American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert wanted attention with his performance at the American Music Awards, and he’s got it: Good Morning America confirmed that it’s canceling Lambert’s scheduled performance tomorrow. After the AMA performance (also on ABC), in which Lambert groped dancers, kissed a male musician and shoved a male dancer’s face into his crotch, ABC said it was concerned about airing “a similar performance” early in the morning. [Update: But CBS isn’t! The Early Show will have Lambert on tomorrow morning.]
You might know the above-described acts by another name: “a Madonna concert in 1990.” But apparently it’s one thing to be lewd on stage if you’re a woman whom gay men iconize, and another if you’re a gay man yourself.
Now, I’ll grant you that Lambert probably walked into this “controversy” with eyes wide open, and that the performance seemed like an unsubtle, manufactured play for attention. But the subtext of ABC’s decision is no less ugly for being provoked. Notwithstanding the fact that Lambert groped dancers of both genders onstage, fat chance ABC would have canceled the performance had some of them not been male. And does GMA really believe that Lambert (who has done the show before) would do a “similar” performance at breakfast time?
Anyway, one group at least will be happy*: our friends at the Parents Television Council, who yesterday issued a statement deploring the performance, citing the media’s effects on—get this—”American teenagers—and especially teenaged girls.” Were we watching the same concert?
[*Update: Actually, as a commenter notes, although the PTC complained about the “tasteless” performance and said advertisers should be held “accountable,” a spokesman for the group says the PTC believes canceling Lambert’s GMA appearance was an “overreaction.” And if even the PTC thinks you’re overreacting…]