Bishop Charles H. Ellis III came under fire after inappropriately touching Ariana Grande on live television at Aretha Franklin's memorial service. Both Ellis and Grande continued to trend on social media into the Labor Day Weekend.
After her performance of "You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman," Grande and the Bishop took the stage together. It was clear the singer was incredibly uncomfortable with the way he was touching her.
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
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.— Maggie Astor (@MaggieAstor) September 1, 2018
But google her and everyone's talking about her dress. https://t.co/VYikD43RnM
The Bishop has since issued an apology, telling the Associated Press, "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."
Ellis continued, "I hug all the female artists and the male artists," he continued, saying he hugged everyone throughout the service. "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."
What do you think of the apology?
This wasn't the only thing Ellis came under fire for during the service. People were also upset with how short Grande's dress was.
Jennifer Hudson in funeral chic. Take note Ariana Grande. This is how you dress for a Black funeral, not like you going to da club. #ArethaHomegoing— Linda Bain (@LindaBain) August 31, 2018
I’m just going to say it: Ariana’s dress was disrespectful. Way too short for a pulpit.— Wendi C. Thomas (@wendi_c_thomas) August 31, 2018
You dress for the ocassion and the venue. Govern yourself accordingly. When in doubt, let the hem of your garment at least touch your knee. #ArethaHomegoing
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