Bishop Charles H Ellis III has apologised to Ariana Grande for his conduct during the funeral of Aretha Franklin.
Earlier today Far Out Magazine reported the news that the Bishop had been accused of inappropriately groping popstar Grande during the funeral.
The Bishop, leading the ceremony at Detroit’s Greater Grace Temple, made an untasteful joke about Grande’s name by likening it to a fast food product: “I’ve got to apologise because I have to brush up,” he said into the microphone. “When I saw Ariana Grande on the program, I thought that was a new something at Taco Bell,” he added.
Feminist author Mona Eltahaway, Tweeted: “I don’t care what you think about Ariana Grande, her music or her dress. This is wrong. That bishop’s hand should not be on her breast.”
Now, Bishop Charles H Ellis III has apologised.
“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 apologise.”
“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. The last thing I want to do is to be a distraction to this day. This is all about Aretha Franklin.”
Ellis also apologised for the joke about Grande’s name, saying: “I personally and sincerely apologise to Ariana and to her fans and to her whole community.
“When you’re doing a programme for nine hours you try to keep it lively, you try to insert some jokes here and there.”
I don’t care what you think about Ariana Grande, her music or her dress. This is wrong. That bishop’s hand should not be on her breast: I just saw this because I’ve been working and not watching https://t.co/ixVhgYBJTN
— Mona Eltahawy (@monaeltahawy) September 1, 2018