Ariana Grande Responds To Manchester Pride Backlash

Ariana Grande responded on Wednesday to criticism of the announcement that she will headline this summer’s Manchester Pride.

Some have suggested the festival should have booked an artist who identifies as LGBTQ.

In a statement she shared on Twitter, Grande said the LGBTQ community “has been so special to me and supportive throughout my entire career.”

She added: “I want to celebrate and support this community, regardless of my identity or how people label me. And also I wanna visit a city that means so much to me.”

Manchester was the site of a deadly bombing outside Grande’s concert in May 2017.

Grande pointed out that many allies of the LGBTQ community, including Cher and Kylie Minogue, have headlined Pride celebrations. “I do think there’s room for us to talk about these issues without equating a performance *for* an lgbtq audience with exploitation of the lgbtq community.”

She added: “I’m not claiming to be the hero of the community or the face of the lgbtq movement – I just want to put on a show that makes my lgbtq fans feels special and celebrated and supported.”

Billboard writer Stephen Daw, who opined that Pride festivals have a responsibility to book more LGBTQ artists, said Grande deserves a place at Manchester Pride.

“Not only does the star have a history with the city, but she has been unwavering in her support for the LGBTQ community since her days as a Nickelodeon star. For their continued activism, stars like Grande should be welcomed with open arms to join in the celebrations.”

In her statement, Grande also deflected criticism that her presence at Manchester Pride caused an increase in ticket prices, reportedly from about $38 to $130 CAD. She insisted she has “nothing to do with ticket pricing” – but then said the prices set by Manchester Pride are “mostly out of my control.”