Lady Gaga’s father Joe Germanotta has come under online fire for soliciting for donations for his furloughed staff after his restaurant Joanne Trattoria closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a since-deleted tweet, he wrote, “I’m doing the best I can but we had to close Joanne for the month. Our staff needs some help financial. Any help for our employees will be appreciated.”
The tweet included a link to a GoFundMe page that has now been deactivated. The page stated, "Our amazing staff is made up of primarily hourly workers who depend on our payroll, and who overwhelmingly live paycheck to paycheck. As our doors remain closed longer than anticipated, our staff is finding it increasingly difficult to finance the daily necessities to keep them healthy, like groceries and insurance costs – to say nothing of rent, utilities, and other recurring bills." It asked for US$50,000 (S$71,000) to “cover our typical payroll for approximately two weeks”.
Some Twitter users responded scathingly, including Perez Hilton, who wrote, “Lady GaGa is worth hundreds of millions of dollars AND is part owner in her family’s restaurant. Yet her also wealthy father has just taken to Twitter to ask the public to help financially the workers they have stopped paying.”
According to Forbes, Lady Gaga made US$39.5 million last year.
Another Twitter user tweeted, “You're asking people that are more than likely worse off than you to pay for your staff. Come on, you can afford to pay them.”
Still another pointed out that Ed Sheeran, while in the same situation, was continuing to pay his restaurant staff.
Germanotta told Fox News that although the tweet came from his now-deactivated account, he did not compose it. "I don't write my own tweets for the restaurant," he said, adding that will seek to have the “small amount of money that was donated” returned, and if that is not possible, “I will double the money and pay it out to the staff."