In an interview with AP, Ellis said that he "would never be my intention to touch any woman’s breast... I don’t know I guess I put my arm around her," and added that "(maybe) I crossed the border, maybe I was too friendly or familiar but again, I apologize."
— ITV News (@itvnews) September 1, 2018
Ellis was also criticised for making a joke about Ariana Grande's name, claiming that he first though it sounded like a menu item from Taco Bell. "When you’re doing a program for nine hours you try to keep it lively, you try to insert some jokes here and there," said Ellis.
The interaction between Grande and Ellis sparked a Twitter hashtag #RespectAriana, with many believing that Grande was groped and belittled by Ellis. However, others claimed that Grande's dress was inappropriate for a funeral.
Grande herself has made no comment on either Ellis' apology or the criticisms against her dress.