Ariana Grande and I have an interesting history together.
For starters, we’re within a year of age from each other, and we both grew up in South Florida. In fact, we went to rival high schools. I never met Grande but am always proud of millennial, breakout talent from my home town.
Anyone who knows me knows that I’m also a very proud American, so when I heard her “I hate Americans” comment during her donut-gate scandal, my stomach turned. Grande is a prime example of a privileged American whose dream became reality due to the endless freedom and opportunity in America. Of course, Grande apologized and the world moved on.
Fast forward to the terrorist attack at her Manchester concert. It was devastating. As I tweeted,
The left-leaning site Bustle included my commentary in their piece entitled, The Ariana Grande Concert Explosions Are An Attack On All Youth.
Quite frankly, the attack that night was not just an attack on all youth, but on Western culture. It was an attack on freedom. It was an attack on a tech-savvy, internet-connected, developed-by-the-free-market, freedom-loving world. My heart grieved for the loss of young life and the scars that would remain with survivors forever. I was angry, and I wanted the free world to fight back.
Although Grande by no means asked to become our generation’s spokeswoman against terrorism, she was given an undeniable platform to look evil in the face and declare that we would defeat it. In my opinion, she didn’t.
At first she was silent; I tweeted, “Too bad @ArianaGrande is a spoiled brat. Would love to see her visiting fans at hospital; could be the 1st pop icon to truly condemn terror.”
The Arianators came out in full force. “She’s not a spoiled brat, she’s a victim!” seemed to be their cry. “She can do no wrong!” was their mentality.
But it wasn’t her silence that made her a spoiled brat. It was her past behavior (re: donut-gate) which gave me a clue about how she’d respond to the tragic event. Celebrities thrust themselves into politics in their commentary on late night shows, with their tweets, and at every awards show. Yet when “politics” thrust itself into Grande’s “Dangerous Woman Tour” she fell silent.
Some went so far as to call for me to be fired… from my own organization. Entertainment news sites included my commentary in articles like, “Ariana Grande mercilessly attacked by trolls following the Manchester bombing.” The Twitter trolls asked, “How could you be so cold?”
What my detractors failed to realize was that a differing opinion is not trolling. And quite frankly, urging to address the problem, by condemning terrorism, is not cold at all.
Days later Grande put out a statement about love and coming together. Eventually she did visit fans in the hospital and went back to Manchester to put on a benefit concert with countless other stars. Still, however, there was no condemnation of terrorism. No condemnation of ISIS or eastern-extremism which lead to the attacks. She refused to call the attackers by name.
After a while, the internet hate died down. I could once again look at my Twitter mentions without seeing death threats from happy-go-lucky Grande fans. I thought my strange relationship with Grande may have ended for good.
This week, however, my interesting relationship with Grande comes back into play. With the equally sickening attack in Las Vegas on Sunday night, I find myself feeling so similar to how I did when I heard of the Manchester attacks – and this time, in my home country.
Shockingly, Ariana Grande — who failed so miserably to take a strong stance against terrorism in the wake of the Manchester attacks — spared little time coming out with a statement condemning the terror attacks which took place in Vegas. At 9:17am she took to twitter and called the attack terrorism. (I guess better late than never?)
My heart is breaking for Las Vegas. We need love, unity, peace, gun control & for people to look at this & call this what it is = terrorism.
My heart is breaking for Las Vegas. We need love, unity, peace, gun control & for people to look at this & call this what it is = terrorism.— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) October 2, 2017
Grande kept on message with her Manchester statements when she said, “We need love, unity, peace…” but made a stark departure from her previous statements calling for “gun control” and “for people to look at this & call this what it is = terrorism.”
Why call it terrorism now? And why become “political” by calling for gun control?
The stark difference in behavior can only be attributed to one thing: the liberal hive mind of celebrities.
In Manchester, the weapon of choice was a bomb. It is widely known that explosives are already illegal, so outlawing explosives didn’t stop the terror attack from happening. Perhaps more importantly, the terrorists were Muslim extremists — a group the Hollywood left refuses to call out by name for the sake of diversity and inclusion. This created the weak response from Grande.
In Las Vegas, however, the weapon of choice was a gun. The Hollywood left is hell-bent on using every act of gun violence to suppress citizens’ rights, regardless of the facts and regardless of if the gun was already outlawed and obtained illegally. Furthermore, the Vegas shooter was an old, white, male – the number one demographic that the left loves to hate. Here, Grande was quick to decisively condemn.
You see, with Grande and other celebrities, their behavior is constantly contradictory and hypocritical. Celebrities preach environmentalism while flying private jets across the country. They call for gun control while they’re protected by armed guards. And now, as the case with Grande and terrorism, they follow the left’s talking points even when their mixed reactions make little sense.
I truly believe Americans are sick of hearing celebrities’ opinions on politics and current events, as seen with the uproar over NFL players “taking the knee” and award shows receiving lowest viewership in years. But, if celebrities like Grande are going to step into the realm of political activism, the least they could do is be consistent and get the issues right.