Right or wrong, kissing girls on stage was part of Drake’s act

Musician pulled 17-year-old girl on stage and kissed her

Canadian rapper Drake is creating a lot of buzz on social media, and not in a good way.

On the weekend, a YouTube video surfaced showing Drake at a concert in 2010.

The rapper invites a teenager on stage. He kisses her and puts his arms around her.

Drake has not commented on the video and the CBC has not verified if the video is real or not.

He asks the girl how old she is and she tells him she’s 17. He was 23 at the time.

The audience cheers and he says, “I can’t go to jail yet.”

A blurry image of a man kissing a girl's neck from behind on a stage.

In a YouTube video from 2010, Drake is seen touching a teenager. CBC News has not independently verified the accuracy of its content, meaning we don’t know if the video is real or fake. (YouTube)

If it really happened, what Drake did is not illegal in the state of Colorado, where the concert took place.

The law there states that a person under 17 can consent to sexual activity as long as the other person is less than 10 years older than them.

In Canada, the age of consent is 16 and that includes kissing.

All part of his act

There are other videos online of Drake dancing with and kissing female fans.

This one stands out because the girl clearly says her age.

“Part of his performance has always been trying to seduce an audience member,” says Mark Campbell, who teaches at Ryerson University in Toronto.

Mark Campbell is an expert in popular music and popular culture at Ryerson University. (Aden Abebe)

He lists several other artists who historically have had similar acts in their shows, like Usher and Michael Jackson.

“If you look at the nature of pop music and celebrity culture, what you’ll always find is young, impressionable, usually teenagers and pre-teens, that are often seduced into ideas of superstardom and celebrity culture,” he says.

“[They] are willing to engage superstars, particularly rock musicians, often on stage, in ways that ... might be exciting for a fan,” adds Campbell.

But just because these things happen doesn’t make them appropriate, he says.

El Jones, who teaches women’s studies at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, echoes Campbell's statements.

“We’ve seen this a lot times. It’s not something new,” she told CBC Kids News.

Jones says that in the music industry, women and girls are often used sexually by musicians.

El Jones, who teaches women’s studies, says girls ‘have a right to boundaries. People don’t have a right to touch them.’ (Submitted by El Jones)

In the video from Colorado, after finding out how young she is, Drake asks the girl: “Why do you look like that?”

Jones says she found that part especially upsetting because it shames the girl.

“That it must be your fault for having a body like that. You’re sexual so I can’t help myself,” Jones says.

Janine Benedet, who teaches law at the University of British Columbia, says that in these situations people are vulnerable because they’re star-struck.

“It’s not really a setting in which it’s easy to say no or to assert boundaries,” she told CBC Kids News.

Drake fans may find it confusing

But Jones admits that girls might find this confusing, especially if they like Drake.

“If you love Drake, you can feel angry and think: ‘People shouldn’t be trying to bring Drake down, they’re just haters.’ That is confusing to people and I think it’s OK if you’re young and you feel confused about that.”

Jones recommends putting yourself in the teenager’s shoes.

Hip-hop singer Drake arrives at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards in 2011. (Danny Moloshok/Reuters)

“Also think about how comfortable you might have been in that situation,” she said. “If we say it’s OK for this man, we’re saying it’s OK for every man and that means men on the street. That means men that you don’t want touching you.”

Jones doesn’t think this will negatively affect Drake’s career, but is encouraged by the conversation that is happening because of it.

In an interview in 2016, Drake said he no longer kisses his fans.

If you’d like more information on consent, click here.

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