During the past few weeks, “Stranger Things” actress Millie Bobby Brown has revealed that she, a 14-year-old girl, and rapper Drake, a 31-year-old man, share a close relationship and communicate via text. At the 70th Emmy Awards, Brown discloses that the majority of their conversations revolves around boy advice. Millie and Drake have both received backlash for their unusual relationship. The question remains: is this just a harmless friendship, or inappropriate?
The answer is that it is highly inappropriate for a child and grown man to be texting and talking about boys. There is NO reason for a grown man to be friends with a young girl. Millie has defended the friendship, saying that people need to stop making problems out of a harmless friendship. But it is no surprise that Brown doesn’t see a problem in this relationship because she is a child. Of course she is not going to recognize the predatory behavior that Drake is displaying. Although Millie has been very vocal about the whole situation, Drake has been hush regarding the accusations that he is a predator. This is unusual because one would think that he would want to defend himself and his actions, so his name is not slandered.
This friendship is NOT okay, regardless of what Millie says about it. This harmless “friendship” is an example of grooming. This is used by child predators and involves befriending and establishing an emotional connection with a child, and sometimes the family, to lower the child’s inhibitions with the objective of sexual abuse. Drake is using grooming to gain Millie’s trust. He knows exactly what he is doing. Despite Millie’s defense of Drake, older men being close with young girls should never be normalized.
Even though they seem to defend this friendship as something innocent, you have to admit; there is still something a little creepy about a 31-year-old man texting a 14-year-old girl about boy advice. Drake seems to have a fascination with this young, Hollywood starlet, and shouldn’t be swept under the rug as something “pure.” It is a friendship that is uncomfortable or wrong, not matter what both parties intentions are.