ariana grande
ariana grande

A minor war of words has broken out after Ariana Grande criticised social media influencers for partying during the coronavirus pandemic.

The pop star condemned people who were gathering at the cowboy-themed Saddle Ranch restaurant in LA, which has become a hangout for Tik Tok stars.

"Couldn't we have stayed at home just a few more weeks?" she asked on The Zach Sang Show last week.

Tik Tok creator Bryce Hall dismissed her comments as a "marketing move".

"Because she knew that Tik Tokers have a high audience, she knew a lot of people would agree," he said on the Hollywood Raw podcast, "because there's a lot of people that hate TikTokers especially".

"I mean, it was obviously like a marketing move and good for her," he added. "But like, she's not wrong."

'She's a queen'

Grande's comments came during an hour-long interview to promote her new album, Positions, which is on course to top the UK charts this week.

"Did we all need to go to [expletive] Saddle Ranch that badly that we couldn't wait for the deathly pandemic to pass?" she said.

"Did we all need to put on our cowgirl boots and ride a mechanical bull that bad? We all needed that Instagram post that badly?"

Tik Tok personality Addison Rae, who celebrated Halloween at Saddle Ranch with Hall, admitted Grande had a point.

"I think it's fair, I think it's understandable," she said.

"I'm staying in and working out a lot and preparing for my movie," added the star, who is working on a remake of the 90s romcom She's All That.

Dixie D'Amelio - who is one of Tik Tok's most-followed stars - agreed that Grande's advice made sense.

"I don't really know what to think," she said, when approached by the gossip site Pap Galore.

"I mean, she's right. She's right, yeah," D'Amelio added. "She's a queen. I love her."

Unsafe

Grande has taken a hard line on Covid-19 safety, most recently encouraging her fans to stay at home for Hallowe'en.

"Please dress up, take pics, but then get in your PJs and watch some scary movies," she tweeted. "Going to parties right now is unsafe and absolutely not worth it."

Earlier this year, Hall and fellow Tik Tok star Blake Gray were charged with violating Los Angeles' health orders after throwing parties at the home they shared in the Hollywood Hills.

"If you have a combined 19 million followers on TikTok in the middle of a public health crisis, you should be modelling great behaviour... rather than brazenly violating the law," said Los Angeles city lawyer Mike Feuer.

Los Angeles' mayor Eric Garcetti also authorised the city to shut off water and power to the home. "Despite several warnings, this house has turned into a nightclub in the hills," he said.

Story courtesy of BBC