At the funeral of singer Aretha Franklin, what has been referred to as a prominent bishop did something that led to his apology to singer Ariana Grande. He nearly touched her breasts while putting his “arm around her.”
Bishop Charles H. Ellis III was the man who officiated the funeral of Aretha Franklin on Friday, August 31. He led the service and played the role of introducing various singers and speakers who attended the funeral to pay respect to the woman who is known as the “Queen of Soul.”
The pop singer Ariana Grande was in attendance, and she performed an emotional version of Aretha’s famous song “(You Make Me Feeling Like) A Natural Woman.”
After her performance, the Bishop did a creepy thing and put his arm uncomfortably around Ariana Grande’s waist. Video and images from the event seem to indicate that the bishop had his hands touching the very young looking woman well above her waist. The look on her face says it all, she isn’t comfortable.
Since the ordeal, the church member has formally apologized to her in an interview. He 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 defense of his clearly creepy gesture, the bishop claimed he hugged “all” performers at the eight hour service. He continued, which really doesn’t feel like an apology at all:
“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.”
The actions led to a Twitter storm, actually. A hashtag reading #RespectAriana trended.
One person said:
“this breaks my heart so much. she was so uncomfortable and it looked like she didn’t know how to react. i watched a clip of her moving and moving, maybe wanting him to remove his hand but he still didn’t stop. disgusting. #RespectAriana”
“The fact that a woman was disrespected multiple times on live television by men who are in positions of power blows my mind. Just imagine what happens behind closed doors. This was totally inappropriate, a short dress is NOT an invitation. #RespectAriana”
Ellis also apologized to the Hispanic community and Grande for joking about her name, comparing it to an item on the “Taco Bell menu.” That’s not really offensive but the man behaves like a predator in my opinion.
“I personally and sincerely apologize to Ariana and to her fans and to the whole Hispanic community. When you’re doing a program for nine hours you try to keep it lively, you try to insert some jokes here and there.”
The scene was about as awkward as Joe Biden groping the young children of people in attendance at the White House. It’s the exact same flavor of predator-awkwardness.
In fact, people must wonder if Ariana Grande wasn’t groomed from the start in the music industry to be the victim of predators. It’s kind of creepy how she looks extremely young and attracts people to find her physically compelling.
She’s also an ex-Nickelodeon star, kid’s “programming.” Do you know what happens in the music industry and Hollywood? Here’s Michael Jackson when he was being groomed to be a child star.