Yesterday, Aretha Franklin was laid to rest with a beautiful funeral that was broadcast all over the world. However, in the day of social media, there is bound to be controversy. The bishop who officiated the funeral, Bishop Charles H. Ellis III, is now publicly apologizing to singer Ariana Grande for a joke about her name and how he touched her.
With Ellis’ hand around Grande he said, “When I saw Ariana Grande on the program, I thought that was a new something at Taco Bell.” See below:
Ellis was criticized for the comment, which was interpreted by some as offensive, and appearing to touch the 25-year-old’s breast. He told the Associated Press, “It would never be my intention to touch any woman’s breast. … I don’t know I guess I put my arm around her. Maybe I crossed the border, maybe I was too friendly or familiar but again, I apologize.”He also added, “I hug all the female artists and the male artists. 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.”
He also said he was sorry for the Taco Bell comment, “I personally and sincerely apologize to Ariana and to her fans and to the whole Hispanic community. When you’re doing a program for nine hours you try to keep it lively, you try to insert some jokes here and there.”
Well, at least Ellis offered an apology when he was critiqued, unlike the current President of the United States.