Bowen Yang Slams 'Wrong' Narrative About Ariana Grande's Album Inspiration

Bowen Yang Defends Ariana Grande From Wrong Narrative About Her Eternal Sunshine Album

Bowen Yang, Ariana Grande.
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Bowen Yang is coming to his Wicked costar — and friend — Ariana Grande‘s defense.

Yang, 33, called out the speculation regarding what inspired Grande’s Eternal Sunshine album during the Wednesday, March 13, episode of his “Las Culturistas” podcast. He told cohost Matt Rodgers that the songs were “not necessarily” autobiographical.

“There are liberties being taken with real life experiences and that is all I will say,” Yang noted. “I can say that it is not autobiographical, but she was very, very purposeful about the way people would be portrayed in this.”

Yang pointed out the “incredibly fragile and nuanced” aspects of the final product, adding, “She could have totally put out an album that was like, ‘I will preserve and protect details about my personal image.’”

Grande, 30, released the album earlier this month one year after her personal life made headlines following her split from ex-husband Dalton Gomez.

Us Weekly confirmed in June 2023 that Grande started dating her Wicked costar Ethan Slater after quietly separating from Gomez, 28. Slater, 31, meanwhile, is going through his own divorce proceedings with estranged wife Lilly Jay, with whom he shares an infant son.

In response to the “infidelity discourse,” Yang questioned on Wednesday why everyone remained focused on conversations about “the sanctity of marriage.”

“Of course, it is so much more complicated than that but at the heart of these conversations … The thing in [the song] is, like, the narrative is wrong,” he started to say before pointing out how Grande’s song “We Can’t Be Friends” has a larger message.

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Related: ‘Wicked’ Costars Ariana Grande and Ethan Slater’s Relationship Timeline

Ariana Grande and Ethan Slater’s romance isn’t defying gravity, but it has turned heads from the start. Us Weekly confirmed in July 2023 that Wicked costars Grande and Slater were in a “fairly new” relationship following their respective breakups. News broke that same month that Grande and Dalton Gomez called it quits after two years […]

Yang continued: “The narrative is wrong and she’s not even outwardly saying that, but the narrative has been incorrect. … I can tell you for a fact that what people out there seem to be clinging onto is incorrect.”

The podcast cohosts went on to discuss the concept of falling in love “in such an intense way” that it can be “destructive” even if it doesn’t “feel that way from within.”

“We should probably allow for the possibility that not everything is what it seems,” Yang added. “It feels absolute … It is so consuming in a way that can be destructive, but it cannot feel that way from within.”

Grande has also recently weighed in on how “nervous” she was about the album’s reception.

“I feel like we don’t need to go into any specifics, but, of course, there’s like an insatiable frustration, inexplicable, hellish feeling with watching people misunderstand the people you love and you and anything,” Grande said on the “Zach Sang Show” last month. “I’m so nervous because pieces of [the album] touch on things that are real and then pieces of it are also just, like, part of the concept.”

She continued: “So, what is that separation? It’s so scary to leave it up to these selective memory people to decipher. It’s scary, but I digress. Too late. The vinyls have been printed.”

After Eternal Sunshine was released, Grande took to social media with a message for fans.

“I just wanted to say anyone that is sending hateful messages to the people in my life based on your interpretation of the album is not supporting me and is absolutely doing the polar opposite of what I would ever encourage (and is also entirely misinterpreting the intention behind the music) …” she wrote via Instagram Story on March 9. “I ask that you please do not.”

The singer urged her followers to choose kindness, adding, “It is not how to support me. It is the opposite. Although this album captures a lot of painful moments, it also is woven together with a through line of deep, sincere love. If you cannot hear that, please listen more closely. Thank you.”

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