The bishop who officiated at Aretha Franklin’s funeral raised a lot of eyebrows for being a bit too friendly to Ariana Grande on stage. Bishop Charles H. Ellis III of the Greater Grace Temple was criticized for appearing to touch the singer’s breast after her tribute to the Queen of Soul.
As expected, the bishop received a lot of heat from his awkward greeting to Ariana. Now, Ellis has apologized to the Grammy-nominated artist for how he touched her on stage.
Ariana sang “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” at Aretha Franklin’s funeral.
After her performance, Ellis put his arm around her, and many noticed his hand was touching her breast.
“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.”
The bishop noted that he hugged all artists during the ceremony, but some people still think that he went too far with Ariana Grande.
Netizens posted close-up images of the pastor’s hand on Twitter, adding the hashtag #RespectAriana. Many pointed out that the singer looked very uncomfortable as the pastor kept on “groping” the side of her breast.
Although Ariana received a lot of backlash for wearing a really short dress during her performance, the “groping” of the bishop overshadowed the earlier criticism, and many felt bad for the singer.
Ellis also apologized for making a joke about seeing Ariana’s name on the program. A lot of people, including Ariana, found the Taco Bell joke to be funny, but the bishop apologized for it anyway after learning that some thought it was distasteful.
The pastor then explained that he “personally and sincerely” apologized to Ariana, her fans, and the Hispanic community for his remark. He said that he was just trying to make things lively after doing the program for nine hours.
Watch the full video here:
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