OF ADAM LAMBERT’S PERFORMANCES
“We appreciate ABC’s commitment to gay and transgender inclusion in other programming,” said Jarrett Barrios, President of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. “However, let us be clear that GLAAD remains steadfast in our assertion that Adam Lambert is being subjected to a double standard by ABC as an openly gay performer. We do not support ABC cancelling Adam Lambert’s past and future performances. We urge the community to reach out to ABC and express their concerns that Adam Lambert is being subjected to a double standard.”
ABC Contact Information:
Brad Jamison, Vice President of Corporate Communications, email@example.com
ABC line for viewer concerns: (818) 460-7477
This week ABC announced that Adam Lambert’s performances on Jimmy Kimmel Live and Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve were cancelled.
Patrick Preblick, Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, Publicity: firstname.lastname@example.org / (212) 456-7819
Aime Wolfe, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Publicity: email@example.com / (818) 460-7758
Just a few months into his tenure as GLAAD's president, and Jarrett Barrios has already turned the "condemn-applaud" organization into a bigger joke than even we thought possible. Charging itself with policing media to ensure positive representations of queers, GLAAD is now backing ABC's decision to yank Adam Lambert from its network. And in doing so, Barrios has shown GLAAD to still be the spineless, ineffective Gay Inc. organization that Neil Guiliano left behind.
When Lambert's same-sex kiss and crotch-in-face American Music Awards performance generated endless headlines filled with the word "controversial," GLAAD was the go-to organization for the MSM to grab a soundbite. Fine. That's it's job.
So after speaking with GLAAD, the network has released these remarks, which sounds familiar:
"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."
Guess who has ABC's back and is just fine with that explanation? Mr. Barrios! He responded:
"It would appear that the kiss between Adam Lambert and his keyboardist did not factor into ABC’s decision. ABC has a history of positive gay and transgender inclusion that includes featuring kisses between gay and lesbian couples on-air. We applaud the visibility of openly gay performers and congratulate Adam Lambert for sharing his story on 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show' this week as well as his upcoming appearance on 'The Jay Leno Show.'"
He's right in one respect: ABC does have a healthy recent history of positive LGBT portrayals. But its treatment of the Lambert saga completely reverses the network's good will.
And GLAAD — laughably, but predictably — took the bait.
Especially now that it's not just about the AMA performance, but Lambert's entire person. Regardless what the network or GLAAD has to say, Lambert has been branded too gay for television. And somehow the very organization responsible for making sure one of our own isn't lambasted in the media is going along with it.
Meanwhile, ABC canceled his appearances on The Jimmy Kimmel Show and New Year's Rockin' Eve. And no surprise here, in a follow up statement, GLAAD once again gave the network a pass, with a minor caveat:
"Since his American Music Awards performance occurred GLAAD has consistently advocated that Adam Lambert and openly gay artists not be held to a double standard. As we have expressed publicly, it is disappointing that ABC will not give Lambert a chance to perform at this time. GLAAD’s discussions with ABC focused on confirming that his sexual orientation was not a factor in their decisions. ABC confirmed this is not about a same-sex kiss or his sexual orientation but about being “caught off guard.” GLAAD asked ABC and calls on them for clarification on 'caught off guard' so that the community knows why Lambert is being denied the opportunity to perform on the network."
They want ABC to clarify what they meant by "caught off guard"? Perhaps they should've asked the first time around — before including ABC's own remarks in GLAAD's own statement. The only reason GLAAD is issuing a follow up? Because Lambert's fans, ABC's critics, and GLAAD's own by-standers were incredulous Barrios was giving in so easily.
Preposterous. That's what this sort of misguided reaction is. Rather than demanding ABC immediately own up to a double standard, GLAAD instead is taking them at their word — despite the network's willingness to air other, ahem, "controversial" scenes from pop culture. Because ABC "confirmed" their decision to ban Lambert wasn't because he's gay, GLAAD is satisfied that's the real reason? This is the same organization that went after South Park because it used the word "faggot," but couldn't take Comedy Central at its word that it didn't mean to denigrate gays. Instead of helping ABC get off the hook, GLAAD should be taking a leadership role in demanding more concise answers, particularly because ABC continues refusing press interviews about its censorship.
GLAAD's involvement in the Lambert situation is actually harming the gay community. As our self-appointed representatives, GLAAD is telling America that ABC's treatment of a gay man is just fine, nothing to see here, move along.
Sit this one out, Barrios. You're embarrassing yourself. But more regrettably, you're embarrassing us.
UPDATE: As Michael Petrelis notes, ABC is a proud sponsor of GLAAD. That means money and favors change hands.
They didn't cancel him for gay kissing, they canceled him for gay kissing without warning; Miley Cyrus copies one of Lindsay Lohan's tattoos; Rihanna cops to being a size queen. Friday's gossip is sassy-meowing all over the place.
Didn't see this coming: GLAAD has released a statement approving ABC's decision to cancel two Adam Lambert appearances in the wake of his controversial AMA performance. Glambert was not cut for kissing a man and simulating oral sex on stage, they explain, but because he did so without telling anyone he was going to do it. It means he can't stay on script, which is a fate that perhaps befalls stars who get their start in quasi-reality show settings. GLAAD buys ABC's excuse, noting that the network lets gays, lesbians, and trannies kiss on air from time to time. (Go, Ugly Betty, go) TMZ, however, notes that Adrian Brody and Halle Berry had an impromptu kiss at the 2003 Oscars and never suffered consequences.
Update: Wanna know what GLAAD isn't okay with? Saying that they're okay with banning gay performers. GLAAD issued a mealy-mouthed "clarification" of their previous statement that doesn't really change anything: They're against double standards for gays and disappointed that Lambert's not appearing on ABC, but they checked with ABC and this is not one of those situations, so ABC's fine to ban him, or something. Anyway, here's the whole thing from GLAAD PR director Rich Ferraro
"Update on Statement from GLAAD on ABC's Decision to Cancel Performances by Adam Lambert
Since his American Music Awards performance occurred GLAAD has consistently advocated that Adam Lambert and openly gay artists not be held to a double standard. As we have expressed publicly, it is disappointing that ABC will not give Lambert a chance to perform at this time. GLAAD's discussions with ABC focused on confirming that his sexual orientation was not a factor in their decisions. ABC confirmed this is not about a same-sex kiss or his sexual orientation but about being "caught off guard." GLAAD asked ABC and calls on them for clarification on "caught off guard" so that the community knows why Lambert is being denied the opportunity to perform on the network."
Many General Hospital fans, including supporters of the SOS/Save Our Soap! General Hospital campaign, are confused by the recent actions of ABC regarding Adam Lambert's American Music Awards performance. After receiving more than 1500 complaints (Bauder, Huffington Post) regarding the American Music Awards show performance that drew 14.2 million viewers (Los Angeles Times), ABC made the decision to cancel his performance scheduled on Good Morning America.
"ABC Insiders said they ruled the "American Idol" star's sexed-up shenanigans on Sunday's awards show - which included him groping a female dancer, kissing a male musician and shoving a male dancer's face into his crotch - were inappropriate for morning TV." (New York Times) Barbara Walters of "The View" mentioned in the "hot topics" portion of the show that it was too racy to show on daytime TV. (Huffington Post) Interestingly, this decision was made based on complaints by approximately 0.0001% of the viewing audience.
What is confusing to viewers of GH about this is that, while many will have differing opinions regarding what happened in that AMA performance, ABC took action based on viewer complaints about the sleaze and whether it would be appropriate to show on 'morning TV', yet GH viewers have complained about the sleaze shown during the daytime on GH for several months and no decrease in the sleaze factor has occurred.
Admittedly GH has a fluctuating number of viewers; therefore, assuming an average of 2.5 million daily viewers, only 250 complaints would have to be lodged about the sleaze or inappropriateness on GH for action to be taken using the same percentage. However, in a recent interview, Jill Farren Phelps, Executive Producer of GH, stated that when hundreds of complaints are levied, there's no way to know if there really are hundreds of individuals complaining, or if there are only four individuals out there complaining repeatedly.
Are viewers to believe that ABC/Disney values the voices of their nighttime viewership more than their daytime viewership? If not, then what is the acceptable level of sleaze for daytime drama vs. daytime entertainment vs. that for nighttime and who decides that if not the viewership?
LOL, WTAF? What did they do, side with ABC cause they've never actually seen any of ABC's shows, then watch them and realize that every gay character on the network is exactly the same, and say, 'Oh, well then, fuck that, we're siding with the other guy'.