Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama and head of the Tibetan spiritual community, has apologized for appearing in a viral video kissing a young kid.
According to CBS, the video that recently went viral on the internet was taken from an event that took place on February 28 in a northern Indian city called Dharamshala.
In the footage, the kid is seen bowing to show respect while the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize recipient kisses his lips. Later, the monk asked the child to suck his tongue by sticking it out.
“Can you suck my tongue,” he was heard saying to the boy in the clip.
The video has drawn backlash from social media platforms, especially Twitter, as many tagged the 87-year-old’s action as disgusting.
In response to the comments, a statement was posted on the spiritual leader’s website where he apologised for the “hurt” he might have caused the young boy and his family.
“A video clip has been circulating that shows a recent meeting when a young boy asked His Holiness the Dalai Lama if he could give him a hug.
“His Holiness wishes to apologise to the boy and his family, as well as his many friends across the world, for the hurt his words may have caused,” the statement read in part.
The release also stated that although Lama was in the habit of teasing people in “an innocent and playful way,” he “regrets the incident.”