Ariana Grande issued an apology Sunday night after fans responded negatively to a joke the singer made in the comments of her friend's now-deleted Instagram. Doug Middlebrook, a core member of Grande's inner circle, posted a picture of a tabloid cover featuring JonBenét Ramsey over the weekend with the caption, "No one has done more covers." Grande hopped into the comments, quipping "i can't WAIT for this to be your halloween look," prompting Middlebrook to respond "working on it already." Fans, however, thought the joke was in bad taste, and took to Twitter to express their disgust.
"I need people to stop with this strange, very unnerving JonBenet Ramsey obsession," one user wrote. "Jeffree Star has her tattooed on him. Ariana Grande is endorsing her as a Halloween costume. She is not a character or celebrity. She is a little girl who was murdered. It's cruel and gross."
I need people to stop with this strange, very unnerving JonBenet Ramsey obsession. Jeffree Star has her tattooed on him. Ariana Grande is endorsing her as a Halloween costume. She is not a character or celebrity. She is a little girl who was murdered. It's cruel and gross. pic.twitter.com/EwVUfmOA86— des™ (@TheLightinItaly) July 29, 2019
"Wait WHAT??" another tweeted. "an 8-year-old girl who was violently killed, strangled and suffocated cannot be anyone's costume..."
Following the backlash, Middlebrook deleted the post, and Grande apologised in a reply on Twitter.
"yeah no i deleted it very quickly and understand that it’s not at all funny," she wrote. "this was out of pocket and i sincerely apologise."
According to BuzzFeed News, Grande elaborated in a now-deleted tweet, writing, "love u. fuck. i appreciate you. sorry i'm so fucked up. dark jokes are a coping mechanism for me and yet i hate when other people make them. thank y'all for being real & always helping me learn. i'm happy i have a fanbase who's not afraid to call me out on my shit. love u."
She and her fans seem to have come to an amicable conclusion, however, since the conversation ended with an "I love you more" battle.
A rep for Grande did not immediately respond to Refinery29's request for comment.