Katy Perry has come under fire after kissing a teenage boy without his consent on American Idol.
During the audition phase, a 19-year-old by the name of Benjamin Glaze steepped up, hoping to impress the judges. Before he began his audition, fellow judge Lionel Richie had asked him if he’d ever “kissed a girl and liked it”, a reference to Katy Perry’s hit song ‘I Kissed a Girl’.
Glaze responded that he had not, stating: “No. I’ve never been in a relationship. I can’t kiss the girl without being in a relationship.” Perry then got him to come over to the judges’ podium, where she asked Glaze to kiss her on the cheek.
Then, in a sneaky move, Katy asked him to do it again and, this time when he went in, she
moved her cheek and kissed him on the lips.
All of the jiudges erupted in a mix of laughter and high fives – but nobody is laughing now.
Glaze has since gone on the record to state that the kiss was non-consensual. “I was a tad bit uncomfortable. I wanted to save it for my first relationship,” he told the New York Times.
“Would I have done it if she said, ‘Would you kiss me?’ No, I would have said no. I know a lot of guys would be like, ‘Heck yeah!’ But for me, I was raised in a conservative family and I was uncomfortable immediately. I wanted my first kiss to be special.”
The whole thing has now been whipped up into a social media storm, with several people taking to Twitter to take offence at the unsolicited kiss.
The worst part is this comes right after Katy Perry hit on that other guy throughout his entire audition, making him uncomfortable… And I hate to do this, but if the genders were reversed, and a famous guy was hitting on a girl, people would be outraged.https://t.co/nccOa3WlcP
— Ashley Rae (@Communism_Kills) March 14, 2018
Hi just a friendly reminder that Katy Perry kissing this young man without his consent (he was saving his first kiss AND she tricked him into it) is a violation and assault! Joking about it is enforcing rape culture that tells us that men can’t be sexually assaulted. pic.twitter.com/CyIe64Y5eO
— ava (@avanikki) March 15, 2018
Dear @katyperry: This is not cute or awesome. You violated this boy's boundaries, and told every one of your fans that it's ok to do the same. Affirmative consent is for everyone. Including superstars. Including women. Let me know if you'd like to talk. https://t.co/hsGqQElTrP
— Jaclyn Friedman❄️ (@jaclynf) March 14, 2018
Several have also pointed out that, if the gender roles were reversed and an older dude played that trick on a young girl, everyone would be up in arms.
Thankfully, Glaze has taken to Instagram to clarify that he doesn’t think he was sexually harassed by Perry and that this was simply a case of the media trying to whip up a storm.
Hi everyone, I would like to clear a few things up for anyone who is confused, concerned, or angry. I am not complaining about the kiss from Katy Perry at all, doing a few news reports and being interviewed by many different reporters has caused some major questions. The way certain articles are worded is not done by me, and my true intentions are not accurately represented in every article you read about the situation. I am not complaining about the kiss, I am very honored and thankful to have been apart of American Idol. The main purpose for the show is to find stars and new music artist. I do wish I would have performed better in the moment. I should have picked another song to sing and calmed myself down regardless of the kiss. I should have been able to perform under pressure. I do not think I was sexually harassed by Katy Perry and I am thankful for the judges comments and critiques. I was uncomfortable in a sense of how I have never been kissed before and was not expecting it. My main goal is to reach people through the universal love of music and not cause strife or anger against anyone or about any situation! Please take into consideration that I don’t believe my views have been appropriately communicated through the media! Thank you to everyone who has followed me in this journey and I hope I answered a few questions. . . . . . #americanidol #katyperry #music
“I am not complaining about the kiss, I am very honoured and thankful to have been a part of American Idol,” he said. “I do not think I was sexually harassed by Katy Perry and I am thankful for the judges’ comments and critiques.”
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.