Ariana Grande’s Wicked Costar Bowen Yang Defends Eternal Sunshine Amidst Speculation

Bowen Yang is defending his Wicked costar Ariana Grande against online discourse surrounding her most recent album.

Yang defended Grande in a new episode of his podcast Las Culturistas alongside Matt Rogers. The duo sat down to discuss all things pop culture, and that, of course, included Ariana Grande’s new album, Eternal Sunshine, which released on March 8, 2024.

Speaking about Eternal Sunshine, Rogers praised Grande for her vocal prowess and admitted that the nature of the album felt particularly refreshing to him. “I don’t know if it’s because of Wicked or just because of a way that she’s matured or a way that she feels she needs to serve this particular album, but the storytelling is better than it’s ever been,” he commented.

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“This is just very direct,” Rogers continued. “She’s in this different register […] so that you really feel like there’s something else that’s important to her here, which is telling this story of this these relationships, you know, and how they interact with each other in this concept of the Eternal Sunshine because it really is lightly like a concept album.”

Yang replied to his colleague by directly addressing the intense fan and media discourse around the album and Grande’s personal and romantic life. “I think of it as not necessarily biographical or autobiographical,” he commented. “There are liberties being taken with real-life experiences, and that’s all I’ll say.”

Yang went on to reinforce the idea that Eternal Sunshine is not autobiographical and praised Grande for being “very, very, very purposeful about the way people would be portrayed in [it] and the way she would portray herself.”

He added: “It’s not a totally, like, ‘My hands were clean.’ She could have absolutely put out an album that was like, ‘I’m going to preserve and protect things about my own image or rest the narrative from someone or the media or people in these situations,’ [but she didn’t].”

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Yang then admitted he thinks the single “we can’t be friends” is “about the way the media relates to her” and cleared up one more thing about the backlash Grande has faced since her divorce from Dalton Gomez went public and the controversy around her rumored new relationship with Ethan Slater.

“This is the only thing that I’m going to acknowledge about the situation, which is that like there is such an unqueer, puritanical Christian way we are approaching marriage in the discourse. It’s very trad wife. Everyone’s being very like, ‘the sanctity of marriage,’ and, of course, it is so much more complicated than that,” he said.

“The thing with ‘we can’t be friends’ is [that] the narrative is wrong,” Yang continued. “The narrative is wrong, and she’s not even outwardly saying that, but the narrative has been incorrect. People have even retracted things in these stories with no f*cking apology to the people who are involved, and I can tell you for a fact that what people out there seem to be clinging on to as correct is incorrect.”

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