Bishop Apologizes to Ariana Grande for Inappropriate Touching and Taco Bell Comment
Bishop Charles H. Ellis III, who officiated Aretha Franklin's funeral on Friday (August 31), has apologized to Ariana Grande for groping her and making jokes about her name.
Following Ariana's powerful performance of the late soul singer's 1967 classic, "(You Make Me Feel Like a) Natural Woman," the bishop went in for a hug. While it was meant to be innocent, cameras quickly caught his arm go around just above her waist with his fingers pressed on the side of her breast. The internet quickly responded to the gesture and accused Ellis of groping the Sweetener singer.
“It would never be my intention to touch any woman’s breast," he told The Associated Press after the ceremony, "... I don’t know I guess I put my arm around her,” Ellis said. “Maybe I crossed the border, maybe I was too friendly or familiar but again, I apologize.”
He also added that he hugged all the performers who stepped onto the stage that day.
“I hug all the female artists and the male artists,” he said. “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.”
That's not all! The bishop was also sorry about making a joke about seeing Ariana's last name in the program and thinking it was a new item on the Taco Bell menu.
“I personally and sincerely apologize to Ariana and to her fans and to the whole Hispanic community,” Ellis said. “When you’re doing a program for nine hours you try to keep it lively, you try to insert some jokes here and there.”
Was this enough? Watch the full apology below.