Bishop Charles H. Ellis III is apologizing to Ariana Grande after cameras caught the man of God groping the pop star at Aretha Franklin’s funeral.
Ellis, who officiated at Aretha Franklin’s funeral, apologized Friday to Ariana Grande for inappropriately touching her on stage immediately after the pop star performed “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” for the celebrity mourners in attendance.
The Associated Press reports:
Images of the moment showed Ellis’ hand holding Grande well above her waist, with his fingers pressing against one side of her chest.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Ellis said:
It would never be my intention to touch any woman’s breast. … I don’t know I guess I put my arm around her. Maybe I crossed the border, maybe I was too friendly or familiar but again, I apologize.
In a lame attempt to excuse his boorish behavior the bishop said he hugged all the performers during Friday’s eight-hour service:
I hug all the female artists and the male artists. Everybody that was up, I shook their hands and hugged them. That’s what we are all about in the church. We are all about love.
Despite the talk of “love,” many people found the bishop’s behavior deplorable, and the hashtag #RespectAriana went viral on Twitter. For example:
WAKE UP PEOPLE she looks so uncomfortable here and ya know what? He is so disgusting, he groped her many times and people still “it was an accident” omg those who say that can keep your opinion away bcs yall are toxic asf. Every woman deserves to be treated nicely #RespectAriana pic.twitter.com/40Hzepprsu
— #sweetener (@yuchisyuta) September 1, 2018
#RespectAriana is tending worldwide right now because Bishop Charles H. Ellis III was seen inappropriately groping Ariana Grande on live tv during Aretha Franklins funeral.
Men really need to get their sh*t together pic.twitter.com/AEqr7aAi1m
— (@EXOTICBLVCKSKIN) September 1, 2018
— Claudia Jordan (@claudiajordan) September 1, 2018
What was up with that pastors hand? pic.twitter.com/M8Ypgm7fQB
— Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) August 31, 2018
I think every woman can look at Ariana Grande’s face and body language and viscerally feel what she’s feeling. The tension. The nervous laughter. Not wanting to make a scene or make him angry. Every woman knows this feeling.
But google her and everyone’s talking about her dress. https://t.co/VYikD43RnM
— Maggie Astor (@MaggieAstor) September 1, 2018
I don’t care what you think about Ariana Grande, her music or her dress. This is wrong. That bishop’s hand should not be on her breast: I just saw this because I’ve been working and not watching pic.twitter.com/ixVhgYBJTN
— Mona Eltahawy (@monaeltahawy) September 1, 2018
Bottom line: Bishop Charles H. Ellis III is apologizing to Ariana Grande after cameras caught the man of God groping the pop star’s breast at Aretha Franklin’s funeral.