Amid The Backlash Towards Her Relationship With Ethan Slater, Ariana Grande’s “Wicked” Costar Bowen Yang Has Spoken Out In Her Defense

“I can tell you for a fact that what people out there seem to be clinging onto is incorrect,” Bowen said on a new podcast.

Amid continued backlash towards Ariana Grande’s romance with Ethan Slater, her Wicked costar Bowen Yang has spoken out in her defense.

By now, it’s pretty common knowledge that the early days of Ariana and Ethan’s apparent relationship sparked a whole load of drama.

ariana sitting at a sports event

When the pair supposedly first met on the Wicked set, Ariana was married to Dalton Gomez, and Ethan to Lilly Jay. Reports claimed that the costars were dating just three days after Ariana’s separation from Dalton was made public. Meanwhile, Ethan filed for divorce from Lilly Jay — his highschool sweetheart and mother of his child — days after he and Ariana were publicly linked.

closeup of lily and Ethan at an event

Lilly Jay later slammed Ariana during a chat with Page Six, during which she said that her family has become “collateral damage,” and that she feels Ariana is “not a girl’s girl.”

Ariana Grande poses in a strapless lilac dress with a large bow, paired with a diamond choker

While sources close to Ariana and Ethan have maintained that they didn’t cheat on their spouses, the backlash towards their relationship was fueled further by the release of Ariana’s new music — namely her songs “yes, and?” and “the boy is mine.”

In fact, Ariana initially lost over 350,000 followers when she released “yes, and?” ahead of her album, with several internet users taking issue with her lyric: “Your business is yours and mine is mine / Why do you care so much whose dick I ride?”

And now, amid all of the backlash, Bowen has come to her defense.

Bowen Yang posing in a velvet tuxedo with a bow tie

Addressing the media narrative and “infidelity discourse” during a new episode of his Las Culturistas podcast, Bowen specifically cited Ariana’s song “we can’t be friends,” which some people believe is her acknowledging the scrutiny around her and Ethan’s romance.

bowen and Ariana singing on stage

“The thing in ‘we can’t be friends’ is, like, the narrative is wrong. The narrative is wrong and she’s not even outwardly saying that, but the narrative has been incorrect,” Bowen said.

“I can tell you for a fact that what people out there seem to be clinging onto is incorrect,” he went on.

Bowen’s cohost, Matt Rogers, went on to address the fact that people were particularly critical of Ariana and Ethan’s romance in light of Lilly Jay’s remarks, with Matt outright addressing the involvement of a “young family.”

Matt and Bowen on stage with microphones, one pointing up, both smiling, with a blue backdrop

The pair then discussed the concept of falling in love “in such an intense way,” arguing that while it can be “destructive,” it may not “feel that way from within.”

Ariana Grande poses in a ruffled gown with elbow-length gloves at the Grammys

“It feels absolute… It is so consuming in a way that can be destructive, but it cannot feel that way from within,” Bowen said, while Matt went on to bring up Ariana’s “relationship trauma” before urging people to have more grace.

Ariana Grande performing on stage, wearing a stylish white outfit with knee-high boots

“We should probably allow for the possibility that not everything is what it seems,” he said.

You can listen to the podcast episode in full here.

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