After Aretha Franklin’s eight-hour-long funeral service yesterday, I assumed that the post-funeral highlights would be a plethora of Bill Clinton oogling Ariana Grande memes, but the real take away is nowhere near as fun as that. Bishop Charles H. Ellis III, who officiated the service in Detroit, is catching some serious heat for his groping of Ariana at the podium and joking about her name being a Taco Bell item, and has been forced to issued an apology.
Bishop Charles pulled Ariana to the podium via an intense side boob hold that left her visibly pulling away from him and awkwardly giggling. Almost immediately, fans of Ariana starting posting #RespectAriana on social media, and calling out Bishop Charles for being a nasty old man. Bishop Charles rounded out his gross boob clenching with a Taco Bell joke that fell flat, saying into the mic:
“I’ve got to apologize because, I have to brush up. My 28-year-old daughter tells me, ‘Dad. You are old at 60.’ When I saw Ariana Grande on the program, I thought that was a new something at Taco Bell. Girl, let me give you all of your respect. Did y’all enjoy this icon? She is an icon herself.”
Here’s the video of all of that:
First of all, we know that Ariana Grande is a Starbucks menu item, and not something on the Taco Bell menu, so shame on you Bishop Charles, that is just wrong. Second of all, in his quickly delivered apology to the Associated Press, he just couldn’t drop the Taco Bell innuendos, so does the apology even count?
“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.”
Did he cross the border or make a run for it? Either way, does this Bishop think he can quit his day job and follow Gilbert Gottfried around the casino circuit? To his apology, Bishop Charles added a sorry to the Hispanic community for the Taco Bell joke. For the record, Ariana isn’t Hispanic.
“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.”
“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.”
Yeah, I don’t think I saw the moment when the Bishop grabbed Stevie Wonder’s side boob during a hug.
The day was all about Aretha, but people are still not done talking about Ariana. Smokey Robinson apparently hated her short dress, and like all grandpas of a certain age, he wasn’t afraid to tell TMZ so.
“I think it was inappropriate. Someone in her camp should have told her she was at a funeral, and not let that happen.”
Ariana has yet to comment on the nasty groping, her “inappropriate” attire or the Taco Bell menu today. And if the Bishop feels a sharp sting to his groping hand today, it’s from the ghost of Aretha slapping his down with her shoe for pulling that shit.