Yes, this headline is real. Yes, this incident really happened.
On Friday afternoon, Ariane Grande was one of a multitude of celebrities who touched down in Detroit to pay tribute to Aretha Franklin. The 25-year-old artist performed the Queen of Soul’s hit “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” at the service, which was live-streamed across the Internet.
After this incredible rendition, Bishop Charles H. Ellis III greeted Grande after her performance, talked glowingly about the singer…
… and sort of rubbed her breast while he did so.
It was impossible to miss. Videos such as the footage featured on this page quickly circulated around the Web, earning widespread backlash against the Bishop.
“I don’t care what you think about Ariana Grande, her music or her dress,” tweeted feminist author, journalist and public speaker Mona Eltahawy, referring to different backlash over the singer’s mini dress. “This is wrong. That bishop’s hand should not be on her breast.”
Ummm…. yeah. We’d say so.
Following the outrage that quickly formed in response to this incident, the preacher told the Associated Press the following:
“It would never be my intention to touch any woman’s breast.” He continued: “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…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. The last thing I want to do is to be a distraction to this day. This is all about Aretha Franklin.”
Yes, somehow, we’ve reached the point in society where a preacher has to issue a mea culpa for groping a young singer’s boob at a funeral.
“I personally and sincerely apologize to Ariana and to her fans and to the whole Hispanic community,” Ellis later said in his interview, concluding: When you’re doing a program for nine hours you try to keep it lively, you try to insert some jokes here and there.”
Watch the REALLY creepy grope now.