Ariana Grande was one of the many performers that paid tribute to the soul queen, Aretha Franklin during her funeral.
Grande was called up alongside Bishop Charles H. Ellis III, who was leading the funeral proceedings. He hugged Ariana after her performance but many people felt he had put his hands in an inappropriate position.
What was up with that pastors hand? pic.twitter.com/M8Ypgm7fQB— Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) August 31, 2018
Following the backlash online, the Bishop made an apology to Ariana Grande & her fans.
Y’all are talking about @ArianaGrande’s dress being too short when we could be talking about this groping and how uncomfortable Ariana is? & the look on his face? Dear Jesus. pic.twitter.com/HO7i9y9WFP— Nicholas Liddle (@NLiddle16) 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.— 🌹 (@EXOTICBLVCKSKIN) September 1, 2018
Men really need to get their sh*t together pic.twitter.com/AEqr7aAi1m
#RespectAriana— Elizabeth Flores (@Elizabeth_Flore) September 1, 2018
Disgusted and shocked to see how sexual assault happens in public and for the cameras to show. There is no limit to the aggression and lack of respect that women are still victims of.
FOR YOU, FOR WOMEN, FOR ALL OF US. pic.twitter.com/Q80oFPEAcO
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.”
“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.”
“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.”