A male contestant who received a kiss from Katy Perry on American Idol has described the encounter as “a tad bit uncomfortable”.
Singer Benjamin Glaze, 19 from Oklahoma, appeared during this week’s season premiere of the US show.
Prior to his audition, Glaze revealed how he had never kissed a girl because he was saving his first kiss for his first relationship. “I’ve never been in a relationship and I can’t kiss a girl without being in a relationship,” Glaze explained.
Glaze was then summoned over by Perry, who serves as a judge on the show. Perry encouraged Glaze to kiss her on the cheek. After not making the “smooch sound”, Perry then asked Glaze to repeat it, before turning her head to steal a kiss on the lips.
The kiss appeared to take Glaze by surprise, causing him to fall to the floor in shock. Watch in the clip below.
After the episode aired, Perry took to Twitter to post a GIF of Minnie Mouse kissing Mickey, captioning the post with the hashtags “#BenjaminGlaze #AmericanIdol“.
— KATY PERRY (@katyperry) March 12, 2018
The incident led some viewers to criticise Perry’s actions, with one Twitter user arguing: “It was a forced sexual act. Imagine if this was from a male judge. Has @katyperry not taken anything from the #metoo movement?”.
— Molly Fletcher (@molfizzle) March 12, 2018
Glaze has since told The New York Times: “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. 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.”
However, Glaze also dismissed that the incident was sexual harassment and added: “I’m glad she did it because it’s a great opportunity to get my music out.”
Perry has not yet responded to the controversy.
Last week it was reported that a nun involved in a legal battle with Katy Perry collapsed and died during a court appearance.