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 taken down, 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.
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. What the fuck???? https://t.co/2K8MA05Crz #Coronavirus pic.twitter.com/PqADshe8Be
— Perez (@ThePerezHilton) March 28, 2020