On Friday, Sept. 7, American rapper and musician Malcolm James McCormick, known as Mac Miller, died at the age of 26. Many news outlets that covered the event received backlash from the public on social media forums for disrespecting the rapper in their portrayal of him.
The Sun tweeted a link to its breaking news article about the event on Friday with the caption: “Ariana Grande’s ex-boyfriend Mac Miller has died.”
This sparked backlash from Twitter users, including a user that retweeted the article with the comment: “Delete this. stop disrespecting him like Ariana defined him as a person and as an artist.”
The Daily Mail published an article on the rapper’s death on Snapchat that included a photo of Miller alone and also a photo of him with singer Ariana Grande, accompanied by the line: “Rapper is found dead in his LA home just four months after splitting from Ariana Grande.”
Some reporting on the topic received praise from the public for an ethical approach.
Tidal tweeted a photo of Miller with the statement: “One of hip-hop’s most beloved and respected rappers/producers, Mac Miller has sadly passed away at the age of 26. Our condolences to Mac’s family and friends. Terrible loss for the hip-hop community.”
This statement inspired a Twitter user to share the opinion: “This how you write a headline.”
Rolling Stone magazine published an article titled: “‘You did this to him’: Ariana Grande, Mac Miller, and the Demonization of Women in Toxic Relationships.”
The backlash didn’t just fall on the shoulders of journalists. Within minutes of the news breaking, Ariana Grande’s name was trending worldwide and social media users began harassing her immediately, and her reportedly toxic relationship with Miller. This caused Grande to disable comments on all of her social media platforms.
A week after Millers death, Grande spoke out on Instagram stating she couldn’t believe he isn’t here anymore and that he was her “dearest friend.”
“The kindest, sweetest soul with demons he never deserved. I hope you’re ok now. rest,” wrote Grande.
She also shared her perception on the public’s blaming of her for Miller’s death and in response stated,
“I am not a babysitter or a mother and no woman should feel that they need to be.”
She spoke of her unwavering support for him and the dangers of toxic relationships before pleading with the public asking,
“Let’s please stop doing that.”