Adam Lambert and media cowardice

28 November 2009

Video | ZJ on YouTube | Subscribe

ZJ: I'm not a fan of Adam Lambert, I don't listen to his music and I haven't been following his whole career. But I have to say, after his performance at the American Music Awards, the way the media are treating him is just shameful. When he was on CBS's Early Show, they actually blurred out the footage of him kissing another man. If he had kissed a woman, they would never have done that. The thought wouldn't even occur to them that this is something to be hidden so nobody has to see it.

Even in the case of a woman kissing another woman, CBS did not censor that. They showed Madonna kissing Britney Spears, without blurring anything, moments after their censored video of Adam Lambert. This is the excuse they came up with: they were afraid that it "may lead to legal consequences". Really? What kind of "legal consequences" could there possibly be for showing two men kissing? Guys have been kissing on network television since 1999, without being censored—and no, there have not been any "legal consequences". Why would there be? Obviously there aren't any legal concerns over men kissing women, or women kissing women.

And keep in mind, CBS is the channel with shows like CSI, NCIS, and even Dexter. So, dead bodies, serial killers, someone getting shot in the head? CBS thinks that's just peachy. But a kiss between two men? Apparently that's a little too edgy for them.

But at least they had him on the show. ABC, on the other hand, decided to cancel Adam's appearance on Good Morning America. Do you know who's still scheduled to be on the show? Chris Brown, or as he's more commonly known nowadays, the convicted felon who beat Rihanna. Turns out there actually are legal consequences for that. But, getting pulled from ABC isn't one of them. They think it's entirely appropriate to let him tell his side of the story and help him promote his new album. Sure, he's a violent, abusive convict, but at least he didn't kiss another man. That would just be indecent. ABC does have standards, you know.

Never mind that they've already shown kisses between men on Brothers & Sisters and Grey's Anatomy. And, of course, they've repeatedly aired Saving Private Ryan, uncut. Like I said, they've got standards. Domestic abusers and the graphic violence of war? A-okay! But Adam Lambert? That's just going too far.

Of course, these ridiculous standards aren't limited to the mass media; there's stupidity coming from every direction here. Jennifer Vanasco, the editor-in-chief of, believes that Adam's performance was harmful to the movement for gay marriage. Vanasco said, quote, "This is why mainstream America votes against gays", and, "They are worried because they think gay life is exactly what he portrayed".

Excuse me, but what the fuck does that have to do with anything? When Justin Timberlake tore Janet Jackson's clothes off during the Super Bowl and half of America got to see her breast with a giant paperclip on it, were they "worried" about "heterosexual life"? Did mainstream America see this as a reason to vote against straight people and stop them from getting married? No. Do you know why? Because that has nothing to do with it. People can do whatever the fuck they want on stage, they can be as disturbing, vulgar, obscene and shocking as they please, and they still have the right to marry. Heterosexuals have been far more explicit than anything Adam's ever done, and nobody even dares to think that their marriages can be voted on.

And really, do you think not being able to get married is going to discourage people from being scandalous on stage? Well, guess what: it's not working. If anyone actually thinks this is a valid basis to vote against gay marriage, then that needs to be called out for what it is: spiteful idiocy. And it doesn't need to be endorsed by the editor of a gay website.

The fact is, Adam was exactly right about the different standards that are imposed upon anyone who isn't heterosexual. And with every passing day, these people are proving just how right he was. Holding gay people to a separate standard, so nobody will be made uncomfortable by having to see them, is unfathomably more offensive than any part of Adam's performance.

Gay people exist. Gay people are gay. Gay people will be open about that. And sometimes, gay people can be just as sexual and suggestive as heterosexual performers often are. Live with it! God knows we put up with your shit.

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