UPDATE: In response to concerns voiced by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, ABC issued the following statement:
"Given the live nature of the American Music Awards, Adam Lambert's performance, which differed greatly from his rehearsal, caught many, including the network, off guard. This is not a question of Lambert's sexual orientation. As is evidenced by GLAAD's media report card, ABC is at the forefront of positive gay and lesbian portrayal on television. We welcome openly gay performers and look forward to continuing our great work within the LGBT community."
GLAAD more or less accepted that explanation, saying ABC does indeed have a "history of positive gay and transgender inclusion that includes featuring kisses between gay and lesbian couples on-air."
But it is now calling on ABC to clarify the whole caught-off-guard thing "so that the community knows why Lambert is being denied the opportunity to perform on the network."
ABC: The Adam-Banning Channel?
Just over a week after Adam Lambert's sexually expressive American Music Awards performance got him booted from Good Morning America, the Disney-owned network—out of hypocrisy, fear of the FCC or general old fogeyness, it's not yet clear—has widened its ban on the singer.
Lambert is now persona non grata at the Alphabet net's annual New Year's Rockin' Eve countdown and, rather surprisingly, on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, where he was due to appear on Dec. 17.
"Yes, sadly friends, ABC has cancelled my appearances on Kimmel and NYE. :( don't blame them," he tweeted yesterday. "It's the FCC heat."
The thing is, it's not.
Vigilant as it is at sussing out daytime indiscretions, the ever-watchful FCC doesn't monitor programming after 10 p.m, calling the time between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. a "safe harbor" for broadcasters.
"During this time period, a station may air indecent and/or profane material," according to the commission's own website.
Last we checked, Kimmel, the ball-dropping and Lambert's AMA performance—potentially profane, all—all take or took place well within the secure period, but ABC would apparently rather be safe than sorry.
Not so, NBC!
"I am doing Leno though," Lambert tweeted. "And lookin into something for NYE."
"It'll all blow over. Let's focus on being positive! :)"
Besides, can a guy who takes his sartorial cues from Howie Mandel really be all that controversial?
(Originally published on Dec. 3, 2009 at 7:39 a.m. PT)
Check out Adam's defense of his AMA performance on Ellen last week.