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Doing it for the Money?


Ellen Degeneres, animal activist.

Lady Gaga, LGBTQ+ supporter.


Both of these women represent social justice issues that have risen to the top of the agenda. However, do they also represent hypocrisy?

In the public eye, they are celebrities who advocate for change. But Ellen is a Covergirl and Lady Gaga is headlining Coachella 2017.

What is wrong with this you may ask? Both women are making decisions that are benefiting their careers.

Ellen Degeneres, an openly known animal rights supporter, who has gone vegan in the past years, is the public face of the makeup brand Covergirl. Covergirl is a company that still tests on animals to make sure their products are safe to use before putting them on the shelves.


Image from theodysseyonline.com


How can she represent a company that actively acts against everything she supports? They torture animals to sell products that should no longer be tested on animals. The actions made by this company is a step back for animal rights supporters.

Coachella 2017. This year’s Coachella festival was originally being headlined by Beyonce, which would have made her the first solo female artist to headline Coachella in ten years. However, due to her recent pregnancy announcement, Beyonce had to pass on the performance and the headlining spot was offered and accepted by Lady Gaga.

Many see this as an incredible opportunity for Gaga, especially after her halftime performance at the 2017 Super Bowl.


Image from USA Today Sports


But does Lady Gaga know she will be headlining a festival from which funds allegedly go to anti-gay organizations and climate denial groups?

Coachella, a very progressive and liberal festival, is produced by Goldenvoice, which is under the parent company AEG which is owned  by Philip Anschutz.

Anschutz has a history of donating funds to groups such as the Alliance Defending Freedom, the National Christian Foundation, and the Family Research Council. All these organizations are strongly against LGBTQ+ rights.


Philip Anschutz, CEO of AEG 

Image courtesy of Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images  


Recently, Philip Anschutz made a statement in response to these recent allegations to Rolling Stone magazine:

“I unequivocally support the rights of all people without regard to sexual orientation. We are fortunate to employ a wealth of diverse individuals throughout our family of companies, all of whom are important to us – the only criteria on which they are judged is the quality of their job performance; we do not tolerate discrimination in any form.”

“Both the Anschutz Foundation and I contribute to numerous organizations that pursue a wide range of causes,” he wrote. “Neither I nor the Foundation fund any organization with the purpose or expectation that it would finance anti-LGBTQ initiatives, and when it has come to my attention or the attention of the Anschutz Foundation that certain organizations either the Foundation or I have funded have been supporting such causes, we have immediately ceased all contributions to such groups.”


This statement was made on January 6, 2017 at 8:45 a.m.

There is no concrete evidence that the money you are spending on your Coachella ticket is going to organizations that Anschutz supports, but the risk is very high.

Behind the flower crowns, instagram photos, and glitter, lies a crack that may hold many secrets about your favorite “love is love” festival.


Image from mediaite.com


Are the artists who are signing contracts to perform at Coachella, such as Lady Gaga, choosing to ignore the fact that they are accepting a paycheck to keep silent and turn their head to the problems they claim to stand against?

We may look up to many celebrities and artists that are constantly in the public eye, but when do they blur the line and forget about the values that they preach day to day to us? We count on these public figures to use their platform and use their voice to represent those of us who can’t  be heard among the masses.

Should we really be relying on them so religiously when a contract and paycheck can so easily deter their actual motives?



Vanessa Rivera


Hey, I'm Vanessa! Im a senior at USFSP majoring in Mass Communications. I hope you enjoy my writing that will be about literally anything and everything. My goal after college is to find a career in the entertainment or music industry. To make that happen, I'm currently planning a big move from sunny Florida to sunny California! Follow me on my journey through my writing, enjoy!
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