Everybody Missed What Really Happened When Katy Perry Kissed That Teen


If Matt Lauer had done it, the mainstream media would be up in arms. If Harvey Weinstein had done it, there would have been calls for additional criminal investigations and probably at least one more lawsuit. And, God forbid, if Judge Roy Moore had done it, the internet would have caught on fire, melted down, and eventually reconstituted itself T-1000-like into a statue of Gwyneth Paltrow in a #metoo T-shirt.

But it was Katy Perry, so I guess that makes everything OK.

It was also October, just as the Weinstein allegations were coming to light (the specific date of the incident was not immediately clear), but that’s not much of an excuse for pushing an unwanted sexual act on a teenager — which may sound hyperbolic when used to describe a kiss in public, but is exactly what happened.

And Perry knew that’s what she was doing.

The unwanted advance occurred during the taping of Benjamin Glaze’s audition for the new season of “American Idol,” which just launched this week on ABC after 15 years on Fox. Perry, along with Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan, sits on the panel of judges for the show.

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(So far, their performance as judges looks less like the first season’s Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell and more like the panel from the “American Duos” episode of “Psych” that included Gina Gershon, Cristián de la Fuente and the immortal Tim Curry, as Hollywood continues its apparent attempt to transform itself into completely self-referential satire, but that’s almost — almost — beside the point.)

“I wanted to save it for my first relationship,” Glaze told The New York Times of the first kiss that he had literally been putting off for his entire life. “I wanted it to be special.”

“Would I have done it if she said, ‘Would you kiss me?’ No, I would have said no,” he said.

In other words, Perry failed to obtain that commodity the left finds so precious but has been all but unable to define in any useful way: consent.

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The Times described the interaction this way:

After he entered the studio, guitar slung over his shoulder and looking a bit star struck, he said he enjoyed his work as a cashier because it let him meet “cute girls.”

“Have you kissed a girl and liked it?” asked Mr. Bryan, making a coy reference to Ms. Perry’s first hit single, “I Kissed a Girl.” Mr. Glaze said that he had not. “I have never been in a relationship and I can’t kiss a girl without being in a relationship.”

At that, Ms. Perry stood up. “Come here,” she said to Mr. Glaze. “Come here right now.”

Ms. Perry motioned for him to come over to the judges’ table and stuck her face toward him. “One on the cheek?” he said and she smiled. He quickly touched his face to her cheek. She asked for another kiss, complaining that he hadn’t even made the “smush sound.” As he moved toward her cheek again, Ms. Perry swung her face toward him and kissed him quickly on the lips. “Katy!” he yelled, as he stumbled backward. “You didn’t!” Ms. Perry raised her arms in victory.

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Had a man tricked a woman into kissing him on video and then celebrated it as a “victory,” he would have been tarred and feathered, run out of town on a rail and then burned in effigy.

But it was Perry and a slightly awkward, religious, conservative teenage male. So “American Idol” publicly celebrated the moment on Twitter.

“I was a tad bit uncomfortable,” Glaze told The Times. “I know a lot of guys would be like, ‘Heck yeah!’ But for me, I was raised in a conservative family and I was uncomfortable immediately. I wanted my first kiss to be special.”

Glaze returned home and discussed the incident with his friends, coming to the eventual conclusion that the kiss “didn’t really count” (something that could actually have been said about much of Perry’s public life, if we’re going to be honest, especially her full-throated support for Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016).

“It was lip contact versus a romantic situation with someone you care about,” he told The Times. “That’s what a real first kiss is.”

As for Perry, although The Times has rightly called Perry out for her behavior, the left has otherwise been largely quiet regarding the video of the kiss that aired during the season premiere.

After all, she kissed a girl and liked it, right? Who on the left could get mad at her now?

George Upper is the managing editor of The Western Journal.


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George Upper is the former Editor-in-Chief of The Western Journal and was a weekly co-host of "WJ Live," powered by The Western Journal. He is currently a contributing editor in the areas of faith, politics and culture. A former U.S. Army special operator, teacher and consultant, he is a lifetime member of the NRA and an active volunteer leader in his church. Born in Foxborough, Massachusetts, he has lived most of his life in central North Carolina.
George Upper, is the former editor-in-chief of The Western Journal and is now a contributing editor in the areas of faith, politics and culture. He currently serves as the connections pastor at Awestruck Church in Greensboro, North Carolina. He is a former U.S. Army special operator, teacher, manager and consultant. Born in Massachusetts, he graduated from Foxborough High School before joining the Army and spending most of the next three years at Fort Bragg. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in English as well as a Master's in Business Administration, all from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He and his wife life only a short drive from his three children, their spouses and his grandchildren. He is a lifetime member of the NRA and in his spare time he shoots, reads a lot of Lawrence Block and John D. MacDonald, and watches Bruce Campbell movies. He is a fan of individual freedom, Tommy Bahama, fine-point G-2 pens and the Oxford comma.
Foxborough, Massachusetts
Beta Gamma Sigma
B.A., English, UNCG; M.A., English, UNCG; MBA, UNCG
North Carolina
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Business, Leadership and Management, Military, Politics