Writer and critic Roslyn Talusan has spoken out about an ongoing online attack from Grande’s fans after she criticised the singer. Grande posted a tweet criticising bloggers/critics as being “unfulfilled” and “purposeless”.
(The tweet has since been deleted but nothing truly dies on the internet.)
Talusan responded in what may not be the most eloquent of ways but the sentiment is still there.
And then the fans of Grande came to the singer’s defence, sending countless racist messages, death threats and abusive messages to Talusan over several days on Twitter and Instagram.
Because of a tweet.
And then Grande herself responded.
But this is the problem: Ariana Grande didn’t condemn the toxic fans. She didn’t try to get them to stop because apparently “they’re upset and they’re passionate” and “she’s said that to the a million times”. Sorry, but if you aren’t condemning this behaviour, you’re condoning it.
Now we would never say that Grande would support these views. But by not publicly condemning it, it’s setting a dangerous precedent that implicitly lets certain types of fans think that they can get away with it.
Grande is not alone – there are sporting teams like the Canterbury Bulldogs, whose fans made headlines for years with their toxic behaviour and the club never properly pulled them into line. Or comedian Chris Lilley, whose fans respond to any criticism with abuse and vitriol.
Toxic fan behaviour may well be against those they support, but unless those in positions of authority say something, this horrid fan culture will only get worse.
We need to remember that stan is literally a contraction of stalker + fan and we’ve normalised it to the point where people think that it’s okay to send death threats and racial taunts, all over a tweet.