Recently, the world was reminded that, many months before dating Ariana Grande, Pete Davidson made an unfortunate joke about the Manchester Bombing.
Ariana's fans, understandably sensitive to the issue, reacted with shock.
Now, after giving it some thought, Ariana is speaking out.
In the autumn of 2017, Pete Davidson put his gallows humor on full display when speaking about Ariana Grande in stand-up.
At the time, he and Ariana were not even dating, let alone engaged.
He joked that the horrible Manchester bombing of Ariana's concert in 2017 had been a measure of the level of Ariana's fame.
"Britney Spears," Pete noted for contrast. "Didn’t have a terrorist attack at her concert."
It wasn't terribly funny as a joke and, since Britney was doing her Vegas residency at the time, the comparison doesn't really work, either.
But more or less everyone forgot about it ... until a few days ago, when people dredged it up again now that Pete and Ariana are engaged.
A number of fans, who took the Manchester bombing very personally, were shocked.
(Keep in mind that, not only is a terrorist attack that kills multiple children serious, but a number of Ariana's fans are too young to remember 9/11 and this may have been their first brush with non-shooting terrorism that touched them, personally)
It was one tweet by an Arianator that prompted Ariana to speak her mind on Pete's joke.
The fan wrote: "I respect Ariana and I want her to be happy and everything, but she was just broken after the Manchester bombing."
The fan's tweet continues: "so I don’t know why she is still with Pete, like yeah he made that joke a while ago, but like it’s not funny, it’s just rude. This is my opinion."
Ariana clearly gave this some thought before replying.
Ariana replied with a tweet of her own.
"This has been very tough & conflicting on my heart," Ariana admits.
Referring to Pete, she writes that "he uses comedy to help people feel better about how f-ed up things in this world are."
He sure does.
"We all deal w trauma differently," Ariana admits.
She's right. Different coping mechanisms for different folks.
"I of course didn’t find it funny," she admits.
"it was months ago & his intention wasn’t/ is never malicious," Ariana says. "But it was unfortunate."
There are a few things that we should all remember.
One, Pete Davidson's father died on 9/11. He absolutely does not think that terrorism is funny, but he uses dark humor to cope.
Two, though this was a bad joke (honestly, barely a joke), there are lines that Pete is not crossing. He's not wishing a terrorist attack on someone else, for example. He's not hurling slurs.
Three, somebody making a crappy joke before you ever dated is really not breakup material. Sure, you can break up for any reason, but that would be ... odd.
Four, and this can be the hardest to grasp, but the way that Pete spoke before dating Ariana was directed at a more adult audience.
Now that he and Ariana are engaged, he will probably be more conscious that there are impressionable and emotional teens hanging onto his every word.
Ariana and Pete's whirlwind romance has still caught a number of fans by surprise.
In fact, it was at Ariana's tribute to the Manchester bombing victims that she and Pete were first spotted cozying up to each other.
Now the two are engaged, and it is understandable that some fans are still scratching their heads and trying to figure out what's going on.
Some may even have misgivings about Ariana accepting the proposal of this man whom they barely know.
But they should remember that, though Ariana loves her Arianators, they are not literally her family. She does not actually need their permission to date or marry.
Fans should be happy to Ariana is happy.