The new judges of American Idol are sticking up for each other. In an interview, Luke Bryan defended Katy Perry for playfully kissing a contestant.
To recall, the premiere of the rebooted singing competition earlier this month introduced Benjamin Glaze, a 19-year-old cashier from Oklahoma who said he has never kissed a girl. The contestant did not get the chance to fly to Hollywood and compete during the live broadcast of the show, but he did kiss Perry on the lips.
In an interview with The New York Times last week, Glaze said that the kiss was unwanted and it made him uncomfortable. He later retracted the statement, saying that in no way did the 33-year-old pop singer sexually harassed him by kissing him. He also said in a social media post that he is still thankful for Perry and the show for giving him a shot at the spotlight.
However, the damage was already done. Perry was criticized for her little prank and viewers are calling her out for failing to gain consent especially in the wake of the #MeToo movement in Hollywood. The "I Kissed A Girl" singer is clearly in the position of power and her action should be construed as sexual harassment. If the genders were reversed, the star's playful flirting and pranks would not be taken as lightly.
Luke Bryan Defends Katy Perry
Perry's fellow American Idol judge said that people are making a big deal about a non-issue.
"It's unfortunate that stuff like that turns into a story that big," the country singer told The Morning Show. "I watched an actual interview where Ben, the kid that was involved, said that he was cool with everything. I gotta back Katy on that. She's in there working hard and making fun TV."
Watch what happened when @larryemdur caught up with @lukebryanonline backstage at #CMCRocks! #TMS7 pic.twitter.com/daUK670JW8 — The Morning Show (@morningshowon7) March 19, 2018
The "Kick The Dust Up" singer was present when the controversial kiss happened. During the episode, he was seen trying to capture the moment with his phone camera and, like Lionel Richie, he laughed when the "unwanted" kiss actually happened.
Watch the scene below.
Benjamin Glaze's First Real Kiss
Glaze, now 20 years old, revealed to fans that he has already placed the controversy behind him and had his first real kiss with a girl he likes months after his American Idol audition.
The Oklahoma native revealed last week that he now has a girlfriend named Carrie.
"It was incredibly special," he said about his first kiss with his girlfriend. "Katy Perry was my first kiss, but Carrie was my first kiss in a real way. If you really sat me down and asked me, I would tell you about how our first kiss was and it was just as special as I wanted it to be."
Meanwhile, Carrie does not find the fact that Glaze kissed someone else before her problematic. She said that when she found out that he kissed Perry on the lips, her reaction was amazement.
"He kissed a celebrity — how great for him," she said.
American Idol airs every Sunday and Monday night on ABC.