Lady Gaga's father, Joseph Germanotta, has been hit with harsh criticism after setting up a GoFundMe page to help pay his restaurant staff after many were temporarily laid off due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The fundraising page, which has since been deactivated, sought $50,000 to pay approximately 30 workers at Joanne Trattoria, which is located on Manhattan's Upper West Side. Like many New York restaurants, it has been closed since mid-March due to the pandemic.
The 64-year-old restaurateur raised $541 before the page was shut down.
Critics balked at Germanotta for trying to raise funds from the public when his daughter, Lady Gaga (born Stefani Germanotta), is worth an estimated $275 million and earned $39.5 million last year, according to Forbes.
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While some argued that Germanotta's daughter shouldn't be responsible for the family's financial issues, the "Born This Way" singer is also an investor and part-owner of the eatery.
"Our amazing staff is made up of primarily hourly workers who depend on our payroll, and who overwhelmingly live paycheck to paycheck," the GoFundMe page originally stated, according to Newsweek. "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 then called on the community and "fans" to take action.
“If you’ve enjoyed us in the past, have had a friendly encounter with someone on our incredible service staff, or even if you hope to enjoy us in the future, we’d be so appreciative if you would consider donating to our staff to help them through this difficult time," the page continued.
In a since-deleted tweet, Germanotta made a bid to promote the GoFundMe campaign. "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.”
Celebrity blogger Perez Hilton laid into the star's father, wondering why the wealthy family would be asking the public for money.
"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," Hilton tweeted.
Gaga's Little Monsters also took to social media to express their disapproval of the money grab.
Streaming Born This Way during my workout so that Joe Germanotta can pay his employees pic.twitter.com/bLcB7WnM3W— metamucil papi 🐀 (@kaypeaux) March 28, 2020
The general consensus was that this was not OK.
Lady Gaga’s dad is trying to start a gofundme for 50K to support the staff of his restaurant ..........I- 🤐🤐🤐— 💜glitter boy💜 (@ant_c816) March 28, 2020
@germanottajoe why don't you ask your rich daughter to help you pay your employees? Just saying. The rest of us are struggling to make ends meet just like your staff.— Cindy Maier (@cndmaier) March 28, 2020
In the end, many were just totally confused by the request.
Let me get this straight... Lady Gaga’s dad owns a restaurant in NYC, and bc of the virus, his restaurant had to close temporarily. He’s asking the public for donations to pay his employees, when his daughter is worth HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS? BRUH WHAT— . (@blahblahblah187) March 28, 2020
The singer, who celebrated her 34th birthday on Saturday, has not responded to the incident on any of her social media accounts.
Lady Gaga's sixth studio album, "Chromatica," was scheduled to be released on April 10, but has been pushed back to later this year due to the ongoing health crisis.