March 15, 2018

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Man Who Katy Perry Kissed on 'American Idol' Says the Controversial Moment Made Him Uncomfortable

The new American Idol reboot premiered just less than a week ago and it's already brewing controversy. Contestant Benjamin Glaze unexpectedly got the chance to kiss Katy Perry—and he did not like it.

During the show's premiere, Glaze explained to the judges before his audition that he liked his job as a cashier because it allowed him to meet a lot of "cute girls." “Have you kissed a girl and liked it?” American Idol judge Luke Bryan asked in reference to Perry’s hit single from 2008. "No, I’ve never been in a relationship. I can’t kiss a girl without being in a relationship," the 19-year-old said. His response caught the attention of Perry, who nudged him to walk to the judges' panel. Glaze proceeded to kiss the singer but it wasn't enough for her. She then asked for another one, but instead of kissing him on the cheek, Perry went in for his lips.

The unwanted move immediately sparked backlash on social media, with many calling out Perry for being inappropriate and inciting double standards. Her kissing the 19-year-old without his permission may have seemed like a light, playful thing at the moment. But in the wake of the #MeToo movement, many felt that it did more harm than necessary. Glaze later commented on the kiss in an interview with the New York Times, explaining that Perry made him feel uncomfortable.

“I was a tad bit uncomfortable. I wanted to save it for my first relationship. I wanted it to be special. Would I have done it if she said, ‘Would you kiss me?’ No, I would have said no," Glaze told the New York Times. "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."

While Glaze only said he was uncomfortable and the interview pointed out that he didn't feel sexually harassed, some still translated the American Idol kiss as sexual harassment. The 19-year-old later had to clarify his statement. "Hi everyone, I would like to clear a few things up for anyone who is confused, concerned, or angry," he began an Instagram post. "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."

He continued,

"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."

Next, watch a classic Fuse interview where Katy Perry spews her love for Freddie Mercury:

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