Ariana Grande apologizes to fans for homophobic protest outside her show

One might think there’s been enough hate spread at Ariana Grande concerts for a lifetime — but that didn’t stop a small group with a homophobic message over the weekend.

Some concertgoers at Grande’s Sweetener tour stop in Atlanta on Friday found themselves having to listen to an anti-gay diatribe by a couple of men outside the venue who set up a microphone beneath a rainbow banner that had the word “Pride” crossed out. (June is Pride Month.) The incident caught the attention of the singer, who has responded with a message of support for her LGBTQ fans.

(Screenshot: @ashymakayla via Twitter)

One of the men was caught on video exchanging words with a few fans and telling them that they “worship a false god” and that “Satan is your God” because they didn’t agree with his message. (The post has NSFW language, but you can view it here.)

That led to a larger group of fans of Grande — who’s known for her love and support of the LGBTQ community — banding together to drown out that message.

Attendees said that they ultimately ran them out. There were clips showing the crowd singing, “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye.”

Though things got hairy. At one point during the drama, the man with the mic was doused with a drink. “This is what happens when you’re homophobic,” you can hear the person capturing the video say.

Another clip showed someone knocking over the speaker — and it seemingly hit one of the protesters in the face.

One observer said that by the end, the hateful banner got thrown, the speaker was knocked over and a headset was tossed.

Grande later replied to the first video capturing the protest. While she described herself as “saddened” by the display, she admitted she was “not surprised.” She apologized to her fans for having to encounter it and promised that her team will “do our best to ensure this doesn’t happen again.” She thanked them for not “engaging violently” — they didn’t in that clip — because it’s “never worth it.”

She also pointed out that the men were “highly outnumbered” and reminded her LGBTQ fans that they are “so celebrated and loved and safe.”

She added:

Grande will be headlining the Manchester Pride concert later this summer. She has said that “the LGBTQ community has been so special to me and supportive throughout my entire career.”

The Sweetener tour runs through November, but Grande said over the weekend that she’ll soon announce additional dates.

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