Lady Gaga angers Thai fans with fake Rolex Twitter comment
By JOCELYN GECKER Associated Press May 24, 2012 8:50AM
U.S. singer Lady Gaga pauses while making her way to a waiting car upon her arrival at Don Muang airport in Bangkok, Thailand Wednesday, May 23, 2012. Lady Gaga is performing a concert in Bangkok on Friday, May 25, 2012. (AP Photo)
BANGKOK — Lady Gaga wants to go shopping in Bangkok — for a fake Rolex.
The singer made the comment to her 24 million Twitter followers, sparking a uproar Thursday in Thailand where some fans called it offensive, insulting and bad for the country’s image.
It’s the latest publicity-making turn of events as “The Born This Way Ball” travels through Asia.
Lady Gaga’s provocative lyrics and costumes have angered Christian groups in South Korea and the Philippines and Islamists in Indonesia, where the show may be banned.
Now she is stirring nationalist fervor in Thailand, where people tend to get upset when the country’s seedy underworld is highlighted by outsiders.
“We are more civilized than you think,” tweeted Thai DJ Surahit Siamwalla, who has a ticket to Friday’s show in Bangkok but said he plans to boycott.
“She came to our home, but instead of admiring us she insulted us,” said a commentator on popular Thai web board pantip.com.
Lady Gaga posted her tweet shortly after her private jet arrived Wednesday night: “I just landed in Bangkok baby! Ready for 50,000 screaming Thai monsters. I wanna get lost in a lady market and buy fake Rolex.”
It is unclear what a “lady market” is but some Thai fans assumed she meant the popular outdoor Ladies Market in Hong Kong, where she already toured — and also eyed the luxury knockoffs.
“I love this city,” she tweeted April 30 after taking a Hong Kong spin class. “You can work out & buy a fake Birkin on the same street.”
Not all Thai fans objected to the off-color comment. A screaming mob greeted Lady Gaga at the airport. Crowds thronged her 5-star hotel, where she signed autographs and hugged one female fan who left in tears. People have camped outside Rajamangala stadium for days, hoping to be first inside and win the prize of meeting the pop star in person.
If Lady Gaga does have time to shop in Bangkok, she’ll see that the city has more to offer than just fake watches, Thai fan Nont Armarttasn sarcastically noted on his Facebook page.
“Welcome to the land of counterfeit products, love,” he said. “I’m sure there are plenty of fake Gaga CDs, too.”
Associated Press writer Thanyarat Doksone contributed to this report.