Katy Perry kissed a boy, and he didn’t like it—nor did he consent to it.
Perry, one of the new panel of judges on the American Idol reboot, forcefully kissed a contestant on the show’s March 11 premiere and make no mistake—it was not cool, cute or funny. 19-year-old singer-songwriter Benjamin Glaze was asked by fellow judge, country star Luke Bryan, if he’d ever “kissed a girl and liked it” (ew, although we guess he was riffing on the Perry song of the same name) and the young man replied that he in fact had never kissed a girl, explaining that you “can’t kiss a girl without being in a relationship.” Bless him.
Perry, 33, then called Glaze over to the judge’s desk where she was standing, flanked by a howling, clapping Bryan and music legend Lionel Ritchie, and ordered him to kiss her on the cheek. After one peck, she asked for another. Glaze, looking visibly nervous, went in to plant another smooch on her cheek when Perry snapped her head and kissed him on the lips. Dude was obviously flustered and Perry made the awkward, already inappropriate situation infinitely worse by proceeding to high-five her fellow judges while saying “I got him!” Now, imagine if this exact situation happened with a thirty-something male judge and a female contestant who said she’d never been kissed. There would be little doubt that the contestant—an inexperienced teenager in an extremely vulnerable position, auditioning for the most famous singing competition on television—was, at a bare minimum, taken advantage of by a person in a serious position of power, right?
Glaze then had to actually perform which I can only imagine was even more nerve-wracking than auditioning in front of three super-famous musicians would already be. After the broadcast, the Oklahoma native was interviewed by several outlets after the uncomfortable incident, that he wasn’t stoked about his forced first kiss. “I was a tad bit uncomfortable,” he said. “I wanted to save it for my first relationship.”
“Would I have done it if she said, ‘Would you kiss me?’ No, I would have said no,” he continued. “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.”
After the story gained traction on social media, Glaze posted a message on his Instagram account clarifying that while he didn’t want the kiss to happen, he didn’t feel that Perry had sexually harassed him.
“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,” Glaze wrote.
May we add a final note? Hey Katy, next time ask first.
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