When 20-year-old Benjamin Glaze of Oklahoma auditioned for American Idol in October, he told the judges that he had never been kissed before.
He was hoping to save that special moment and share it with a special girl he felt close to.
However, American Idol judge and pop star Katy Perry believed herself to be doing this boy a service and kissed the then 19-year-old on the lips without his consent.
Perry demanded that he approach her despite his protests and asking her to confirm that it was only on the cheek.
She then tricked him and kissed him on the lips in a cheap attention-getting stunt for the painfully dramatized show.
Glaze says that the kiss was unwanted and that the special moment he was saving was spoiled by the “I Kissed A Girl” singer.
The whole ordeal started when country music star and judge Luke Bryan asked him “Did you kiss a girl and like it?” making reference to Perry’s song.
This was after Glaze explained that he enjoyed seeing cute girls come into the store where he works.
“No, I’ve never been in a relationship,” he told the judges. “I can’t kiss a girl without being in a relationship.”
From there, things got extremely uncomfortable. This poor kid fell to the ground, looked mortified, and was totally thrown off his game.
He even asked for a glass of water to compose himself.
The judges then grimaced through his audition didn’t even let him finish his performance of Nick Jonas’s “Levels.” They then pushed their beliefs on him and told him to go kiss more girls.
“I was a tad bit uncomfortable,” Glaze told The New York Times. “I wanted to save it for my first relationship. I wanted it to be special.”
He says that he would have shot Perry down had she asked for permission to kiss him.
“Would I have done it if she said, ‘Would you kiss me?’ No, I would have said no,” he said. “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.”
Many people on social media denounced Perry’s behavior as an act of sexual harassment, especially since Perry was in a position of power over Glaze, and pointed out the hypocrasy of mainstream media’s acceptance of such as act in light of the #MeToo and #Time’sUp movement.
“Imagine if a 33 year-old male artist tricked a 19 year-old female auditioner into a kiss like Katy Perry just did with that teenage guy. Would we all think it was cute?” said a Twitter user.
“Anyone else watching Idol feel like Katy Perry pressured that poor kid into letting her kiss him on the cheek and violated him by planting one on his lips? Would not have been okay for a male celebrity to do to a young girl. #americanidol#katyperry#mencanbesexuallyharassedtoo,” said another.
“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.”
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— KATY PERRY (@katyperry) March 12, 2018
American Idol actually promoted the kiss, as did Perry. Her fellow judges Lionel Richie and Bryan also came to Perry’s defense.
Glaze, however, said he didn’t feel that he was sexually harrassed.
“They [Glaze’s friends] agreed with me that it didn’t really count,” Glaze said. “It was lip contact versus a romantic situation with someone you care about. That’s what a real first kiss is. I’m glad she did it because it’s a great opportunity to get my music out.”
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