The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) issued a statement late Tuesday about the decision by ABC’s “Good Morning America” to cancel a scheduled performance by Adam Lambert on Wednesday morning’s (November 25) show in light of the singer’s controversial appearance at the American Music Awards on Sunday night.
“Some music performances, regardless of the sexual orientation of the performer, are tailored for a primetime audience but not for a morning show audience,” GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios said in the statement. “It is disappointing that ’Good Morning America’ did not give Adam Lambert the opportunity to tailor his performance to their audience, as he did on their show in August 2009,” when he performed the Muse cover “Starlight.”
After receiving 1,500 viewer complaints about Lambert’s show-closing performance on the ABC broadcast — during which he kissed a male keyboard player, grabbed a female dancer’s crotch, dragged another around by her ankles and mimed getting oral sex from a male dancer — GMA pulled the plug on the appearance. “Given his controversial live performance on the American Music Awards we were concerned about airing a similar concert so early in the morning,” read a statement from the network.
On Tuesday, Lambert was quickly offered a replacement spot on rival CBS’ “Early Show,” which aired his performance and interview on Wednesday.
Barrios added, “We applaud the CBS ’Early Show’ for taking this opportunity to work with Lambert on a performance that is entertaining for an early morning television audience.”
A spokesperson for GLAAD added that during calls between the organization and “GMA,” spokespeople for the morning news program said that sexual orientation did not play a role in their decision. GLAAD suggested that “GMA” work with and host Lambert at some point and continue to make gay and lesbian performers and guests welcome on the program in the future. A spokesperson for “GMA” confirmed the nature of the discussion to MTV News.
Lambert took the cancellation in stride, telling “American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest on his radio show on Tuesday that he respected the show’s decision. “They gotta do what they gotta do,” Lambert said. “It’s too bad. I think there were a lot of fans who were excited to come see me. They probably had a lot of pressure coming at them from certain people who weren’t happy about it. I respect their decision — I don’t necessarily agree with it, but they need to do what they need to do. … It’s really not that big of a deal. I’m not a babysitter, I’m a performer.”
The singer also revealed to MTV News on Tuesday that the most controversial bits of his AMA coming out party were spontaneous and even surprised him .