With Malaysian (and now Filipino) broadcasters refusing to play Lady Gaga’s track “Born This Way” in its entirety (the gay lyrics are stripped out), the singer is calling on young Malays to speak out against the censorship. “What I would say is for all the young people in Malaysia that want those words to be played on the radio, it is your job and it is your duty as young people to have your voices heard,” says The Gaga. “You must do everything you can, and if you want to be liberated by your society, you must call, you must not stop, you must protest … peacefully.” She’s right. They should. And they should also feel free to download Lady Gaga’s song on BitTorrent or through some file locker without paying for it.
Because if Malaysia’s largest private radio company AMP Radio Networks — which says it censored the song because the lyrics “may be considered as offensive when viewed against Malaysia’s social and religious observances” — is limiting what the people can hear, then the people should do everything in their power to negate the effect of corporate censorship.
And Gaga (and her label) should give them the all-clear to listen to the original track by any means possible. Because if Gaga is willing to cancel corporate deals based on bigoted policies, she should be willing to miss out on a few bucks to keep her message consistent. And while the authorized piracy of her song might wield some impact local retailers, it sends the larger message that corporations looking to play nice with the government cannot get in the way of celebrating our community.
But fine, Gags, charge for concert tickets.