are going to be pissed that you’re performing no matter what you do. There’s even a petition to get you removed from the show because they believe your history of being politically outspoken makes you “completely undeserving of such a platform as the Super Bowl.” So if you’re worried about what some football fans will think if you use that platform to call out the insanity that is sweeping America, stop worrying. You can’t please everyone (and, anyway, they’re probably not going to go and buy your albums even if you don’t say anything).
You have a real opportunity to make a statement that millions of people around the world will see ― and to make history! Imagine how many people will be talking about what you said and what you did. Imagine how many hearts will simultaneously burst into cartoon rainbows and blue birds when they see you use your platform to challenge the bigotry that is threatening to consume this proud, beautiful country.
And if you’re thinking maybe Sunday should just be a day about football and fun, I feel you and that’s really a sweet thought. But now is not the time to turn our attention away from what’s happening. That’s a privilege and a luxury that so many do not have.
There have been millions of people who have taken to the streets and to the airports and to social media to call out what’s going on and I am calling on you to join us. I am asking you to use your fame and your fortune and your voice to reach places the rest of us might not be able to reach. I’ll put it plainly: you have spent your career speaking up and out for underdogs and I believe you have an obligation to continue doing that. Let’s be honest ― you’re not (nor have you ever been) “just a pop star” and now is the time to put your money where your poker face is (I know, that’s awful, but I couldn’t write you an open letter without at least one groany Gaga pun).
I’m not going to tell you how to show your solidarity on Sunday. You don’t even need to “protest” per se. Just tell the stories of all of the beautiful people who make up this country and who are terrified of where we’re headed ― a place that goes against everything you stand for. I mean, if you want to feature a bunch of guys making out, that would be quite a statement. If you want to smash through a fake “border wall” to make your entrance, that would probably raise a few eyebrows. But you don’t need my ideas. You’ve got a brilliant mind and an incredible team and I’m sure you can figure it all out.
Just know that we’ve loved you for as long as we’ve known you and we’ve got big hopes pinned on you. Don’t let us down ― I’m not sure we can take much more of that right now.