The LGBT news website INTO has removed the byline for an opinion piece accusing Ariana Grande’s new music video “thank u, next” of being “anti-queer” after the writer of the story received death threats.
The website has since also apologized for the story and cut ties with the writer over “allegations” it says came to light only yesterday.
“We have decided to remove the author’s name from this piece after the editorial team was alerted that a high number of death threats were being made against the writer as a result of the opinions presented in this piece,” read an editor’s note affixed to the top of the article.
“INTO has historically been a place for varying opinions from LGBTQ people around the world, and will remain such a place — but these opinions never warrant violence,” it continued. “And when a writer’s own life could potentially be at stake, we must take necessary steps to ensure their safety.”
It’s unclear whether the death threats were coming from enraged Ariana Grande fans, or from anti-LGBT trolls. Website editor-in- chief Zach Stafford did not immediately respond to request for comment from TheWrap.
In the piece, the now anonymous author, hit Grande for “blackface” and “transmisogyny.”
“Her music video failed to support the basic dignity of queer and trans people,” it reads. “Laden with transmisogyny, anti-queer jokes, and blackface, the video follows Ariana’s white feminist awakening through a celebrity-laden nod to several cult classics”
The story then went on to list a number of examples from the music video, including a moment when gay performer Troye Sivan says of Grande: “I heard she’s a lesbian now and dating some chick called Aubrey. It’s f—ing sick.” The line was part of a broader homage to the movie “Mean Girls.”
INTO, a news organization owed by the LGBT dating app Grindr, has produced a string of notable pieces in recent weeks, which have included sending reporters into Mexico to cover the migrant caravan. The site was also the first to report news that Grindr president, Scott Chen, did not believe in same-sex marriage.
They also produce the web’s most extensive coverage and commentary for “RuPaul’s Drag Race”