While Shawn Mendes was being interviewed on the iHeartRadio red carpet last Sunday night, Katy Perry walked by and decided to grab his butt. Now the awkward exchange, which you can watch below, is raising serious questions among fans about double standards and sexual harassment.
Video of the incident shows that Shawn was mid-interview when he became distracted and looked behind him. “Someone was just touching my butt,” he explained apologetically. “Sorry.”
When Shawn and the two interviewers realized who it was, they all laughed. “Oh, it was Katy Perry who was touching my butt,” Shawn said, putting a hand to his chest in surprise. “I should have turned around.”
Shawn tried to brush it off, explaining that he was a huge fan of Katy. But he remained visibly shook, unable to resume his conversation. “Sorry, I’m just stunned,” he told the interviewers a moment later. “I’ve never met her before.”
But plenty of others pointed out that few people would be laughing if the roles had been reversed. If a 32-year-old man fondled the butt of an 18-year-old woman he didn’t know, would anybody find her flustered response funny? Almost definitely not. They’d call the man’s actions sexual assault.