Adam Lambert’s racy American Music Awards performance drew an estimated 1500 complaints to ABC—forcing the network to cancel his scheduled appearance on Good Morning America on Wednesday.
Yesterday, the number of complaints seemed weighty enough to make a headline, but hardly a dent in the millions of viewers who watched Sunday night’s AMA show.
Still, the backlash managed to ruffle the wrong feathers at the prime time network who then canceled Lambert’s Wednesday appearance to perform his new single, “For Your Entertainment”—the same number he performed at the awards show—on Good Morning America. A spokesman for ABC explained, “Given his controversial American Music Awards performance, we were concerned about airing a similar concert so early in the morning.”
Lambert’s show-stopping finale at the AMA’s in which he simulated oral sex with a male backup dancer, made out with his male keyboardist and shot fans the middle finger occurred after the Federal Communication Commission’s sensitive 6pm-10pm time slot, making it unlikely that the network will get slapped with a fine. But the controversial move seems to have narrowed Lambert’s audience and now, the network doesn’t trust him.
According to Reuters, ABC confirmed that Lambert’s oral sex stunt was cut from the AMA program in time for the West Coast feed (sorry California). And as Rolling Stone points out, all of the Lambert hullabaloo is nothing compared to the 500,000 complaints lodged after Super Bowl XXXVIII when Justin Timberlake famously afflicted Janet Jackson with a “wardrobe malfunction.”
Even with all the controversy, there are some in the music community who are praising Lambert’s performance.
Rob Sheffield writes about the “full frontal glamgasm” for Rolling Stone:
Good Lord, it was filthy, not to mention one of the most awesomely outrageous rock & roll moments to show up on prime-time network TV lately. It’s already hard to remember what the world was like before Adam Lambert showed up, less than a year ago — but we can be sure it was a colder, drearier, and less pervy place, and moments like this epitomize why we’re glad to have this lady-stardust guy in our lives. Don’t trip off his glitz, America!