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.
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.
“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.”