ABC, which aired the awards show, received calls from approximately 1,500 people complaining about the performance, according to The Associated Press. The number of complaints was by no means extraordinary, ABC stated, calling the response "moderate."
"It's gonna be sexy, I think," Lambert told MTV News last week about his planned AMA performance.
On Sunday night, he thrust his head into the crotch of a male dancer, passionately kissed his keyboardist, pulled a female dancer across the stage by her ankles and led two dancers around on a leash. The performance was both applauded and condemned by viewers, with some supporting Lambert's theatrical rendition and others deeming it too outlandish.
The openly gay Lambert said the backlash against the performance was "a form of discrimination and a double standard" because for decades "women performers have been pushing the envelope."
On his Twitter account, Lambert wrote, "All hail freedom of expression and artistic integrity. Fans: I adore u."
Later, responding to a tweet from Perez Hilton, the singer wrote, "Thank you for the support. It WAS a bit pitchy. Don't know what was goin' on with the sound. Same thing always went down on 'Idol.' "