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Opinion: Katy Perry’s predatory behaviour on American Idol proves why the #MeToo movement must go on

Meka Beresford March 16, 2018

(American Idol)

Social justice movements come and go like trains through a station. A shiny campaign is launched, people get motivated but sooner or later it drops out of the social media stratosphere and people go back to an occasional outraged tweet.

The #MeToo movement is one of the latest campaigns to join the long list of things that we’re angry about and so far, the fight has been strong.

More and more women in Hollywood and other big industries are coming out to talk about the abuse and harassment they have suffered and naming the names of their abusers.

From the likes of Weinstein, who has had over 80 women accuse him of sexual misconduct to Kevin Spacey, who came out as gay in a misguided attempt to excuse his alleged abuse of young male actors such as Anthony Rapp, the movement is uncovering the worst of the abusers and no longer giving them a veil to hide behind.

That is why it’s so shocking that Katy Perry, a singer who champions herself as a feminist and LGBTQ+ ally, has been acting like nothing short of a predator on the revival season of American Idol.

The ‘I Kissed a Girl’ star joined fellow judges Lionel Richie and country singer Luke Bryan for the come back of the singing contest.

However, in the first week of auditions, 33-year-old Perry has faced criticism for her excessive “flirtatious” behaviour on the show.

Katy Perry in Australia
(Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

She stole a 19-year-old contestant’s first kiss, even though he explicitly told her he was waiting for the right girl.

Talking to the judges, he explained that he had never kissed a girl as he wouldn’t feel comfortable unless he was in a relationship.

“I’ve never been in a relationship,” he told the panel. “I can’t kiss a girl if I’m not in a relationship”.

Katy then beckons Glaize to come up to the judges’ chairs and instructed him to kiss her on the cheek.

Perry was left unsatisfied by the lack of “smooch sounds” and asked him once again to kiss.

However, Perry quickly turned around and kissed him on the lips.

Glaize was so shocked he quite literally fell to the floor as Richie, Bryan and Perry shared high-fives.

Glaize fell to the floor in shock after the kiss (American Idol)

You’d be forgiven if you were suddenly transported to some college frat party where the “bros” are drinking out of kegs and chanting some mediocrely sexist song.

Jokes aside, it’s not the only problematic incident occurring between Perry and contestants that’s been aired.

Part-time construction worker Trevor Holmes, 27, entered the audition room and straight away Perry began to hit on him.

She calls him “hot” and jokes that if he doesn’t go “to Hollywood then maybe you can just come hang out with me”.

Perry learns that he has a girlfriend but still throughout his performance, she draws attention away from him by swooning and giggling.

Following his performance, she jokes that “he’s in construction so he’s got lots of tools.”

(American Idol/YouTube)

Holmes is different to Glaize, as he admits he has a crush on Perry, but her jokes about her power over him getting into Hollywood are reminiscent of Weinstein’s alleged manipulation of women who wanted to break out as actors.

Glaize said that the whole thing was “uncomfortable”, and needless to say that is how we feel too.

Forcing a kiss on someone is assault, and using a position of power in a sexual manner is manipulation.

Perry was arrogant and echoed the actions of abusers across Hollywood, and just because she is a female she cannot be excused.

We should not have to flip the situation on its head and cry “what if she was a man!” to make the point clearer.

She encroached on someone’s space and it cannot be excused as funny or that the 19-year-old who was trying to break through was “lucky”.

In the #MeToo movement we must continue to call out and challenge actions like Perry’s.

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