mac miller ariana grande

Stop blaming Ariana Grande for Mac Miller’s Death

While most of the world reacted with sadness and disbelief in the wake of rapper Mac Miller’s death on Friday, Sept. 7, a loud contingent of people decided instead of lamenting his death or denouncing the tragedy of drug addiction to find a scapegoat: his ex-girlfriend, Ariana Grande.

When TMZ broke the story, the outlet was quick to implicate Grande in Miller’s death:

“Mac Miller died Friday of an apparent overdose…TMZ has learned.

Miller has had trouble recently with substance abuse…in the wake of his breakup with Ariana Grande. The rapper wrecked his G-Wagon by wrapping it around a utility pole back in May and was arrested for a DUI and hit and run. He fled the scene but cops say he later confessed at his home. He blew 2 times the legal limit.

After his arrest Ariana tweeted, “Pls take care of yourself” and was clearly concerned about substance abuse.

After their breakup, Ariana Grande made it clear…his substance abuse had be [sic] a deal breaker in his 2-year relationship.”

…Sources close to Mac tell TMZ, friends of his warned people not to bring up the subject of his relationship with Ariana because it was “too touchy.”

Miller, born Malcolm McCormick, had always been candid about his addiction, which has plagued him since long before he and Grande got together. “I was so fucked up all the time. It was bad,” Miller said in a 2013 interview with Complex, where he opened up about his addiction to promethazine in the wake of criticism toward his debut album. “My friends couldn’t even look at me the same. I was lost.” In an interview with Noisey, he admitted to doing drugs since he was 15.

However, Grande is unfortunately no stranger to the blame game. Even before Miller’s death, she received harassment after he totaled his car in a DUI, which TMZ was also quick to recount. However, Grande famously clapped back against a fan who blamed her for his spiral.

“I am not a babysitter or a mother and no woman should feel that they need to be,”  Grande said in her response. “I have cared for him and tried to support his sobriety and prayed for his balance for years (and always will of course)  but shaming / blaming women for a man’s inability to keep his shit together is a very major problem.”

Beyond these incidents, Grande has also been accused of being responsible for the Manchester Arena Bombing at during her Dangerous Woman Tour in May 2017 by talking heads and trolls alike.

She admitted in an interview with British Vogue to suffering from PTSD as a consequence of the attack that left 22 dead and 800 injured. Earlier this month, Grande, who performed at soul legend Aretha Franklin’s funeral, was visibly groped by Pastor Charles H. Ellis III, who wrapped his right arm around her and placed his hand on her breast. Visibly uncomfortable as she was, many people only wanted to talk about the length of her skirt.

Now, in the aftermath of Miller’s death, criticism has once again been heaped on her.

All of these incidents are steeped in misogyny. From blaming her for her own assault to tasking her with saving her ex-boyfriend from his own addiction, Grande’s personhood and reputation have played second fiddle to men.

As tragic and saddening as Mac Miller’s passing is, he was a grown man and his own person. He could make and was responsible for his own decisions, whether or not addiction may have impaired them. It ultimately the addict who must take responsibility for their sickness.

Grande had even pointed out that witnessing the consequences of his addictions was “scary” and the fact that people still think she should’ve played caretaker to someone she should’ve been viewed as an equal to is demoralizing. The tweets and harassment she’s received only perpetuate the idea that it’s a woman’s job to put a man’s needs before her own, even to her detriment. Blaming her also detracts from the true culprit: addiction, and dismal amounts of resources at hand to combat it.

It was not Ariana Grande’s job to fix Miller.

In spite of the fact that harassment drove her to disable her comments on social media, most people have been supportive of her

Though she has not spoken on his death, Grande posted a touching photo. On Sept. 8, she shared a captionless black and white photo of Miller sitting on the grass, looking up into the camera. A pair of shoes, presumably Grande’s, are visible between his legs.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Lauren Zaknoun

Lauren Zaknoun is an artist, photographer, music enthusiast, and founder of BANSHEE ZINE. With no musical talent to speak of, she supports her local scene by going to shows, shooting bands, and loudly reminding everyone that Paramore is the best band in the world.

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