Some concertgoers at Grande’s Sweetener tour stop in Atlanta on Friday found themselves having to listen to an anti-gay diatribe by a couple of men outside the venue who set up a microphone beneath a rainbow banner that had the word “Pride” crossed out. (June is Pride Month.) The incident caught the attention of the singer, who has responded with a message of support for her LGBTQ fans.
One of the men was caught on video exchanging words with a few fans and telling them that they “worship a false god” and that “Satan is your God” because they didn’t agree with his message. (The post has NSFW language, but you can view it here.)
That led to a larger group of fans of Grande — who’s known for her love and support of the LGBTQ community — banding together to drown out that message.
It was fun once everyone from inside joined 😂 pic.twitter.com/cdcZsuHIsT— tony 😛 (@VincentArreaga) June 10, 2019
Attendees said that they ultimately ran them out. There were clips showing the crowd singing, “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye.”
we ended up running them out good times pic.twitter.com/10mbd4Yqiq— watagatapitusberry (@arashmuck) June 9, 2019
Though things got hairy. At one point during the drama, the man with the mic was doused with a drink. “This is what happens when you’re homophobic,” you can hear the person capturing the video say.
Another clip showed someone knocking over the speaker — and it seemingly hit one of the protesters in the face.
this is right before they packed up & left lol pic.twitter.com/TZ3Z0axcCn— AMD (@yungcaprisun) June 9, 2019
One observer said that by the end, the hateful banner got thrown, the speaker was knocked over and a headset was tossed.
When I came out this is what I found but we yelled at them by the end of it someone had through this banner over the bridge, the speaker had been tipped over multiple times. One of their headsets was taken out and tossed and then at the end a drink was poured on one. It was wild pic.twitter.com/SX8L6L8wYA— slayed by Ari SWTatlanta (@hyosungspout) June 9, 2019
Grande later replied to the first video capturing the protest. While she described herself as “saddened” by the display, she admitted she was “not surprised.” She apologized to her fans for having to encounter it and promised that her team will “do our best to ensure this doesn’t happen again.” She thanked them for not “engaging violently” — they didn’t in that clip — because it’s “never worth it.”
man... saddened but not surprised by this one bit. i’m so sorry any of my fans had to encounter this. we will do our best to ensure this doesn’t happen again. proud of u all for not fighting / engaging violently. never worth it. wishing him peace & a healed heart cause girl yikes— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) June 9, 2019
She also pointed out that the men were “highly outnumbered” and reminded her LGBTQ fans that they are “so celebrated and loved and safe.”
he is highly outnumbered. you are all so celebrated and loved and safe. 🖤✨— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) June 9, 2019
also, he was doing the be alright choreo in his garage later that night, i promise.— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) June 9, 2019
Grande will be headlining the Manchester Pride concert later this summer. She has said that “the LGBTQ community has been so special to me and supportive throughout my entire career.”
The Sweetener tour runs through November, but Grande said over the weekend that she’ll soon announce additional dates.
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