We’ve likely all, at some point, had to apologise on behalf of a partner.
Maybe they got a little too much after a few drinks at a party and embarrassed themselves in front of your friends. Maybe they put their foot in it during dinner with your family. Maybe they were just acting like an ass to people you know and now, for some reason, it’s on you to build bridges.
It’s irritating, but it usually doesn’t happen so often that it becomes a running joke amongst everybody you know.
Sadly, this isn’t the case when it comes to Grimes, who must have publicly apologized for her choice in partner so many times over the last few years that it’s turned into a bit of an unofficial catchphrase.
In case you hadn’t heard, Grimes has been in a relationship with multi-billionaire and Tesla founder Elon Musk since early 2018. It’s speculated that Elon slid into Grimes’ DMs after he was about to tweet a joke based on combining the name of a thought experiment questioning the risks of AI, Roko’s Basilisk, with the word Rococo, a style from the end of the French baroque period, but soon realised that Grimes had already made the same joke. No, we don’t get it either.
Following this realisation, he got in touch with the singer to point out their shared sense of humour. What followed was weeks of flirting via Twitter, all culminating in the pair confirming their new relationship after appearing together at the 2018 Met Gala.
When the news broke to the internet, it’s safe to say that fans of Grimes weren’t particularly pleased.
The thing is, Grimes had long been rumoured to be a supporter of Marxism and the communist movement, as were many of her fans. She’d also had the term ‘Anti-Imperialist’ within her Twitter bio, a political standing opposing colonialism and territorial expansion, around the time that she’d started dating Elon Musk.
Whether the two ideologies have any merit are an entirely different debate, but one thing we certainly know is that they aren’t conducive with the multi-billion dollar capitalist empire of her new partner, much to the chagrin of her listeners.
Suddenly, the singer, who had previously faced very little backlash over the course of her career, was at the centre of a storm of criticism from fans who believed she had betrayed her beliefs.
What’s more, Elon Musk has had his fair share of scandals over time and had courted controversy long before he began dating Grimes.
Following this, a theme started to arise. On Twitter, on Instagram, on TikTok – at almost every opportunity, in fact – Grimes appeared to be constantly apologising for dating Elon Musk.
In the years that they’ve been together, Grimes has apologised to her fans for her choice of partner so many times that it’s frankly surprising she’s never produced merch with the phrase ‘sorry about my boyfriend’ plastered across it. Yet, she’s not giving her apologies for anything that he’s done in particular – she seems to be purely asking for forgiveness just for being with him.
It’s unfortunate to see. As a woman in her 30s, she should be able to be in a relationship with whoever she wants without fear of being reprimanded for no good reason, though fans don’t seem to be able to let it lie.
There’s something inherently likeable about Grimes. She has an approachability about her that many of her fans could easily mistake for familiarity. The way that she communicates with fans over social media is straightforward, informal, laidback – almost as if they’re friends. Perhaps this is why some of her fans seem to believe they’re entitled to ask, repeatedly, when she’s going to leave the boyfriend that they dislike so very much.
Many celebrities would likely ignore such comments or respond adamantly that it’s frankly nobody else’s business. However, it appears that Grimes wishes to treat her fans a little more delicately. When challenged by fans, many of whom respond to her posts with a simple ‘Break up with Elon’ (or other comment to that effect), she almost always jumps to his defence.
Perhaps the clearest demonstration of this was back in May of this year, as Elon Musk made his debut as a host of SNL. Following the episode, in which Grimes herself appeared opposite Musk for a Mario-inspired courtroom sketch, she posted to fans detailing how happy she was with her partner.
‘My beautiful E killed it,’ she posted, following up with ‘(which I know will upset the grimes fans so I apologise in advance)’
The problem is that her apologies seem to fall on deaf ears, with fans continuing to double down on their disdain for her billionaire boyfriend. Following hundreds of further comments from fans on TikTok, Grimes recently took to creating a multi-part series in an attempt to clear up misunderstandings regarding her politics, her beliefs and her relationship, hoping to quell some of the constant criticism.
It seems to be a last-ditch attempt to handle the criticism of fans delicately – perhaps before changing her strategy.
If she does, it will be a long time coming.
Why is it that Grimes, a 33-year-old woman, should continuously have to defend herself and her choice of partner against the internet? Furthermore, are her constant responses giving fans the illusion that they have the potential to change her mind?
Her series on TikTok appears to be racking up plenty of attention so far and with Grimes vowing to ‘address the excessive dramas’, it seems as though this could be on the list of points to discuss.
Time will tell.