ABC’s “Good Morning America” canceled an appearance by Adam Lambert following his racy American Music Awards performance, and he was quickly snapped up by ABC’s morning rivals on CBS.
Lambert was to sing Wednesday on “GMA,” but the network said Tuesday that “we were concerned about airing a similar concert so early in the morning.”
“Obviously, I respect their decision — they gotta do what they gotta do,” Lambert said Tuesday in an interview with Ryan Seacrest. “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.”
While singing his new song “For Your Entertainment” at the awards program, Lambert kissed a male keyboardist, fondled a dancer and had another dancer briefly stuff his face in Lambert’s crotch. It prompted many complaints to ABC.
While women have often crossed the threshold regarding sexually provocative appearances on television — think Madonna kissing Britney Spears — Lambert’s performance was perhaps the first time it has been done by an openly gay man. The singer said before Sunday’s show that he was hoping to accomplish just that.
“There are a lot of double standards as far as that goes,” Lambert said backstage, a few days before the awards show. “We’ve seen female pop and rock performers do that for the last 10 years. They’ve been very provocative, owning their power and sexuality. You just don’t see men doing it very often. And I’m hoping to break down that double standard with this number.”
ABC had seen Lambert in rehearsals and knew some of what he had planned, but not the extent. Top ABC News management made the decision to cancel Lambert, spokeswoman Cathie Levine said. She said there was no pressure from the parent Walt Disney Co.
Lambert has performed on “GMA” before, most recently in August.
Shortly after ABC’s cancellation, CBS quickly announced Tuesday that Lambert would appear on “The Early Show” Wednesday morning both to perform and discuss the reaction to Sunday’s appearance. Lambert is also appearing on David Letterman’s “Late Show” Wednesday, which was scheduled weeks ago.
The “Good Morning America” cancellation was first reported on TVNewser and Hollywood Life Web sites.