Sabrina Carpenter is remaining tight-lipped on the drama surrounding her new song "Skin."
The host tried to solve the mystery by asking her about the "controversy" surrounding the song, which fans have assumed is a response to Olivia Rodrigo's hit "driver's license." However, Carpenter seemingly dodged the question by focusing on Corden's pronunciation of "controversy."
"I just love how you say 'controversy,'" she said. "I'm sorry. I've never heard anyone say it like that."
But Corden didn't give up that easily and asked again, explaining he didn't understand why people couldn't stop talking about the tune. Still, Carpenter seemed like she just wanted to move on, replying, "Yeah if you don't understand it, then you just go with whatever your gut is."
After Corden continued to grill the star, she finally gave an answer.
"I genuinely was coming from a place as a 21-year-old that is navigating her feelings and was going through a lot in my personal life," she said. "And the reoccurring theme was that I was allowing people to get under my skin. So, I wrote from that place of knowing that there's so many different experiences that will continue to happen to me in my life where I kind of have to remind myself that people can only get to you if you allow them to and you give them that access to."
Although, it didn't seem to be the answer Corden was looking for as he told Carpenter her response "skirted around the controversy."
"No, I haven't skirted around it," she replied. "I think it's more the fact that…people will make a narrative out of something always. And I think this was, like, a really interesting song for people to kind of misinterpret and make it into something that it wasn't really supposed to be in the first place. But I've just been enjoying making music."
For those who need a refresher, Rodrigo dropped "driver's license" in early January. The single was about a breakup, and many listeners assumed it referenced a rumored love triangle involving her, Joshua Bassett and Carpenter.
Rodrigo and Bassett, who play lovers in High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, previously sparked off-camera romance rumors. And when Rodrigo mentioned a "failed" relationship in an August TikTok video, followers speculated the co-stars split. Then, in November, Bassett and Carpenter appeared in a TikTok video together. So when Rodrigo sang, "And you're probably with that blonde girl/ Who always made me doubt/ She's so much older than me/ She's everything I'm insecure about" in "driver's license," fans began to wonder if she was referencing Carpenter. Although, Rodrigo hasn't confirmed any theories.
"I totally understand people's curiosity with the specifics of who the song's about and what it's about, but to me, that's really the least important part of the song," the 17-year-old actress told Billboard in January. "It's resonating with people because of how emotional it is, and I think everything else is not important."
Fast-forward a few weeks later, and Carpenter drops "Skin," leading some listeners to believe the song was a reply to Rodrigo's hit. They pointed out lyrics, like the repeat of the word "blonde" in the verse, "Maybe we could've been friends/If I met you in another life/Maybe then we could pretend/There's no gravity in the words we write/Maybe you didn't mean it/Maybe blonde was the only rhyme/The only rhyme." At one point, Carpenter also sings, "Want my heart to be breaking, breaking, no/I'm happy and you hate it, hate it, oh/And I'm not asking you to let it go/But you been telling your side/So I'll be telling mine, oh."
Carpenter had addressed the speculation before. In an Instagram post in January, the Girl Meets World alum thanked her followers for listening to "Skin" and gave a special shout-out to those "who have opened their minds to lyrically what I was trying to get across."
"I wasn't bothered by a few lines in a (magnificent) song and wrote a diss track about it," Carpenter continued. "I was at a tipping point in my life for countless reasons. So I was inspired to do what I usually do to cope, write something that I wish I could have told myself in the past. People can only get to you if you give them the power to. And a lot of people were trying to get to me. The song isn't calling out one single person. Some lines address a specific situation, while other lines address plenty of other experiences I've had this past year."
She also called for an end to any negativity. "It also shows that many things have actually gotten under my skin.. and I'm still learning to not give other people so much power over my feelings," she added. "I know a lot of you struggle with the same thing. I don't want this to become an endless cycle so please don't take this as an opportunity to send more hate anyone's way. Lots of love to u all. Thanks for letting me grow."