Alex Blaze

Adam Lambert kissed a man on TV

Filed By Alex Blaze | November 23, 2009 4:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: ABC, Adam Lambert, American Music Awards, britney spears, Disney, LGBT, LGBT people, performance, tv

In case you haven't seen, Adam Lambert kissed a boy on TV last night at the American Music Awards.

Wasn't his performance dangerous and edgy?

Haha, just kidding. It's a definite improvement over the last time I saw a TV clip of him, when he found out he lost to Kris Allen and he hugged him and then nodded along like a cow to Kris's victory song. Humility, grace, and respect for a clean and Nice Guy singer that he knew he was better than. I'm sure Morrissey would have done the same if he were in Lambert's position, except he would have had flowers ready to hand over because he would have been prepared to lose graciously.

Again, just kidding. Morrissey would have said "This is bullshit," left the stage, and then bad-mouthed AI to any camera that would listen. But AI doesn't like it when one of its "stars" thinks it's bigger than AI, so it would never allow that to happen.

Anyway, some people did think that performance was pretty edgy and dangerous. Here's one commenter on the LA Times blog:

I watched tonight's show and specifically wanted to see Adam Lambert perform. My 13 year old loves him and thinks he is an amazing performer. She went to bed early and asked me to tape it for her. I did tape it, however I will not let my daughter watch this type of trash. I know he wants to break out and show the world his dangerous side, but why alienate and entire population of kids to do it? His trashy display was worthy of the almost silent "golf clap" he received from a very uncomfortable looking audience. I would imagine this will hinder sales of his album. I certainly will not let my daughter download his video, nor will I allow her to see him in concert until he cleans up his act. Trash...

Why alienate kids to "show his dangerous side"? Um, maybe because being dangerous, by definition, pisses some people off?

But it's just another example of how the "pro-family" movement has gone too far when it comes to claiming all space, art, culture, and discourse as its own and requiring that everything be made "family-friendly." But now they expect the concept of "danger" itself to be made appropriate for the parents of 13-year-olds?

Come on, conservative moms and dads. Keep your paws off the idea of danger. Not everything can be made into a Happy Meal.

Anyway, as Salon pointed out, his performance isn't much worse than some that have been shown in music award shows, like Britney Spears's "I'm a Slave for You" performance at the 2001 VMA. And at least Adam's message was fairly neutral; Britney saying she was a "slave" for someone wasn't exactly a message that teaches girls they can be independent. (If only I was sure she meant it in the S/M way, and not how I think she meant it....)

Adam's response:

"If it's gonna be edited, then in a way that's discrimination. I don't mean to get political, but Madonna, Britney and Christina weren't edited," Lambert said. "It's a shame. Female entertainers have been risqué for years. Honestly, there's a huge double standard."

Lambert said his goal wasn't to upset anyone with his performance: "I'm just trying to have a good time onstage. It's a sexy song. It's 2009, it's time to take more risks. It's about entertainment. People want to be surprised. It's too bad that people are so scared."

"There's a huge double standard"? You're killin' me, Adam, you're killin' me. I think what the rock star in you was looking for: "Fuck the clowns who didn't like my song. Fuck them right in the ass."

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"Fuck them right in the ass."????

Now that's a gay affirming imagined flame, isn't it? :- (

And Ms. Morrisey? Permanently unimpressed as I am with the past-his-sell-date indie hero to tens, I'm far from an expert on what he might say. But history indicates what he WOULDN'T say...the truth about what kind of fucking and what kind of asses he's interested in.

Lambert may well be a flash in the tin pan alley. You won't find his CD on my shelves anytime soon. But what he lacks in understanding of the difference between form and substance he at least makes up for in having what Morrisey apparently never will: the balls of honesty.

To be fair, most of the griping I saw wasn't about the kiss, but about him simulating gay oral sex with the backup dancer. While that's less "family friendly," than a kiss, if it has a whiff of anything queer the right wing nutjobs foam at the mouth and claim it's somehow violated their rights. "What about the children?!" they'll shriek.

Interesting piece, Alex. Lambert's packaging of "danger" (I think he's cute, but hardly dangerous or outré, and I'll admit I've grown to like his eye makeup) alongside the Right's perception that he has a "dangerous side" = one bizarre, crazy marketing tactic/cultural moment.

What would they do with someone who actually is everything Lambert seems to simulate? I wonder if they would even be able to recognise them, given their limits of perception.

The lesson I'm left with is that it's fine for straight female performers to simulate "hot girl-on-girl action!" because it's all about titillating straight men - and women's sexuality just isn't as important in our society as men's is.

Lambert just kicked away the double standards and behaved like any other pop star who uses sexual imagery - but without hiding his orientation. And for a man to be so unconcerned about looking openly queer in this way in this context is A Big Deal. His statement seems to me more like the response of someone pretty secure in himself than anything else, a simple acknowledgment that times have changed and that objections are based on fear rather than any coherent logic. Reasonable enough.

It's not quite the Pet Shop Boys but the quality of the lyrics and choreography are irrelevant.

It's uplifting to see men doing men and men kissing men in prime time. Children, except for the brain dead children of cultists, will love it.

I'm all for rubbing it in their faces.

Go, Adam!

Amen to that. It's really just the parents who are concerned.

This from a guy who refused to even be asked about the march on Washington "because he is not
a politician and did not want the interview to be too gay". God forbid he offer a word of support for the March or an opinion on gay issues when asked. But simulating oral sex on stage inf ront of millions? No problem.

"At this point, are we really that shocked to see him kissing another man? Had he kissed a girl, then I'd be shocked!"

--- Jay Leno, during one of his 10 PM monologues

Simply another case of double standards.