Ariana Grande is driving me crazy. She may be an undeniably talented singer — people don’t call her a baby Mariah Carey for nothing — but Grande sometimes seems to be lacking a basic understanding of how celebrity works, and it’s getting old really fast.
Just this week, Grande hypocritically challenged Ryan Seacrest after he asked her about her alleged relationship with rapper Mac Miller. Grande was appearing on Seacrest’s radio show, On Air with Ryan Seacrest to promote her album and upcoming tour when he asked her about a report that she had confirmed her romance with Miller via an Instagram post. Grande quickly got defensive, “Oh, is that what I did? Is that what Instagram means to you now?” When Seacrest clarified that he was reading a report, and not personally suggesting that the photo, which he admitted he had not seen, was confirming her relationship, Grande refused to play along. Finally, after some awkward back and forth, Seacrest asked Grande if the post was, indeed, confirmation of her relationship with Miller, and this is how she responded: “I don’t know, man. It’s not, like, good morning, On Air with Ryan Seacrest. It’s too early for this kind of tea.”
OK, I’m going to stop her right there: “it’s too early for this kind of tea”? What kind of tea is she referring to? A reporter, Seacrest, was doing his job — asking a question about these rumors and inviting Grande to set the record straight. Since when is that disrespectful and rude? Grande is trying to shame Seacrest for simply asking about the report (which, again, he doesn’t appear to have written), as if he went digging through her personal photographs and blindsided her in the interview. In fact, Grande shared the photo in question (see above) on her official Instagram profile, which is verified and public. She volunteered the photo almost a week before her interview with Seacrest — there is no way she was unaware of the fact that a reporter could ask her a question about it. When Seacrest brought up the fact that she had shared the photo with her 84.1 million Instagram followers, Grande replied, “If I post something, that’s what I’m willing to share in that moment. That doesn’t mean that you, Ryan Seacrest, with millions of listeners, are entitled to more information.”
Now, it’s not Grande’s message that annoys me. It’s true that just because she posts a photo online of her alleged boyfriend doesn’t mean she’s inviting us into bed with them, but her defensive tone and dismissal of Seacrest’s argument show a bratty, hypocritical side to Grande that I have no patience for. The fact is, like it or not, Grande has fans. She knows by now that when she shares something on a public social media profile, reporters are going to ask her about it. It’s their job. And personally, I feel that it should be Grande’s job to answer Seacrest’s question without the attitude. It would be one thing if I thought she was joking, but she wasn’t. In her response, Grande wanted to make Seacrest look like the bad guy for asking a simple question when she could have just said she wouldn’t comment and moved on. There was no need for this attitude.
This isn’t the first time Grande has gotten angry at the press for digging into her love life. In 2015, Grande made headlines for calling out a double standard in the industry, noting that she was always written about in relation to a man she may or may not be in a relationship with. At the time, she had just made headlines for saying she didn’t want to be referred to as Big Sean’s ex anymore, but as her own person. “I have clearly not been having the boy questions in my interviews lately because I have come to the realization that I have SO. MUCH. MORE. to talk about,” Grande wrote on Twitter in June of 2015. I completely agree with Grande on this score.
Grande shouldn’t just be asked about who she’s dated or is dating, and it would be easy to draw a line from this message to her attitude with Seacrest. But Seacrest wasn’t diminishing her to her relationship status. In the same interview segment, he gave her four minutes of airtime to talk about her music and her “musical brain.” It’s also worth noting that, in an interview with Ellen DeGeneres on the same day, Grande confirmed her relationship with Miller, though she did so reluctantly. The bottom line is that if Grande doesn’t want to talk about her personal life, she shouldn’t have to, but next time, instead of attempting to vilify a journalist for doing his job, a simple “no comment” will do.
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