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Katy Perry kissed a boy and he didn’t like it

Illustration: Madalyn Drewno

The sexual assault double standard should not be tolerated

American Idol is a singing competition where contestants have the opportunity to make their dreams come true— but for Benjamin Glaze, he got more than what he asked for.

Walking in, Glaze was prepared to make a standout audition and get his golden ticket, but was blindsided when judge and country singer Luke Bryan asked, “Have you kissed a girl and liked it?” (A direct reference to pop singer Katy Perry’s 2000s hit “I Kissed a Girl”). After stating that he had never been kissed and was saving it for his first real romantic relationship, Katy Perry tricked him into giving her a kiss on the lips. As an initial reaction, Glaze fell down laughing, obviously surprised by what happened, and the whole ordeal appeared to be a cute and laughable moment.

It’s easy to imagine what the reaction might be if the roles were reversed. With the recent statements of sexual harassment going around in Hollywood and the emergence of the Time’s Up movement, Hollywood is purging the creative industries of sexual harassment in the workplace. This incident is no exception. Glaze later revealed to The New York Times that he felt uncomfortable and that even if Perry had asked for consent to kiss him, he would’ve said no because he wanted to save it for someone special.

While some might think that getting a kiss from a celebrity would be cool and something to remember, Perry’s actions were inappropriate. While she hasn’t herself responded to the incident, others have taken notice and had the same line of thinking: that Perry’s actions were forced upon Glaze. Although Glaze stated in a New York Times article that he didn’t feel like he was harassed by Katy Perry, it still doesn’t make the situation okay. 

Media often depicts these fantasies of young boys being attracted to older woman. Katy Perry, who is 33, preyed on 19-year-old Benjamin Glaze, and it’s here where this fantasy turns into harsh reality. And it seems this has been common for the singer on the show. For every male contestant that has appeared on the show, Katy Perry is seen goggling at like eye candy. This behavior isn’t cute. It isn’t funny. It’s creepy. It’s not uncommon for a contestant to be star-struck by their favorite celebrity when they audition for the show. But any advances, whether it be wanting a hug or a kiss on the cheek from their favorite celebrity, has always been consensual.

As of now, this is merely old news and people have shrugged off the incident as if it never happened. But this goes to show that double standards exist and still occur today. Sexual harassment exists and is still happening. The Time’s Up movement is applicable to both men and women, otherwise it serves no valuable purpose. While there are real people suffering the consequences of their actions, Katy Perry walks free, and that shouldn’t be tolerated.

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