A 27-year-old Toronto-based freelance writer, Roslyn Talusan, was bombarded by racist and transphobic messages and tweets from countless Ariana Grande fans after openly criticizing the singer on Twitter.
The aggressive messages and death threats began flowing in over a period of several days after Talusan responded to Grande’s now-deleted tweet
criticizing writers, which read, “People are so lost. one day everybody that works at all them blogs will realize how unfulfilled they are and purposeless what they’re doing is and hopefully shift their focus elsewhere.”
Talusan fired back at the singer by calling her a “bitchass” and “a spoiled white girl from boca,” writing, “You fucking realize bloggers/writers are creators, right? just because we don’t sing or dance shitty choreo or culturally appropriate for profit doesn’t make our craft any less valid. suck on my balls.” Needless to say, Grande’s loyal fanbase was far from pleased with the writer’s statement.
Soon, the “Arianators” were able to discover Talusan’s previous article for Playboy
, in which the writer criticized Grande for her pattern of appropriating Black and Asian cultures. In this opinion piece, Talusan wrote, “Vilifying people of color for being tired of white celebrities profiting from their cultures is peak white feminism.”
Talusan, who also has a history of writing openly about her own experiences with sexual assault and even works on the Board of the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre/Multicultural Women Against Rape, found her past traumas being used against her.
While several Arianators began bombarding the writer with racist, transphobic messages and even death threats. Some fans escalated things even further by writing, “I’m surprised someone even wanted to rape your stupid ass!” and calling Talusan a “whorebag slut.”
In the midst of this chaos, Talusan noticed that she had received a message from Ariana Grande herself, addressing the situation directly.
According to the writer, Grande reached out to her, writing, “I find your craft extremely valid. I just don’t like people bashing or triggering my friends. I’m sure you understand.” The two then took the conversation further by sharing their personal struggles with mental health and PTSD.
However, when Talusan shared screenshots of the aggressive messages with the singer, her response was underwhelming, to say the least. Grande wrote back, “They’re just reacting with similar energy to what they’ve read honestly. Your tweets were hostile. They’re upset and they’re passionate. I apologize on their behalf because I don’t love that type of behavior from anyone. They know that tho. I’ve said that to them a million times.”
In response, Talusan spoke with BuzzFeed News
where she explained that while both Grande and herself had apologized to each other, she felt “victim-blamed and gaslit”
by the singer’s response. Adding that because Grande had failed to “denounce the racist, misogynist, transphobic, and otherwise violent harassment her stans have waged in her name,”
she is “implicitly condon[ing] it.”