ABC drops Adam Lambert again and again

by Allison Waldman, posted Dec 3rd 2009 11:28AM
adam_lambert_sittingWhen Adam Lambert was competing on American Idol, there were times when his performances reminded the judges -- and viewers -- of Elvis Presley. And other rock icons, too. It was all part of Adam's appeal. But now that he's promoting his new CD and did a "scandalous" performance at the American Music Awards, he's really getting the Elvis treatment. There's fear that his actions, which are more graphic than anything Elvis ever did, will go too far.

Today, Adam tweeted that ABC had cancelled two more spots on the network -- his upcoming Jimmy Kimmel Live! date and a New Year's Eve performance. Adam added that nobody should blame ABC for the cancellations because it was pressure from the FCC that prompted ABC's action. So maybe we should really be blaming Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake for the infamous Super Bowl breast/costume malfunction? ABC previously dumped Adam from Good Morning America.

This is really too bad and a major overreaction. The AMA performance was over the top, but really, what's the big deal? It was an act. Nobody was really hurt. It was implied sexual action. It was shocking. It was clearly over the top on purpose. Adam Lambert had an album coming out and he was seeking publicity. He got it. It's obvious, isn't it?

To make him into the poster boy for salacious gay performance art now is wrong. If anything, Adam's performances on the CBS Early Show and The Ellen DeGeneres Show are proof that he's aware of the fact that he pushed the envelope and he's trying to comply with TV standards and practices, i.e. the censors.

Which brings us back to Elvis on The Ed Sullivan Show. Or Elvis's torso. Oh, those innocent days when his hip swiveling was deemed subversive. CBS had to film him above the belly button for fear that he might rock his pelvis in a way that would start a revolution. Oh, wait, he sort of did, didn't he?

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Sue

They are making a mountain out of a molehill. For gods sake it is a performance. Nobody said anything about the repeated crotch grabbing that Michael Jackson did all the time in his performances. So let up on Adam.

December 04 2009 at 7:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Matthew W.

Everyone seems to be missing one important aspect of Adam Lambert's recent performances; they suck. He didn't do anything for the gay community except prove that we can be just as tasteless as any other slutty poptart, the songs aren't that good, and his "singing" isn't any better. What was that awful screeching at the end of his AMA performance? My point is this, if Mr. Lambert was a great performer, if he had a huge hit right now, ABC would probably put up with the trouble another of his performances might bring, but as it stands, he's just not worth it right now. That's the bottom line.

December 03 2009 at 2:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Matthew W.'s comment
ashe

I agree, adam lambert not a very good performer or singer, or anything really. Was this the best that American Idol had to offer? really besides the "so-so" kelly clarkson, most of the american idol winners pretty much sucks.

December 03 2009 at 9:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
CJ

"CBS had to film him above the belly button for fear that he might rock his pelvis in a way that would start a revolution. Oh, wait, he sort of did, didn't he?"

Yes, I'm sure Adam Lambert grabbing a guy's head and rubbing it against his crotch will start all the teens to do it. Its one of those nature dance moves that people do all the time like rocking your hips.

December 03 2009 at 1:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Fullman

No, ABC is finally doing what the other networks should do when any artist acts up for attention at a live taping. Finally, after all the Kanye outburts, someone gets it.

If someone does something on your network that causes a lot of heat, whether that heat is warranted or not, give them a small time-out and have them sit in the corner for a little bit. Don't blacklist them, don't ban them for the lifetime of their career, but certainly don't reward them with scheduled appearances for doing something outlandish and "edgy."

Adam did something "edgy" and now he's paying for it, though ABC's reactions are hardly more than a slap on the wrist considering the other networks aren't following suit.

If the AMAs were broadcast on MTV, the reaction would have been much lighter, because MTV would have been expected to have had something like that. But it was ABC, a company owned by The Walt Disney Company, a family-oriented company that largely markets to families with "impressionable kids." What did he seriously expect?

The last thing networks need is their advertisers to pull their ads because their consumers are protesting... and sometimes advertisers are the only way consumers can effectively influence a network's quality/decency.

December 03 2009 at 1:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Fullman's comment
BC McKinney

"because it was pressure from the FCC that prompted ABC's action"

If this is true, whatever you think of Adam Lambert, it is serious because prior restraint of speech is generally a significant violation of the Constitution. The FCC cannot determine in advance that a performance will violate its restrictions, and in fact has previously refused to, as in the case where ABC requested an advance ruling on whether its unedited broadcast of 'Saving Private Ryan' would violate the court-revised rules on use of profanity, and was turned down.

December 03 2009 at 3:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kristen

Television should have some boundaries, as its a medium for the entire population, not just the more elastic or liberal minded. To judge everyone's reactions by your own perceptions is incredibly myopic and self-absorbed. Should there be limits set on what is aired on television, especially for programs where the viewing audience is wide and varied? Absolutely. There are plenty of programs on cable and at appropriate hours for those seeking less PG viewing.

December 03 2009 at 12:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Kristen's comment
Anita

"To judge everyone's reactions by your own perceptions is incredibly myopic and self-absorbed"

Exactly, KD. And, I urge you to apply your ideology inwards.

December 03 2009 at 1:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
joliee

Pink did the EXACT same move with her male dancer in 2004 on FOX, and live no less. You don't remember??? You don't remember because no one made a peep about it. You can see Pink grinding her male dancers head into her crotch right here (better clutch your bible): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPpSpBcs4wg

December 03 2009 at 12:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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