Is there anything wrong with this?

Adam Lambert, a contestant on American Idol, has refused to apologise for performing a simulated sex act with a male dancer and kissing his male keyboardist live on stage at a music awards ceremony.

A lot of music performances and videos include sexually suggestive content but was this just too explicit for a prime time audience? Is it only controversial because he’s openly gay? Dylan Brown thinks ‘it was a little too gay for most’.

Or is it simply because he’s a man? He said “Female pop artists have been doing things provocative like that for years, and the fact that I’m a male… could be a problem.” Dognail agrees, asking if anyone complained when Janet Jackson performed with sexually graphic dance moves at the same event?

The show was edited before being shown later on the west coast of the USA, which Adam claimed was discrimination.
Is it ok for male gay artists to be as sexually daring in their performances as female or heterosexual males? Should he be allowed complete artistic freedom or should he be censored if he offends people?

36 Responses to “Is there anything wrong with this?”

  1. 1 Carl in Portland
    November 24, 2009 at 23:59

    We have to determine what the main issue is in this case. First, is there an issue with simulated sex acts on television reguardless of sexual orentation of the performer? Second, is there an issue with a homosexuals in general? “Gay” is here to stay no matter what the majority of people say. It’s time to move past the right or wrong of homosexuality. It’s a waste of breath to debate it. Because males in most countries have the loudest opinion and control much of the media, it’s no mystery why hetrosexual sex makes it into the main stream media.
    You don’t hear the gay community in an up roar over hetro acts on t.v. maybe we can learn something from their example. By the way, I’m straight. I find this information valid for this kind of topic.

  2. November 25, 2009 at 00:05

    Whether this is “right” or “wrong” can only be determined by his employers. If the ceremony producers feel that he has violated any rules, then they should follow the appropriate protocol. (i.e. refuse to have him on again, bar his him from being selectable for the award in the future, sue him for any damage that his actions may have caused their business.) Since the awards ceremony is “employed” by the advertisers and/or the viewing public. The advertisers can pull any future advertisement on the show until appropriate actions are taken. Viewers can boycott the show for the future and/ or the advertisers until they are fully satisfied that their concerns are met.

    If none of these actions are taken, then it can only be assumed that Adam is completely in the “right”.

  3. November 25, 2009 at 00:09

    well,i was really shocked as i read this article.it’s really a freedom of everyone to do what he likes and what he wants.but what if we say we could not keep this shame go on .Yeah it’s a shame .we cannot say it’s something new in our world.but (gays) used to this years ago wherever you go.so nowadays no comments about what we see in our shows in our channels….It is not but a problem of ethics that must be (fixed).
    We have to stop this at once ,so we can say that we realize an aim that we never do…..and there is a lot of things to say.

    thanks a lot for giving me this chance to express my opinion.
    .Ahmed OUJRA from MOROCCO .AGADIR city.

    • 4 Rich
      February 17, 2010 at 06:21

      You make no sense??? I think you are saying there is an issue with the general publics ethics due to there being an issue with Adam being gay?? I agree they need to get over it, and the majority of people probably didn’t have a problem with the act, just a few who shout loudly.

  4. 5 Josiah Soap
    November 25, 2009 at 00:15

    The trouble with questions like these is that today we can no longer have an open or frank discussion. These are the sort of questions you might discuss with close friends behind closed doors. However, unless you say that it is totally OK for gay people to simulate acts then you will be called all sorts of names, ostracised or could even lose your job in some cases. If you say you don’t agree (i.e. you have an OPINION) you will be accused of homophobia, if you cannot be “persuaded” to change your opinion you will be acused of hate.

    Lets see who posts here on WHYS to say they don’t want to see gay men simulate sex in public. You will then see the true hate come out as people let them know in no uncertain terms, how their opinion won’t be tolerated.
    “Intolerance will not be tolerated!”

  5. 6 Amber Popkes
    November 25, 2009 at 00:23

    I don’t think this has anything to do with whether a person is gay or not. Madonna and Brittney Spears had their moment and people talked about it for a day. Nobody cares if your gay anymore. It’s almost expected in today’s society. The only issue with Adam Lambert kissing a man and acting sexually during the AMA’s is that children watch this program. This was not ‘late night TV or on Cinemax!” This was on during the dinner hour when families are watching! I absolutely think it should have been censored. Children voted him as an American Idol and they don’t expect to see him acting that way. As a parent, I can explain gay no problem. What I have trouble with is answering the question “why is he doing grown up stuff on a stage?”

  6. 7 Julie P
    November 25, 2009 at 00:30

    Sex sells. Sex sold Prince in the 80’s; Prince sold heterosexual sex. He took sex head on, on the stage and in your face. Sex sold Madonna in the 80’s, 90’s, and with with her kissing Brittany Spears followed up by a sexually provocative video; Madonna and Brittany sold lesbian sex, which shocked at the time. Yes, sex sells and so does controversy, which is what Adam Lambert is doing, only this time it’s male on male.

  7. 8 Leonet Reid- Jamaica
    November 25, 2009 at 00:37

    We must accept that we live in a libertarian society where there are no limits to what can be seen or done on TV. What Mr. Lambert did on TV has been an act that has been present in the music industry since the inception of the sex revolution in North America in the 1960s. For example, the pop singer Madonna has morphed into a sex idol from an innocent singer. Moreover, wasn’t it recent that three female singers made out on TV? Was that as “repulsive” as this act? It is clear that the various mass media have double standards when it comes to gender and sexuality. As a heterosexual male, it was quiet anachronistic to see Mr. Lambert passionately kissing his keyboardist during the music awards. As flabbergasted as I was, I had to accept his actions as an assertion of his sexuality. But, was it too Gay? I think no, because women have done the same and even more on stage and no one has said anything, but this “radical”, the person who shifted the equilibrium, stirred up the conservatives and gave tabloids something to publish in their vapid papers. Music is an art and it shouldn’t be censored, so too sexuality and personal image.

  8. 9 Alistair
    November 25, 2009 at 01:18

    I believe that those who are offended by openly gay males should, in all honesty, keep it to themselves. The PTC, which described the kissing as ‘explicit’, may as well try to ban any romantic comedies from being aired on TV where a heterosexual ‘couple’ kiss, or even any suggestive dance videos by artists such as Lady Gaga or The Pussycat Dolls. The only thing which is causing an issue in this case is that an openly gay male kissed another male. This is homophobic behaviour, and is in the same boat as racism and sexism.

    We live in an age where “sex sells” and those who don’t realise this live in a sheltered world. They may aswell just sell their TV, as a fair few music videos, adverts, TV programmes and films shown on air WILL offend them in some way. Also, consider that this is the country in which the “Lingerie Superbowl” is held, where scantily clad females play American Football. I’d say that that is more explicit than a gay couple kissing.

    Any censorship of homosexual kissing on TV will only cause homophobic behaviour to increase in intensity. A child at a young age is incredibly susceptible to any input from his or her environment, and a homosexual couple kissing on TV is unlikely to faze them, allowing them to have an open mind for the future.

  9. 10 steve
    November 25, 2009 at 01:42

    So long as it was consentual, I don’t see the problem with this. I don’t see why he should apologize unless it was unwanted, then it would be to the person he kissed. Not to the viewers.

  10. 11 Roo
    November 25, 2009 at 02:30

    No, not at all.

    It is however the sort of sensational junk that ‘artists’ sometimes like to offer up to increase the duration of the spotlight. Shocking no, inappropriate – well not really, silly, vacuous, and self promoting – I’m afraid so yes.

    Kind regards,

  11. 12 Joseph
    November 25, 2009 at 02:45

    Well as many things in the world where we are more liberal every day and happily accept things that would be totally unacceptable couple of years ago Yes it is normal now. Few years later this is not going to be a question anymore, it will be considered normal. Hard to think what is going to be a question then. That he was performing the same thing with a dog? It wouldnt be such a surprise anymore. I expect just about anything. There is no power anymore like was a church before for example that would set boundaries, a respected authority.

  12. 13 Benjamin Asoro
    November 25, 2009 at 03:04

    Two types of morals exist- Religious morals & Societal morals. With regards to religion, his actions are unfortunate. With regards to society, he’s cool. My problem with Society is- why the hypocrisy? Society loves depravity. Soon big stars will simulate sexual scenes with animals. And that will be really cool! The right to sleep with animals and be Arch-Bishop of a world-wide communion will be cool too! It’s fearful what the world is turning into.

  13. 14 Keith
    November 25, 2009 at 03:08

    All sexually suggestive behaviors on television should be censored whether it is heterosexual or homosexual. A major problem in the music world is that sex is used to sell musical albums instead of musical talent being used to sell albums. So if heterosexual and homosexual suggestive things were censored the result would be that the focus would be on music rather than sexual stuff.

    A major problem with entertainment in general is that sex is used to sell stuff rather than having any sort of talent or having any sort of witty humor. The promotion of sexual sex is a reflection of a lack of talent.

  14. 15 thenewcomer
    November 25, 2009 at 04:57

    It’s a generational thing. Perhaps people of my age find this shocking or even just worth talking about it, but as I listen to the comments of my seven-year old daughter, I realise that by the time she is my age, such things will be utterly normal and non-controversial for her.


  15. 16 Tan Boon Tee
    November 25, 2009 at 05:14

    In this modern yet innately complex world, who is to decide what is wrong or right?

    People would seize every opportunity to do anything to catch publicity, and expect fame or wealth to follow. So what?

  16. 17 Tom K in Mpls
    November 25, 2009 at 06:36

    Legally, no. Morally, no. Personally, ya. Anything can go to far too. Any honest and open beliefs run into dilemmas. I believe in personal freedom for all. It is the only way to protect my freedoms. But gay guys…. Now gay ladies on the other hand… Hey, I’m human, that means there will be contradictions. At least I admit it, pick my priorities and back ’em.

  17. November 25, 2009 at 07:07

    I didn’t see it or would want to see it, but it sounds horrible. What’s happening to people. No wonder children of today, don’t know if they are Arthur or Martha. Enough is enough. If people want to watch this sort or thing then let them do it in their own time. The world is going down the drain. Joan Anne Perth WA

  18. 19 Mike in Seattle
    November 25, 2009 at 07:36

    I hate to sound like a typical American listener complaining about an “unimportant topic” here, but I’m getting the impression that this story is being blown way out of proportion.

    Look, how many of these awards shows are there in a given year? Don’t most (if not all) of them end up with someone somewhere making a name for themselves doing something that’s going to make someone feel uncomfortable, if not make someone believe it will make someone else uncomfortable? Aren’t acts like these, and the reaction to them, simply marketing? Isn’t this refusal to apologize a great way to continue the story?

    For this marketing to work, you need to push buttons. Lambert did exactly that. It scared people in middle America that don’t hate gay people, but would prefer they stay in the closet. The rule of “out of sight, out of mind” was broken here, and that’s why people are talking.

  19. 20 Nate, Portland OR
    November 25, 2009 at 08:44

    I don’t care what guys and gals do in the privacy of their homes. I don’t care what they do in private clubs. I don’t care what they do in the places between. I don’t even much care what they put on TV if I know its coming.

    But since I became a father recently I’ve been thinking differently about sex, sexuality and the experiences that help make us the kind of adults we become. Its no longer so easy to just ignore what I don’t personally engage in.

    I’d like to be able to safely watch a prime-time music show over the open-air with my child. By “safely” I mean without having to explain what simulated sex acts mean. I don’t care about the gay aspect – I hope my son is straight but if not I’ll love him anyway. But sex is not just pleasurable calisthenics. It writes itself into your memories and you carry it with you. I don’t want him just doing it some day without thinking about it because its the thing to do to get some attention. Quit cheapening sex in the middle of the public square in broad daylight, ’cause the public square in broad daylight is what prime-time network broadcasts are.

  20. 21 John in Salem
    November 25, 2009 at 09:23

    What do y expect – the Mormon Tabernacle Choir?
    Watching a music awards show and complaining about sexually suggestive performances, straight or gay, is like going to a bullfight and complaining about the violence.
    If you don’t like what you see then change the channel or turn it off.

  21. November 25, 2009 at 10:16

    The only people who think it is “wrong” are fundies who believe that their god hates gays.

  22. 23 Elina in Finland
    November 25, 2009 at 10:27

    No, I don’t see anything specifically “wrong”, shocking or offensive in what they did. But what I do wonder a little is if this really is such an important topic to be discussed here…

  23. 24 Nigel
    November 25, 2009 at 12:03

    This all has to do with creating controversy, rasing his profile and gaining publicity for money. I should think that the people who are genuinely striving for gay rights would be angry to see their sexual orientation packaged and used like this. Not the same with hetrosexual behaviour where it is accepted as normal and more and more is coming out of the bedroom.

  24. 25 Dennis Junior
    November 25, 2009 at 12:59

    I have not a problem with the picture of Adam Lambert…..

    =Dennis Junior=

  25. 26 patti in cape coral
    November 25, 2009 at 13:50

    I don’t see anything wrong with it per se, it just seems that Mr. Lambert is following the trend. Most TV has become more and more sexually explicit. Shock tactics are commonly used by artists making a name for themselves. Of course a lot of people are going to be offended by watching two men kiss each other, that’s the point. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older but all the sex on TV is getting boring to me. Or maybe it’s because it isn’t real sex, just sex being used as a tool.

  26. 27 nora
    November 25, 2009 at 14:47

    Television has a history of strange censorship. A kiss is not just a kiss because it is an historical area of controversy. When Petulia Clark kissed Harry Belafonte on TV in the sixties, she was able to integrate our collective experience by spontaneously breaking a rule on live TV. Taped TV did not allow inter-racial kissing.

    Janet Jackson’s Superbowl breast-bearing incident, for which she was fined, did nothing to traumatize children. However, the adverts for the game, which were TV legal–told impressionable young boys that an erection lasting more than four hour should propel them to the hospital emergency room….

    As for Mr. Lambert, he has manned up to draw the heat in his youthful way. Very macho, really. Perhaps if the haters can focus on writing letters about a gay kiss for a day they will stay off the streets and bring down the number of gay bashing incidents.

  27. 28 Jennifer
    November 25, 2009 at 15:05

    Then again, how many viewers watch these awards shows anymore?

    I remember when Britney Spears kissed Madonna on stage.

    All I can say is glad I am not the one looking like a fool. Absolutely disgusting.

    If this Lambert person was trying to get noticed; I didn’t notice until now…….and I am not impressed.

    We wonder why young adults are so “mature” these days. HA!

  28. November 25, 2009 at 15:36

    I am an openly gay man, and obviously am not offended at two men kissing, but I don’t like to see it go too far no matter who it is. This show was geared toward kids, and Adam could easily have altered his performance slightly to be a bit more kid friendly. Combine that with a parent’s obligation to change the channel, however, if they find anything objectionable and there really should be no issue. I agree with the posters that say that there is too much sexualization on TV as it is which is just “modern life”. That’s why I liked the show Will & Grace, it was about gay life without showing objectionable things like what Adam did. Adam has a long career ahead and should have chosen to wait for a more appropriate venue.

    • 30 Jennifer
      November 25, 2009 at 17:53

      Thanks for showing class and respect for other viewers who may be watching (especially young kids). Wish there were more out there who would do the same especially on a big stage with an audience.

  29. 31 T
    November 25, 2009 at 15:45

    We can see gay relationships on cable because it’s more “daring” there. Yet, when it’s an Obama Inaugural Concert, Pete Seger is censored for performing.

    The only way the MSM will allow a “debate” is if they can spin it for maximum profit/ratings.

  30. 32 jens
    November 25, 2009 at 17:07

    who is he, and why should I care?

  31. 33 Anthony
    November 25, 2009 at 21:54

    I think male-male, female-female, or male-female sexuality needs to be put back in the box, or closet. I don’t care about other people’s sexuality. I want to be entertained with something besides people dry humping each other.
    Adam is a disgrace to the human race. So sad that people think the end all beat everything in existence is toilet humor and crap like he pulled on tv.

    Its time for people to grow up and start acting like responsible adults. There are children watching, you know? Do you want your child to grow up and be like Adam? I would rather my child work as a garbage collector than be like him!

  32. 34 cugel
    November 26, 2009 at 14:24

    Just ignore. It’s their life. They have the option to become a buddhist, a jihadist or a born again christian. Two of those options may be equally mad.

  33. November 26, 2009 at 14:30

    There isn’t anything ‘wrong’ with homosexuality – what goes on behind closed doors is really only of concern to the person and his or her sexual partner. I’m only concerned with my own sex life, thanks very much! But we live in a predominantly heterosexual world, so we are always going to be fascinated / shocked / repulsed / attracted (delete as appropriate!) by displays of sex or affection that are not heterosexual. It’s the way we’re wired. Don’t let’s beat ourselves up about it. The show needs to get people talking, or it just dies. A man kissing a woman is too ‘normal’ and these stars don’t want normal! The pop star in question was probably told to do this by his ‘people’ in the full knowledge that the majority of us are slightly squeamish about these things. They wanted precisely this reaction and they got it.

  34. 36 Anna in Melbourne
    November 27, 2009 at 03:45

    Seriously people – we need to evolve – 1 in 10 of us are gay or Bi – always have been always will be – DEAL WITH IT!

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