'American Idol's Benjamin Isaac Glaze responds to Katy Perry kiss backlash: I don't think I was sexually harassed
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/15/2018
American Idol auditioner Benjamin Isaac Glaze doesn't feel like Katy Perry necessarily crossed the line when she decided to give him his first kiss on the lips.
As shown on Sunday night's premiere of American Idol on ABC, Ben told the judging panel during his audition he had never kissed a girl before but was waiting to be in a relationship for that special moment to happen.
Katy then asked Ben for a kiss on the cheek, and when he obliged, she quickly turned her head and planted one on him.
Ben admitted toThe New York Times on Wednesday that the kiss was unwanted -- which then sparked criticism, in light of the "Me Too" movement, that he was disrespected and had a sexual act forced on him.
But Ben later insisted on Instagram, "I do not think I was sexually harassed by Katy Perry."
"I would like to clear a few things up for anyone who is confused, concerned, or angry. I am not complaining about the kiss from Katy Perry at all, doing a few news reports and being interviewed by many different reporters has caused some major questions," Ben captioned a photo slideshow of his meeting with Katy and fellow Idol judges Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan.
"The way certain articles are worded is not done by me, and my true intentions are not accurately represented in every article you read about the situation. I am not complaining about the kiss, I am very honored and thankful to have been apart of American Idol."
In The Times published Wednesday, Ben was quoted saying his on-screen kiss with Katy "was a tad bit uncomfortable."
Ben was quoted saying, "I wanted to save it for my first relationship. I wanted it to be special... Would I have done it if she said, 'Would you kiss me?' No, I would have said no."
After Katy kissed him on the lips and cheered in victory, Ben needed to drink a glass of water before he could sing Nick Jonas's 2015 single "Levels."
But Ben -- a 19-year-old cashier at the time of his audition -- doesn't blame Katy for his lackluster performance.
"I should have picked another song to sing and calmed myself down regardless of the kiss. I should have been able to perform under pressure... I am thankful for the judges comments and critiques," explained Ben, who comes from a conservative family.
"My main goal is to reach people through the universal love of music and not cause strife or anger against anyone or about any situation! Please take into consideration that I don't believe my views have been appropriately communicated through the media!"
Ben unfortunately did not advance to Hollywood, but once he returned home to Oklahoma, his friends reportedly assured him the kiss "didn't really count" because it was not a romantic situation with a woman he really cares about.
"That's what a real first kiss is," he told The Times earlier this week.