Into, an online publication owned by the Grindr gay dating app, has apologized for posting an outrageous article that accused an Ariana Grande music video of transphobia and racism.
Stafford did not explain why the piece "missed the mark," saying instead that the digital magazine "failed the writer by not working with her to ensure the piece met our standards."
However, many on Twitter have weighed in on the failings of the article, titled "Ariana Grande's 'Thank U, Next' Music Video Is Surprisingly Anti-Queer." Users tore apart the pseudointellectual analysis, which claimed the music video was guilty of "transmisogyny, heterosexual pride, and blackface" without offering evidence.
One bizarre argument in the essay is that the pop song — which makes playful references to popular films like Mean Girls, 13 Going on 30, and Bring It On — is guilty of transphobia, allegedly because an appearance by Kris Jenner is an intended insult to her ex-spouse, Caitlyn Jenner.
jesus take the wheel and drive me off a cliff. this is some wild shit. and i love pop culture analysis. but claims require textual evidence. so much here is verifiably false. this is just really embarassing for everyone involved... pic.twitter.com/1T8N8bSDtK
— Kevin Allred (@KevinAllred) December 4, 2018
— Blair Imani (@BlairImani) December 4, 2018
I’m sorry but this is the farthest reaching article I’ve read in my whole entire life. Like realllllly trying to make something from absolutely nothing. Wild
— TATIANNA (@TATIANNANOW) December 4, 2018
Even Troye Sivan, a gay singer who makes a cameo in "Thank U, Next," responded with disbelief to the oped.
This literally can’t be real I’m scream
— troye (@troyesivan) December 3, 2018
In his editor's note, Stafford claimed the byline of the author had been removed from the article because this person received a barrage of death threats. Additionally, Stafford said after the piece was published, Into received reports of "concerning allegations" about the author's past and, as a result, "the writer will not be contributing to Into for the time being."
"Moving forward, I am working with the entire Into team to ensure something like this doesn’t happen again. I will be making some internal editorial changes that will be announced soon," Stafford stated.
"Today, we will be publishing content directly calling out the missteps in the piece and expanding the conversation. We also have a special guest for a video that was already filmed for Ariana, too," he added.
It is unclear at present what the nature of this video might be, but Into did publish a rebuttal breaking down the false arguments in the anti-Ariana oped.
Into made headlines last week for a separate issue. Scott Chen, the president of Grindr, publicly criticized one of the digital magazine's writers, Mathew Rodriquez. The writer reported on a troubling Facebook post that Chen wrote stating he believes marriage is a “holy matrimony between a man and a woman."
In the comments section of the Into article, Chen left a message for Rodriguez with seemingly contradictory remarks. "Some people think the marriage is a holy matrimony between a man and a woman. And I think so too. But that’s your own business," he said, concluding, "I am a huge advocate for LGBTQ+ rights since I was young. I support gay marriage and I am proud that I can work for Grindr."