On September 7, 2018, Mac Miller died of a drug overdose in Studio City, CA. Immediately following his tragic death, trolls took to Twitter to attack of his ex-girlfriend, Ariana Grande. Although they were in a toxic relationship, people were quick to blame their breakup, and Grande’s relationship with Pete Davidson, as the catalyst of Miller’s downward spiral. In the wake of tragedy, we tend to see people respond with bigotry, misogyny and hate rather than empathy, love and support. Miller’s death could have been a time for America to reflect on the addiction crisis. Instead, people chose to point a finger at Ariana Grande.
The fact of the matter is, it was nobody’s fault. It was not Miller’s fault, and it certainly was not Grande’s. Addiction, like other diseases, impacts families in ways that nobody can prepare for. To claim Grande was obliged to stay in a toxic relationship, is to say that the role of a woman is to save a man rather than to value themselves and their well-being. There appears to be a societal belief that in a heterosexual relationship woman are the caretakers. However, when a man breaks-up with a woman who is not well liked, the man is told he is “lucky to have escaped.” This has been a common theme in the music industry and has even recently been coined the “Yoko Ono Effect.” Let’s be the generation to stop this demonization of women and begin treating addiction and mental illness for what it truly is: a disease.