Pete Davidson has faced backlash for continuously putting his recently ended relationship with Ariana Grande at the forefront of his comedic jokes. While I understand where people are coming from, this is simply Davidson’s way of using his past relationships for his artistic work—and that’s okay.
The Saturday Night Live writer is not only receiving criticism post-breakup. He used his relationship with the “God is a Woman” singer as a source for his comedy while they were together, and fans were not so happy about it.
In the 44th season premiere of SNL, the 24-year-old comedian was not shy about joking about his relationship with his 25-year-old fiancé. He talked about prenuptials and exchanging Grande’s birth control with Tic Tacs. He also gushed about the fantastic circumstances of living with his successful fiancé. “She pays 60 grand for rent and all I have to do is stock the fridge,” he said. Davidson was then accused of using his relationship with Grande to promote himself and for being insensitive.
i get using humor to cope with sensitive issues and bring light/relief to micro aggression, but pete davidson has crossed the line and if you think him dehumanizing ariana like that is even remotely okay then you have some serious reevaluating to do.
— mona (@velvet_face) September 28, 2018
— easwicka (@easwicka) September 30, 2018
Most recently, he was slammed for making a joke for an SNL promo in which he asked musical guest Maggie Rogers to marry him, after which she turns him down.
— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) November 1, 2018
Fans were quick to respond, but this time, the pop singer herself weighed in and was not happy. In a since-deleted tweet, she said, “for somebody who claims to hate relevancy u sure love clinging to it huh.”
This pain of just ending an engagement after a relationship that only lasted a few months is understandably an open wound for Grande. Plus, seeing your relationship fall apart in the media is never easy. However, Davidson has every right to use his experiences for his work, just as every artist is allowed to use their life experiences for their music.
So much music in the world is made from real-life experiences, especially songs about relationships, makeups and breakups. It’s how the music is so personable and can connect to audiences. It’s real and genuine. What if song writers didn’t pen their relationships to save the other person the ache of hearing about it? We would have a lot less music from Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, and really any other artist out there. Say goodbye to “Style” by Taylor Swift, which is supposedly about Harry Styles, Selena Gomez’s “The Heart Wants What It Wants,” which is said to be about ex Justin Bieber and so many more hits.
Some may argue that Davidson’s comedy is much more straightforward than a song that can be left for interpretation. However, this is his form of art he uses to express himself, just like a painter, a songwriter or a dancer expresses themselves through their art. He should not have to censor what he uses for this art to spare the feelings of others, especially if it’s not slanderous.
Plus, Grande dropped “Thank U, Next,” days after reacting to the controversial SNL promo. This song addresses Pete by name, saying “And for Pete I’m so thankful.” While this line is not offensive at all, it is an example of Grande using the relationship for her art.
I understand why people are offended by Davidson’s ongoing jokes. Switching someone’s birth control is a serious problem, but Davidson of course did not actually do that. Yes, Davidson may be using the relationship to further his content, because it’s helping get ratings. However, one of the goals in the entertainment industry is to get higher ratings, more views, more streams, more sales and so on. If you want to take someone down for using a hot topic to appeal to the audiences, start by boycotting the many late night shows that use President Donald Trump as someone to laugh at.
In the end, this all comes down to making art. Pete Davidson is a comedian; he will use his life experiences to write comedy. Ariana Grande is a singer; she will use life experiences to write songs. That’s how the business works, and life will go on.