NEW YORK (Reuters) - Singer Adam Lambert’s sexually charged performance at the American Music Awards has caused the Walt Disney Co-owned ABC-TV to review the steps it takes in preparing for live broadcasts of performers, Disney’s head of television said on Monday.
Lambert, the runner-up on this year’s “American Idol,” gave a controversial performance during ABC’s broadcast of the American Music Awards on November 22, in which he simulated oral sex on-stage with a backup dancer, kissed a man and gave the middle finger to the audience.
ABC edited Lambert’s performance during the West Coast broadcast of the night-time awards show, and later canceled Lambert’s scheduled November 25 appearance on its “Good Morning America” program.
Disney/ABC Television Group President Anne Sweeney told Reuters that in reaction to the Lambert performance, Disney was reviewing the steps it takes to vet live performances by getting assurances from artists that their stage shows will resemble their rehearsals, and using contractual obligations to hold them to that.
“We certainly don’t want to suppress artistry at any level, but we also have to be very cognizant of who our audience is,” Sweeney said at the Reuters Media Summit on Monday.
She added that it was the right decision for ABC to cancel Lambert’s scheduled performance on “Good Morning America,” noting that many children watch the morning news show.
“We really had to take the decision very seriously and found that his performance was very unpredictable at night and (we) didn’t know what to expect in the morning,” she said.
Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Tiffany Wu and Maureen Bavdek