It didn’t take long for the ABC revival of “American Idol” to generate its first scandal. The singing competition premiered Sunday, and today the news is all about what’s being called an “unwanted kiss” planted by judge Katy Perry on 19-year-old contestant Benjamin Glaze.
The incident was replayed during the show’s two-night season premiere, and has been included in promotions for the show.
The New York Times reports that Perry “surprised him by kissing him smack on the lips, moments before his audition. He had never been kissed before.”
Glaze, who said the incident made him “a tad bit uncomfortable,” told the paper he had been carefully considering when to have his first kiss.
“I wanted to save it for my first relationship,” he said. “I wanted it to be special.”
Glaze, a cashier from Enid, Okla., is quoted by The Times saying: “Would I have done it if she said, ‘Would you kiss me?’ No, I would have said no. I know a lot of guys would be like, ‘Heck yeah!’ But for me, I was raised in a conservative family and I was uncomfortable immediately. I wanted my first kiss to be special.”
After “American Idol” began featuring the kiss on social media sites, the backlash started. “It was a forced sexual act,” one Twitter user posted. “Imagine if this was from a male judge. Has @katyperry not taken anything from the #metoo movement?”