Over the weekend, the late Aretha Franklin was laid to rest in Detroit. Friends, family, celebrities, fans, and public figures alike gathered to pay their respects to the Grammy award winning singer, at a 8 hour funeral service held at Greater Grace Temple in Detroit. It was Pastor Charles H. Ellis who was conducting and leading the service. Ariana Grande attended the service, as did many other vocal performers, to not only pay her respects but also perform at the service. She sang, "You Make Me Feel) A Natural Woman" to honor Aretha...
While Ariana's outfit choice has been deemed "inappropriate" for a funeral, by some, it wasn't her leg showcasing dress that has people talking. Shortly after her performance, Pastor Charles H. Ellis, got up to greet Ariana after just belting out a classic hit of Aretha's, put his hand around her (pay attention to the hand placement), made an attempt at a joke, gave her a hug and she scurried off. The outrage is over where Pastor Charles put his hands and how he intentionally or unintentionally ended up groping her "side boob", really. The look on Grande's face says it all. She visibly looks very uncomfortable and taken by surprise. Here everyone is in a church, at a funeral, at an event widely publicized on TV and it happens. If you didn't catch it at the very end of the performance, here it is isolated:
Now, there are some who think it was clearly unintentional and people are blowing this out of proportion. Regardless, Pastor William did feel the need to apologize to Grande and put out a video addressing it. He claims he did not try to offend anyone. See his response:
I personally don't think it was intentional. I'm not trying to make excuses for the Pastor, but maybe given that Ariana Grande is tiny, he over-extended his arm and went around her back too much...but he should have then readjusted and realized his mistake. What do you think? Take a listen to Boston's Morning Show with VB and guest hosts Tom Shattuck & Hillary Chabot discuss the issue: