However, far too many of the initial reports on Miller’s death led with the moniker “Ariana Grande’s ex-boyfriend” or “former boyfriend of Ariana Grande.”
Even HuffPost mentioned Miller’s breakup with Grande in its news alert to readers.
While the former couple, who had been together for roughly two years, broke up in May in what became a very public uncoupling, the only place for Grande in this narrative is in describing Miller’s past relationships. Her name does not belong in the headline or first sentence of any news report about his death.
Miller was an accomplished artist in his own right, independent of Grande’s place in his life. The singer and record producer had just released his fifth studio album, “Swimming,” last month and was about to leave on tour in October.
To feature Grande so prominently in reports of Miller’s death is to imply she was somehow involved in the events surrounding or leading up to it ― even though there’s absolutely no evidence of that. It’s a reductive way to treat both of them.
For Miller, it trivializes his career. For Grande, it suggests she’s a villain because she left Miller and began a relationship with someone else. This is a particularly dangerous thing to do, as it sets a poor example for women who are afraid to remove themselves from toxic relationships because they’re made to feel responsible for a man’s self-destructive behavior.
Others have noted this as well.
So, do the world a favor: Mourn Mac Miller without bringing Ariana Grande into it.