Earlier this week during the American Idol 2018 two-night review, the judging panel joked with a 19-year-old male contestant about having never kissed a girl. Judge Katy Perry invited Benjamin Glaze up to the judging table for what he though would be a kiss on the cheek. As he went in for her cheek, Katy stole a kiss on the lips.
The episode played it up like it was no big deal, and I, myself didn’t think anything of it. But social media and Glaze himself saw things differently. A firestorm erupted on Twitter about whether or not the kiss was innocent or sexual harassment. And Glaze himself has gone on record to say to explain his take on the situation.
“I wanted to save it [his first kiss] for my first relationship,” Glaze told the New York Times. “I wanted it to be special.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.”
Despite his disappointment, he says he does not feel like he was sexually harassed.
“I do not think I was sexually harassed by Katy Perry and I am thankful for the judges comments and critiques,” Benjamin Glaze said to the Washington Post. “I was uncomfortable in a sense of how I have never been kissed before and was not expecting it.”
Despite what Glaze says, a lot of people are finding it hard to overlook during the #MeToo era. Perry or American Idol hasn’t addressed the reaction from the kiss, but from the way they promoted the moment, they didn’t see it as a problem.
Glaze seems to chalk it up to being a misunderstanding. Below is his statement made on his Instagram.
Hi everyone, I would like to clear a few things up for anyone who is confused, concerned, or angry. 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. 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.