#HimToo: Katy Perry forces a kiss on American Idol contestant

The forced kiss unleashed a maelstrom of controversy.
Fri Mar 16, 2018 - 5:01 pm EST
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HOLLYWOOD, March 16, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) ― Powerful people in Hollywood usually force themselves on the unwilling behind closed doors. Nevertheless, “American Idol” judge and pop star Katy Perry felt no compunction in pressuring a young male contestant to kiss her on camera.

Perry, 33, is best known for her break-out “bi-curious” single “I Kissed a Girl”. When one of her fellow judges asked a 19 year old contestant, Benjamin Glaze, if he had “kissed a girl and liked it”, the young man replied that he never been in a relationship.

“I can’t kiss a girl without being in a relationship,” he said.

Perry told the boy to approach her desk, even though he initially refused, saying, “No, wait, hold on.” While a male judge cackled and clapped his hands, the woman shouted commands at the teenage contestant.

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“You can’t,” insisted the boy, looking around. “No way.”

He consented to kiss his judge on the cheek, but she promptly mocked him to the audience.

“He didn’t even make a smooch sound,” she shouted.

Glaze good-humouredly offered to “star over” and leaned forward to kiss Perry on the cheek again. Kerry swiftly planted her lips on his, and the shocked boy fell to the floor, clutching his guitar.

Perry threw her arms into the air as if she had scored a touchdown. She was congratulated by her fellow judges, who high-fived her.

“And he fell down,” crowed one. “He fell down!”

“Well, that’s a first,” said the visibly shaken Glaze.

“Sorry,” said Perry, throwing her arms out, in a gesture that indicated that she was not, in fact, sorry.

When the boy asked Perry how “it” was, she told him not to “get cocky now.”

Knocked off balance by the incident, Glaze’s subsequent audition was lacklustre. He was rejected by all the judges.

The Oklahoma native later told the New York Times that Perry’s kiss had made him feel uncomfortable and that he had wanted his “first kiss” to be “special.” This unleashed a maelstrom of controversy as such pundits as Matt Walsh pointed out a double standard.

“Simply imagine what would happen if the roles were reversed,” Walsh wrote. “Imagine a male pop star demanding a kiss from a shy 19-year-old female and then smooching her on the lips without consent. The outrage would be deafening and immediate. He would certainly be fired from the show.”

Glaze has made a statement over Twitter saying that he doesn’t feel that he was “sexually harassed” by the female judge. But like many victims of sexual assault, he blamed himself for what happened next.

“”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,” he wrote.

“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 very honored and thankful to have been apart of American Idol,” he continued.

“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.”

Coincidentally, in her famous song, Perry sings that she “kissed a girl” merely because she caught her attention and was curious.

“No, I don’t even know your name./It doesn’t matter/You’re just my experimental game.”

This is not the first time a young person’s chastity has been mocked on “American Idol”. When singer and actor Moriah Peters auditioned for the show as a high school student in 2010, she was criticized for saying she was saving her first kiss for marriage. One of the celebrity panelists told her, “I think you’re trying to be too perfect. You need to go into the world and make mistakes. ” Another advised her to go out and kiss a boy because it would make her feel “sexier.”   

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