The Bishop Who Groped Ariana Grande During Aretha Franklin's Funeral Says He's Guilty of Being 'Too Friendly'

You know the SOS look you give your friends at a party when you’re cornered by a massive creep? This is what it looks like in front of hundreds of people:

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Ew ew ew ew ew fuck off fuck off go away please fuck off now.

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No no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no.

Guys?

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Why must women endure this?

After the above episode prompted the hashtag #RespectAriana, Bishop Charles H. Ellis III, who officiated Aretha Franklin’s funeral, “apologized” to Ariana Grande via the Associated Press for gripping her by the back and creeping around to her chest after her performance of “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.” He issued the standard “aw shucks”:

“It would never be my intention to touch any woman’s breast. ... 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 said he hugged all the performers during Friday’s eight-hour service.

“I hug all the female artists and the male artists,” Ellis 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.”

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He also apologized to the “Hispanic” community for joking that her name sounds like a Taco Bell menu item:

“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.”

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All in all, a supremely gross 30 seconds:

Staff reporter, Gizmodo. wkimball @ gizmodo

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DISCUSSION

mary-queen-of-scoffs
Mary, Queen of Scoffs

He is probably used to getting away with behaving like that because of his role within his church. People probably don’t DARE question his behavior. She is young and attractive, and much smaller than he is physically - he thought he had a right to put hands on her.

At his age, if you haven’t learned how to appropriately interact with other people, it is because you have not WANTED to learn.

Women are not props in YOUR story, dude.