Some of Lady Gaga‘s biggest fans are not happy with the popstar’s dad, Joe Germanotta. The New York City restaurant owner received some major backlash online after he launched a since-removed GoFundMe campaign asking people for donations to help his employees who aren’t working due to the current coronavirus pandemic.
For those who missed it, the World Health Organization has reported that over 730,000 people have contracted virus so far, resulting in more than 35,000 deaths. Medical professionals have called for “social distancing” to prevent further spreading of the illness, which is defined as “trying to keep yourself away from other people, especially large crowds.” Because of this many events, concerts and festivals have been canceled, including all Broadway plays and sports games. People have been asked to avoid public spaces and quarantine themselves during this time.
In a since deleted Twitter post, Joe reportedly posted a crowdfunding link in an attempt to raise $50,000 to cover the Joanne’s Trattoria staff’s wages.
“I’m doing the best I can but we had to close Joanne for the month. Our staff needs some financial help. Any help for our employees will be appreciated,” he wrote, according to screenshots captured by fans.
According to Newsweek, the deactivated GoFundMe page asked for donations to help the “almost 30 employees” who had been laid off.
“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 website read.
The fundraiser was quick to go viral and fans immediately slammed Joe for asking for money when his daughter, as one fan wrote on twitter, “is worth HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS” of dollars.
Other people took to social media and pointed out that the “Shallow” songstress is actually a part owner of the restaurant.
“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,” one person responded. Another added, “Why doesn’t he ask his very rich daughter to help him pay his employees?”
Upon seeing the backlash online, Joe, in an interview with Fox News, set the record straight and claimed that he did not post the tweet. The restaurant owner also said he wanted to return any money that was already donated to the GoFundMe.
“I don’t write my own tweets for the restaurant,” he explained. “Everything has been deactivated. There was a small amount of money that was donated. If the crowdsourcing page is able to return the money then that will happen. If they cannot, then I will double the money and pay it out to the staff.”
He continued, “These kids have been with me for eight years … they’re kind of like my children at this point. I intend to keep them on some type of stipend to keep them going.”
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