Monday, 30 November 2009

For your entertainment, or not

Pop quiz hotshot. What's worse - love for men or violence against women? If you're having to think about the answer you're probably reading the wrong blog. Maybe you should try Richard Littlejohn instead. Still here? Good, then I'll continue.

Over in the States there's been a big kerfuffle this last week thanks to Adam Lambert's 'shocking' performance at the American Music Awards. On the eve of his debut album's release he treated TV audiences to a performance that looked more like an out-take from Showgirls. It was all girls in leathers, boys on leashes and more faux-rock posturing than the national Air Guitar championships.

In amongst all the PG-rated depravity, Glambert stuck his crotch in the face of a male dancer and then sucked face with his male keyboard-player. Shocking stuff? Maybe if this was 1983 or the launch of a Billy Graham book tour. But in the world of modern world of rock 'n' roll it was about as edgy as a low-fat bran muffin.

Unfortunately, this is the US we're talking about. And even though Adam's performance aired at 10.45pm, disturbed viewers were soon clogging the phone-lines to register their disgust at Adam's gayness.

In total, 1,500 complaints were made, along with statements made by people like the ironically named 'Liberty Counsel' who argued that "ABC should have to pay a hefty penalty to the FCC for assaulting its viewers with a debased performance." Nothing says liberty like censorship and retribution.

Worse was still to come for the lambasted Lambert, as he was promptly disinvited by the producers of Good Morning America. Understandably concerned that Adam may start rubbing himself all over the weatherman, they ditched him from their line-up claiming he was an "unpredictable performer" - as though that could be anything but a good quality in a rock star.

Adam's response was right on the money shot: “I think that there’s a double standard going on in the entertainment community right now. Female performers have been doing this for years — pushing the envelope about sexuality — and the minute a man does it, everybody freaks out."

Making matters worse, however, was GMA's decision to replace Adam Lambert (whose only crimes are a falsetto that can worry dogs and a skip full of used mascara brushes) with Chris Brown. In the eyes of network television executives, domestic violence is much more acceptable than some light leather-clad frottage. Now that's really 'distasteful'.

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