Listen to fab’s interview with Adam Lambert:
“I’m a sexual person. I am avant-garde, I like edgier things and I like experimenting with that imagery,” says openly gay rocker and American Idol alumnus Adam Lambert, who recently courted controversy in his televised performance at the American Music Awards (AMA).
He’s since received major flack for his theatrical face-to-crotch grind with a backup dancer, which was edited out of the rebroadcast on the east coast, and a man-on-man kiss he shared with his keyboard player (the AMA director cut to a wide shot of the stage rather than show it close-up).
“Rock and roll is a prostitute and it has to be tarted up,” says Lambert, quoting Todd Haynes’s Velvet Goldmine, a film he says heavily influenced his persona. “I just wanted to do something unexpected and different and break out from the expectation a little. You come off Idol and there’s this expectation that you’re going to be this mass appeal, mass marketed, family friendly, granola, easy listening, easily digestible thing, and that’s definitely not me as an artist.”
According to AMA broadcaster ABC, more than 1,500 complaints were filed denouncing Lambert’s performance, but that number is tiny compared to the program’s 14 million viewers. The morning after the AMA, ABC cancelled Lambert’s scheduled appearance on Good Morning America. CBS’s The Early Show stepped in and booked Lambert but he found himself the subject of further censorship and controversy there.
“We gave this some real thought,” a representative of The Early Show told the LA Times when asked why the network chose to blur a clip of Lambert’s man-to-man kiss from the AMA but then showed an uncensored version of the Madonna/Britney/Christina three-way smooch from the 2003 MTV VMAs.
“The Madonna image is very familiar and has appeared countless times, including many times on morning television,” said the CBS spokesperson, to the LA Times. “The Adam Lambert image is a subject of great current controversy, has not been nearly as widely disseminated and, for all we know, may still lead to legal consequences.”
“That’s weak,” says Lambert. “Someone didn’t give it some real thought when they did it.”
When Lambert, who used ABC’s censorship and the ensuing debate to point out the double standards applied to expressions of straight sexuality compared to those of gay sexuality, found out about CBS’s homophobic censorship, he says he “just laughed and went ‘Are you kidding me? You guys just proved my point, thank you.’ “
“It’s one performance, I think it’ll blow over,” says Lambert. “Definitely what I don’t want is people assuming that’s how I intended to do every performance or that’s how I plan on conducting my career as an artist. My album, track to track, is very diverse. It’s an eclectic mix of music. [For Your Entertainment] is the one song that is very seductive, kind of dark and sexual but other songs on there explore other themes.”
Lambert says he’s not going to put people “in bondage fashion” for every song he performs, but that doesn’t mean he plans to apologize for his performance.
“I’m not going to apologize, I promise,” says Lambert with conviction. “I don’t think what I’ve done is wrong. I want to be myself and I feel like that was what I was doing on stage the other night.”
Make sure to sign fab’s petition to help prove that ABC offended more than 1,500 people by choosing to censor Adam Lambert’s performance.
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