ABC's phone operators must have gotten some serious overtime pay on Sunday and Monday, as 1,500 angry American Music Awards viewers called in to complain about Adam Lambert's controversial closing number.
The bisexually-charged performance, which included simulated oral sex with both male and female dancers and a big, wet guy-on-guy kiss, has divided fans (and casual observers) down the middle, with some praising Adam for his bravery and willingness to "push the envelope," while others are dismissing the routine as nothing more than a lewd display put on for shock value.
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Adam refused to apologize for the number, and said that anyone who was offended by the kiss is practicing a "form of discrimination" and perpetuating a double standard, referring back to the famous (and not nearly as controversial) MTV Video Awards moment when Madonna and Britney Spears s-l-o-w-l-y swapped spit.
While Adam's argument that female pop stars have been using sex to sell records for years is sound, the problem might be that his performance was on network TV. Even though it was nearly 11:00 on a school night, some parents may have let their kids stay up to catch their favorite Idol (or DVR-ed it for later), and weren't prepared to explain what they just saw. Timothy Winters of the Parents Television Council makes a rather interesting point:
[Parents] just can't believe the nature of the content, the explicit nature, and how much graphic content there was. These programs are wholly unsuitable for children now and it's pathetic, given the amount of economic support that children and teenagers bring to the industry today.
That is true, but aren't these the same parents who continued to buy their kids Britney's records even after she writhed around half-naked with a snake? Aren't these the same parents who let their teenaged kids go to school dressed like they're ready for a night of hard clubbing?
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Is it really the general "pornographic" nature of Adam's performance that has most of his detractors so upset, or is it his blatant blurring of sexual lines and gender roles that has folks squirming in their seats?
Scoop via MTV.com and PopEater. Photo via FlynetPictures.com.