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Ariana Grande’s Most Controversial Moments: Alleged Cheating and More on August 1, 2023 at 12:00 am Us Weekly

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Ariana Grande Matt Baron/Shutterstock

Ariana Grande‘s on-set romance with Ethan Slater is far from her first brush with controversy.

Since her rise to the top of the charts, Grande’s career has been plagued by scandals. In July 2015, she sparked outrage online after a video of her licking donuts — and later calling them “disgusting” and saying she hates America — went viral. She issued several apologies about the incident, asserting in a statement to Us Weekly that she would “strive to be better” after the public took offense to her “poor choice of words.”

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Along with allegedly feuding with former costars and being accused of plagiarism, Grande’s personal relationships have raised eyebrows over the years. Naya Rivera once claimed the pop star’s romance with Big Sean may have overlapped with her own — and some fans have allegedly found evidence that the pattern continued in more of Grande’s relationships.

Following her whirlwind engagement to Pete Davidson, Grande attempted to keep her love life on the down-low. She exchanged vows with Dalton Gomez in May 2021, but the couple called it quits after two years of marriage.

As news broke of Grande’s divorce, Us confirmed her relationship with Slater — and fans quickly tried to piece together their dating timeline. “Ariana’s determined to move forward,” a source exclusively told Us of the scandal in July 2023.

Keep scrolling for a breakdown of Grande’s biggest controversies through the years:

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The ‘I Hate America’ Donut

Grande sparked backlash in July 2015 when footage went viral of her and then-boyfriend Ricky Alvarez at Wolfee Donuts in California. In the clip originally posted by TMZ, Grande licked pastries she didn’t appear to have purchased when an employee’s back was turned. When a tray of fresh donuts was brought out, she teased, “What the f—k is that? I hate Americans. I hate America! That’s disgusting.” (The incident took place on the 4th of July.)

The video was immediately met with outrage, and Grande issued a statement to Us apologizing for her behavior. “I am EXTREMELY proud to be an American and I’ve always made it clear that I love my country. … As an advocate for healthy eating, food is very important to me and I sometimes get upset by how freely we as Americans eat and consume things without giving any thought to the consequences that it has on our health and society as a whole,” she explained, acknowledging that she should have had “more discretion with my choice of words.”

During a Good Morning America appearance in September 2015, Grande apologized once again. “I think one of the biggest things I learned from that was what it feels like to disappoint so many people who love and believe in you. And that’s an excruciating feeling,” she said.

Todd Williamson/January Images/Shutterstock

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Calling Out the Grammys

In February 2019, reports surfaced that Grande canceled her planned performance at the 61st annual Grammys due to production disagreements. Producer Ken Ehrlich later claimed to the Associated Press that Grande “felt it was too late for her to pull something together.”

Grande swiftly clapped back via Twitter, writing, “Mhmmm here it is! I’ve kept my mouth shut but now you’re lying about me. I can pull together a performance over night and you know that, Ken. It was when my creativity & self expression was stifled by you, that I decided not to attend. I hope the show is exactly what you want it to be and more.”

Grande was reportedly told she couldn’t perform “7 Rings” unless it was part of a medley. In her string of tweets, Grande claimed she offered suggestions for different songs. “It’s about collaboration. It’s about feeling supported. It’s about art and honesty. Not politics. Not doing favors or playing games,” she wrote. “It’s just a game y’all.. and I’m sorry but that’s not what music is to me.”

That year, Grande was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Performance and Best Pop Vocal Album, winning the latter. She returned to the Grammys stage in January 2020 to perform.

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Jennette McCurdy Fallout

After her stint on Victorious, Grande teamed up with iCarly‘s Jennette McCurdy for a Nickelodeon spinoff titled Sam & Cat. In her 2022 memoir, I’m Glad My Mom Died, McCurdy claimed that she wasn’t allowed to pursue other opportunities while working on the show — but Grande was. She alleged that Nickelodeon offered her $300,000 to not discuss her experience at the network publicly.

“What finally undid me was when Ariana came whistle-toning in with excitement because she had spent the previous evening playing charades at Tom Hanks’ house,” she wrote. “That was the moment I broke.”

She added: “Ariana misses work in pursuit of her music career while I act with a box. I’m pissed about it. And I’m pissed at her. Jealous of her.”

Before the series was canceled in July 2014, it was put on a production hiatus amid reports that Grande was earning a much higher salary than her costar. Grande shut down the “absolutely ridiculous and false” speculation via Twitter.

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“Jennette and I agreed upfront that we would be treated equally on this show in all regards (as we should be, considering we each work just as hard as the other on this show),” she wrote. “I don’t know who’s putting these idiotic quotes out there but I thought I’d straighten it out and try to end this nonsense.”

McCurdy fueled rumors of a feud between her and Grande with her web series What’s Next for Sarah? after Sam & Cat’s cancelation. The show featured a pop star named Gloriana who rocked a high ponytail — Grande’s signature style.

Broadimage/Shutterstock

Naya Rivera Caught Her With Big Sean

Grande dated Big Sean in 2014 after his split from former fiancée Rivera — but the Glee alum claimed there was some overlap in the two romances.

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“On the one day that he was back in LA, [Sean] said he didn’t want to see me. But since she had a key, she let herself in to his house,” Rivera wrote in her 2016 memoir, Sorry Not Sorry. “I walk in, go downstairs, and guess what little girl is sitting cross-legged on the couch listening to music? … It rhymes with ‘Smariana Schmande.’”

Rivera remembered feeling blindsided by her and Sean’s breakup. “I learned that I was no longer getting married from the internet, and at the same time as the rest of the world,” she alleged. “Not only were we not getting married, we weren’t even together anymore.”

Grande never responded to Rivera’s claims. Rivera, meanwhile, died in a drowning accident in July 2020.

‘Wicked’ Romance With Ethan Slater

Us confirmed in July 2023 that Grande and Gomez were separated after two years of marriage. Shortly after the breakup made headlines, Us confirmed that Grande had already moved on with her Wicked costar. (Slater was married to Lilly Jay at the time, with whom he welcomed a son in 2022.)

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According to a source, Slater informed Jay about his relationship with Grande “days before” it became public. (A source close to Grande denied the claims.) While Grande and Slater didn’t immediately comment on the scandal, Jay shared her side of the story with Page Six.

“[Ariana’s] the story really. Not a girl’s girl. My family is just collateral damage,” she claimed. “The story is her and Dalton.”

Slater filed for divorce from Jay in July 2023. An insider exclusively told Us that Gomez, meanwhile, wanted to give Grande “space” but hadn’t “given up hope that they can make things work.”

Annie Wermiel/NY Post; Xavier Collin/Image Press Agency/MEGA

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Cultural Appropriation Accusations

Grande has been criticized for Blackfishing — or seemingly making her skin darker — and other instances of appropriation through the years. In 2019, she was accused of exploiting Asian culture by using Japanese characters in her visuals (and in a misspelled tattoo).

“I can’t read or write kanji obviously. What do you want me to do? It was done out of love and appreciation,” she wrote in a since-deleted tweet about her ink at the time. “What do you want me to say? U kno how many people make this mistake and DON’T care just cause they like how it looks? Bruh… I care sooooo much. What would u like me to do or say? Forreal.”

Grande was also selling merch with Japanese characters on it that was eventually taken down from her site. “People on this app really don’t know how to be forgiving or gentle when someone has made an innocent mistake. No one considers feelings other than their own,” she wrote amid the backlash.

Around the same time, Grande was accused of plagiarizing “7 Rings.” Princess Nokia claimed in a social media video that Grande’s hit sounded similar to “Mine” from her mixtape 1992. “Ain’t that the lil song I made about brown women and their hair? Hmmm… sounds about white,” she hinted.

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In response, Grande posted — and subsequently deleted — via her Instagram Story: “White women talking about their weaves is how we’re gonna solve racism.” She later apologized for the “out of pocket” quip.

Alleged Diva Behavior

Since the beginning of her career, Grande has been accused of making outrageous demands and demonstrating unprofessional behavior. In 2014, rumors swirled that Grande’s team had a list of off-limits topics prepared for interviews and that Grande only wanted to be photographed on her left side. (She called the reports “nonsense” in a radio interview at the time.)

Grande opened up about being labeled a “diva” during a 2020 sit-down with Zane Lowe. “I stopped doing interviews for a really long time because I felt like whenever I would get into a position where somebody would try to say something for clickbait or twist my words or blah, blah, blah, I would defend myself. And then, people would be like, ‘Oh, she’s a diva,’” she said. “I was like, ‘This doesn’t make any sense.’”

While she felt like her “opinions” were often “manipulated” for a headline, Grande didn’t see the same thing happening to men in the public eye. “It’s like when men express their opinions or defend themselves or are directing something and making notes on something, they’re brilliant. And they’re genius at it. And yet, it’s just so not the same thing with women … It’s not always that way. But it does make you want to quiet down a little bit.”

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Grande confessed that it hasn’t always been easy to approach negativity with a “f–k that” attitude.

Ariana Grande‘s on-set romance with Ethan Slater is far from her first brush with controversy. Since her rise to the top of the charts, Grande’s career has been plagued by scandals. In July 2015, she sparked outrage online after a video of her licking donuts — and later calling them “disgusting” and saying she hates 

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Rosie Maddox: Rom-Com Wins with Best Screenplay!

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Get ready to applaud because Rosie Maddox, the creative genius behind “Wishing on Stars,” is making waves with her latest triumph as the winner of the Best Romantic Comedy Screenplay Award! Her captivating storytelling has earned her a well-deserved spotlight at the Houston Comedy Film Festival, where her heartwarming screenplay stole hearts and tickled funny bones.

From the bustling streets of Washington to the vibrant cityscape of Seattle, Rosie’s narrative prowess shines as she crafts a tale of serendipitous reunions and unexpected love. With “Wishing on Stars,” Rosie invites audiences on an enchanting journey of rediscovery, friendship, and the magic of second chances.

This isn’t just any rom-com—it’s a testament to Rosie’s innate ability to infuse depth and authenticity into her characters, making them leap off the page and into our hearts. As we eagerly await the cinematic adaptation of “Wishing on Stars,” Rosie continues to captivate audiences with her unique brand of storytelling, proving that she’s a force to be reckoned with in the world of film.

Join us in celebrating Rosie Maddox’s remarkable achievement and stay tuned for more updates as she continues to enchant us with her magical tales of laughter, love, and the endless possibilities of the human heart. Congratulations, Rosie—you’ve truly earned your place among the stars!

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Please feel free to check out on online store here.

 

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Shoutout to our sponsor Travis Whitbeck from Roots & Spores. Check out their instagram follow and support here.

Roots & Spores Coffee Owner Travis Whitbeck

From the Film Festival Circuit Founder, Mikal Fair:

“Explore the ‘Film Festival Submitter’s Handbook 2024,’ your ultimate guide to conquering the film festival circuit. Whether you’re a filmmaker or screenwriter, this essential resource provides practical strategies to navigate the competitive landscape of film festivals successfully. From crafting compelling titles, taglines, and synopses to creating impactful director’s and writer’s statements, this handbook equips you with the tools to shine in the festival circuit. Learn to develop effective marketing materials, including posters and trailers, and discover the importance of communication and presenting a professional package. With insights tailored to the evolving role of social media and marketing in the film industry, this handbook is your key to festival triumph. Get your copy now and embark on your journey to festival success!”

 

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“Changing Spots”: A Heartwarming Family Journey

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In “Changing Spots,” Lauren L. Owen masterfully weaves a heartwarming tale centered around Lizzie Jennings, a black anthropology student in her mid-30s, and her aging father, Walter. As Walter grapples with the challenges of living independently for the first time, Lizzie steps in to assist him, embarking on a dual mission to help her father become self-sustainable while documenting their progress for her thesis. Through candid interviews and her own camera footage, the story unfolds in a captivating mockumentary style, offering a glimpse into the tender moments and humorous mishaps that define their journey.

Owen, a trailblazing talent in the industry and the first Black or African American graduate of NYU’s MBA/MFA dual master’s degree program, brings her unique perspective to “Changing Spots.” With a remarkable background in producing, writing, and directing, including collaborations with acclaimed filmmaker Spike Lee and notable projects like “BlacKkKlansman” and “See You Yesterday,” Owen’s work is deeply rooted in promoting diversity both on and off the screen. Through her storytelling, she celebrates the bond between black women and their fathers, shedding light on the often overlooked narratives that resonate with audiences on a profound level.

Fun fact: Lauren Owen is also an Associate Producer for the Netflix Original Film, “See You Yesterday,” further showcasing her versatility and impact in the industry.

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As Owen shares her personal connection to the story, drawing inspiration from her own experiences and her playful sense of humor inherited from her father, she invites viewers to embrace the complexities of familial relationships and the importance of staying connected despite life’s challenges. “Changing Spots” serves as a poignant reminder of the enduring power of love, laughter, and shared moments, resonating with audiences of all backgrounds and generations.

Moreover, Owen’s exceptional talent as a writer shines through as she clinched the prestigious Best Comedy Short Screenplay Award at the Houston Comedy Film Festival, further cementing her status as a rising star in the industry. This accolade not only recognizes Owen’s remarkable storytelling skills but also underscores the universal appeal and relatability of “Changing Spots.” As audiences continue to embrace this heartwarming tale, Owen’s win serves as a testament to the enduring impact of stories that celebrate the beauty of family bonds and the journey of self-discovery.

Please feel free to check out on online store here.

From the Film Festival Circuit Founder, Mikal Fair:

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Explore the ‘Film Festival Submitter’s Handbook 2024,’ your ultimate guide to conquering the film festival circuit. Whether you’re a filmmaker or screenwriter, this essential resource provides practical strategies to navigate the competitive landscape of film festivals successfully. From crafting compelling titles, taglines, and synopses to creating impactful director’s and writer’s statements, this handbook equips you with the tools to shine in the festival circuit. Learn to develop effective marketing materials, including posters and trailers, and discover the importance of communication and presenting a professional package. With insights tailored to the evolving role of social media and marketing in the film industry, this handbook is your key to festival triumph. Get your copy now and embark on your journey to festival success!

 

Shoutout to our sponsor Travis Whitbeck from Roots & Spores. Check out their instagram follow and support here.

Roots & Spores Coffee Owner Travis Whitbeck

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“A Messy Divorce” Named Finalist for Best Dark Comedy Film Award

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Award Winning Filmmaker, Phil Grishayev

Phil Grishayev, a talented filmmaker based in Los Angeles, is making waves in the comedy film scene with his uproarious short film, “A Messy Divorce.” Born and raised in Poland, Grishayev relocated to the United States in his early twenties, where his passion for storytelling and visual arts blossomed. Despite being relatively new to directing and producing, Grishayev’s creative vision and dedication have propelled him into the spotlight of the entertainment industry.

“A Messy Divorce” is not only Grishayev’s directorial debut but also a testament to his ability to breathe life into captivating narratives. The film, originally conceived as a screenplay by Grishayev’s friend Lenar Kamalov, follows the misadventures of a newly divorced couple who accidentally run over a man on the road and hilariously attempt to cover up their tracks. With its clever twists and comedic timing, “A Messy Divorce” has earned critical acclaim and audience praise alike.

Despite its humble beginnings, “A Messy Divorce” has already achieved notable success in the film festival circuit. Grishayev’s screenplay won a prestigious award at SWN, and the film was selected as an Official Entry at the Houston Comedy Festival in 2021. Now, as a finalist for the Best Dark Comedy Film Award at the esteemed Houston Comedy Film Festival, “A Messy Divorce” continues to captivate audiences with its unique blend of humor and wit.

Looking ahead, Grishayev has ambitious plans to expand “A Messy Divorce” into a full-length feature film, showcasing his commitment to storytelling and filmmaking. With his innovative approach and creative flair, Grishayev is poised to make a lasting impact on the comedy genre and beyond.

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As the anticipation builds for the Houston Comedy Film Festival, all eyes are on Phil Grishayev and “A Messy Divorce,” eagerly awaiting the announcement of the winners. In the meantime, audiences can experience the comedic brilliance of Grishayev’s work and witness the rise of a promising filmmaker in the entertainment industry.

He is an incredible Experiential Designer for major Paramount movie premiere sets with films apart of the Barbie franchise and Batman. Check him out here. grishayev.com

Award Winning Filmmaker, Phil Grishayev, and Hollywood Executive Producer and Houston Comedy Film Festival Director, Roselyn Omaka

From the Film Festival Circuit Founder, Mikal Fair:

Explore the ‘Film Festival Submitter’s Handbook 2024,’ your ultimate guide to conquering the film festival circuit. Whether you’re a filmmaker or screenwriter, this essential resource provides practical strategies to navigate the competitive landscape of film festivals successfully. From crafting compelling titles, taglines, and synopses to creating impactful director’s and writer’s statements, this handbook equips you with the tools to shine in the festival circuit. Learn to develop effective marketing materials, including posters and trailers, and discover the importance of communication and presenting a professional package. With insights tailored to the evolving role of social media and marketing in the film industry, this handbook is your key to festival triumph. Get your copy now and embark on your journey to festival success!

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