Video clips from Aretha Franklin’s funeral on Friday show Bill Clinton ogling Ariana Grande while she performed (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.
As Grande belts out an Aretha Franklin classic, Clinton can be seen seated behind her, alongside Al Sharpton, and Jesse Jackson, his mouth open, looking her up and down-mesmerized not by her vocals, but by her body.
Political Comedian and host of ‘No Things Considered,’ Tim Young tweeted a short clip with a caption that read, “Gross… Watch Bill Clinton look Ariana Grande up and down when she sings at
#ArethaFranklinFuneral and try not to throw up in your mouth. ”
Judge for yourself:
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) August 31, 2018
WATCH Ariana Grande’s full performance of (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman:
Young compared the obvious ogling of Grande to Clinton’s expression and seeming lack of interest while Detroit native, Alice McAllilster Tillman, who is an accomplished classical and gospel vocalist performed a version of “Ave Maria”, with harp accompaniment. Young tweets, “Let’s check back in on Bill Clinton…”
Let's check back in on Bill Clinton… pic.twitter.com/pzFRDZOEQS
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) August 31, 2018
Franklin’s funeral was held at the Detroit’s Greater Grace Temple on Friday, August 31st, 2018, after days of mourning “The Queen of Soul,” who passed away on August 16th, 2018, after losing her battle with pancreatic cancer. On Thursday, at Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, fans had the opportunity to pay their respects to Franklin before her gold casket.
Of course, Bill Clinton ogling beautiful women is nothing his wife Hillary, or the general public is not already aware of. Remember when Hillary caught Bill checking out Ivanka Trump at President Trump’s inauguration? Here’s your reminder:
Although many viewers took to Twitter to express their disgust in the former president’s gawking at Grande, others played the blame game. Some viewers who watched Grande’s performance were quick to defend Bill’s gawking, and instead ostracized Grande’s choice to wear a short dress to the funeral.
King Ares. (@aPITCHinheels) tweeted, “Ariana Grande came to Aretha’s funeral with a club dress on. Where are the church mothers when you need one? #ArethaFranklinFuneral”
Ariana Grande came to Aretha’s funeral with a club dress on. Where are the church mothers when you need one? #ArethaFranklinFuneral
— King Ares. (@aPITCHinheels) August 31, 2018
User Kyleah Jasmine (@kyleahjasmine) tweeted, “I hope
#ArianaGrande is taking notes. This is how you SING to celebrate a queen. This is how you DRESS to celebrate the life and legacy of a queen. Don’t come unprepared or under-dressed next time, lest you be uninvited for future gatherings. P.S. Stockings. Tights. etc.”
I hope #ArianaGrande is taking notes.
This is how you SING to celebrate a queen.
This is how you DRESS to celebrate the life and legacy of a queen.
Don't come unprepared or under-dressed next time, lest you be uninvited for future gatherings.
P.S. Stockings. Tights. etc.
— Kyleah Jasmine (@kyleahjasmine) August 31, 2018
The choice by Grande to wear a short dress was amplified even more on Twitter and other social media when those who watched the performance caught Bishop Charles H. Ellis III actually groping Grande on stage after her performance. The bishop is seen wrapping his arm tightly around Grande’s back and his fingers pressing against her breast.
In a tweet by Dr Aliya Haider Shah (@aliya_Hshah), you can see the uncomfortable giggling and Grande trying to pull away from the bishop.
Shah writes, “Twitter spent hours hating on
#ArianaGrande coz her dress was”too short and disrespectful” yet they don’t say a word about a grown man that’s supposed to be a “pastor” touching her like that in front of all these people #RespectAriana”
Twitter spent hours hating on #ArianaGrande coz her dress was"too short and disrespectful" yet they don't say a word about a grown man that's supposed to be a "pastor" touching her like that in front of all these people#RespectAriana
— Dr Aliya Haider Shah (@aliya_Hshah) September 1, 2018
Twitter user Sweetener (@Oumnia0bnb) tweeted “-People who criticize Ariana Grande‘s outfit you’re disgusting if she wanted to wear that dress it’s her right, the strictest are the wandering hands, the perverted looks & the fact that no one reacts who’s the real problem not his outfit
-People who criticize Ariana Grande's outfit you're disgusting if she wanted to wear that dress it's her right, the strictest are the wandering hands, the perverted looks & the fact that no one reacts who's the real problem not his outfit 😡 #RespectAriana pic.twitter.com/TGDMM6w0vH
— Sweetener☾ (@Oumnia0bnb) August 31, 2018
Another Twitter user, Queens (@Wise_Nubian) sums it up by saying, “I watched the video of the bishop at Aretha Franklin funeral touch Ariana grande inappropriately in front of the entire congregation. But apparently the big issue was her dress length. I am beyond heated at how society continues to turn a blind eye to sexual assault/harassment…”
Not to mention, the bishop also compared Grande’s name to a Taco Bell menu item, which obviously didn’t go over well with her fans or the Hispanic community.
Ellis apologized during an interview with The Associated Press at the cemetery where Franklin was laid to rest late Friday evening.
“It would never be my intention to touch any woman’s breast. … I don’t know I guess I put my arm around her,” Ellis said. “Maybe I crossed the border, maybe I was too friendly or familiar but again, I apologize.”
Ellis also apologized to Grande, her fans and the Hispanic community for making a racist joke about seeing Grande’s name and thinking it was an item for sale on the Taco Bell menu.
“I personally and sincerely apologize to Ariana and to her fans and to the whole Hispanic community,” Ellis said. “When you’re doing a program for nine hours you try to keep it lively, you try to insert some jokes here and there.”
In what was supposed to be a memorial service to honor and show respect for The Queen of Soul, Grande’s performance, style of dress, and the interaction with the bishop, shamefully overshadowed the honoring of Aretha Franklin’s life, music, and legacy.
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