Bowen Yang Calls Ariana Grande Relationship Rumors ‘Incorrect’ & ‘Absolute Falsehoods’

Bowen Yang has Ariana Grande’s back. While reviewing the pop star’s new album Eternal Sunshine on his Las Culturistas podcast Wednesday (March 13), the Saturday Night Live cast member took a moment to defend his friend from monthslong speculation about her relationship with Wicked costar Ethan Slater. 


“The narrative is wrong,” Yang said frankly in conversation with his co-host Matt Rogers. “[Grande’s] not even outwardly saying that, but the narrative has been incorrect. People have even retracted things in these stories with no f—king apology to the people who are involved.”  

“I can tell you for a fact that what people out there seem to be clinging on to is incorrect,” added the comedian, who stars in the upcoming Wicked films alongside Grande and Slater. “A media narrative can be completely consuming and devastating and frustrate you to no end because of how wrong it is. Pushing absolute falsehoods — I’m sorry, it is a really f—king disorienting thing to experience. “ 

Reports of the “Yes, And?” singer’s romance with Slater first emerged just days after news of her split from husband Dalton Gomez broke in July. Soon afterward, the SpongeBob SquarePants Broadway star’s estranged wife, Lilly Jay — with whom he shares a young son — told Page Six that Grande was “the story” behind her breakup from Slater, adding that the pop star is “not a girl’s girl.”  

In September, Grande filed for divorce from Gomez, two months after Slater and Jay filed. (She and Gomez settled their split in October.) Both TMZ and People have reported from the beginning that the Wicked stars’ romance began after both of their previous relationships ended. 

“If you think this invites karma, I’m here to tell you, your set of facts – I’m not going to reveal the actual facts, because they’re not mine to reveal,” Yang continued on the podcast. “But I can say that the matrix of information that you are using to draw a line to the karmic outcome you want is not existent.”   


Grande herself touched on her recent experiences with the rumors surrounding her relationship with Slater in an interview leading up to her new album’s March 8 release. “We don’t need to go into any specifics, but of course there’s an insatiable frustration, an inexplicable hellish feeling with watching people misunderstand the people you love, and you,” she said on The Zach Sang Show

About Eternal Sunshine – on which Grande seemingly shuts down the rumors on songs such as “True Story” — Yang noted, “She could’ve very easily made this a Reputation [by Taylor Swift] album, an album that was like, ‘F–k you, I’ve been completely misunderstood’ … Instead, it’s this very fragile, delicate work.” 

Listen to Yang defend Grande on Las Culturistas below. 

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