The biggest headline in celebrity news today is Charlie Sheen admitting to Matt Lauer on The TODAY Show that he is, in fact, HIV positive, and has known about his diagnosis for the past four years. Despite coming clean on national television, many people are now turning against the actor and condemning him for concealing his condition. But it looks like Sheen has got at least one person in his corner—Lady Gaga.
The pop singer, who has always been one of the biggest advocates for the LGBT community, took to Instagram to voice her support for Sheen. Gaga posted a screenshot from his interview with Lauer and used Sheen’s situation to try and bring about some good. “#BraveCharlie @btwfoundation, an opportunity for people all over the world to learn about modern HIV prevention, treatments, and emotional intelligence as it relates to the stigma of the virus,” wrote Gaga.
The group she is talking about in her post is the Born This Way Foundation, an organization founded by the pop singer that strives to empower young people “to create a kinder and braver world.”
Although Lady Gaga’s Instagram post was intended to be supportive, it actually triggered quite a heated debate in the comments section about whether or not Charlie Sheen deserves to be applauded for his so-called bravery. For instance, one commenter pointed out the double standard that comes with the condition, writing, “Brave Charlie? Really? Dude f*cked 1000s of hoes and now were parading him around, yet 1000s of gay men all over the world are ridiculed and humiliated for having the same disease? [sic]” Another fan even turned on Lady Gaga for supporting him, writing, “Brave? Someone who knowingly has HIV and not informing ALL of his sex partners isn’t brave. I adore you Lady GaGa but disagree with the term ‘brave.’ [sic]”
However, others responded with comments about how misconceived HIV is, and about how Sheen shouldn’t be reprimanded for sharing his diagnosis, even if it is four years later. As one user suggested, “If people spent less time consumed by fear and dishing out judgment and more time finding compassion and knowledge, it would be a nicer world for all.”
Lady Gaga, Instagram post, November 17, 2015.
“Our Mission,” Born This Way Foundation web site, last accessed November 17, 2015.