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ABC Receives 1,500 Complaints Over Adam Lambert’s “Sexually-Charged Performance”

sg_lambertABC received around 1,500 complaints about American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert’s “sexually-charged performance” at this year’s American Music Awards on Sunday.

During the performance millions of viewers saw Lambert “simulate oral sex with a back-up dancer, plant a passionate kiss on the mouth of a male keyboard player and gesture to the audience with his middle finger during the closing act of the live music awards show.”

When asked about the controversial act, the 27-year-old Lambert said his goal was “not to piss people off, it was to promote freedom of expression and artistic freedom”.

Before the feed reached the U.S. West Coast, the network cut the most controversial part of his performance, which included “rubbing the face of a male dancer in his crotch.”

American Music Awards producers, Dick Clark Productions, said they were “unaware from rehearsals what Lambert had planned.” “We did not expect the impromptu moments,” said a spokeswoman to Reuters.

An estimated 14.2 million viewers watched the AMA telecast, the show’s largest audience since 2002.

Lambert publicly declared he was gay after American Idol ended in May though he claims he was never “in the closet” with his sexuality. The musician said his act with dancers in bondage costumes, was no different from the erotic performances of some female pop singers. He added that much of the sexual energy he brought to Sunday’s show was “in the moment.”

“Adrenaline is a crazy, crazy, crazy feeling. Some of the things I love most about performing is when you’re up there and all of the sudden you just have these feelings, this rush that comes over you,” Lambert told CNN.

The Federal Communications Commission, which has stringent rules on the broadcast of indecent or profane material, said it could not confirm or deny receiving complaints.

The FCC fined CBS $550,000 for broadcasting a fleeting glimpse of Janet Jackson’s breast to over 90 million TV viewers during the 2004 Super Bowl half-time show, which Jackson famously blamed on a “wardrobe malfunction.”

It was unclear whether ABC could be at risk of an FCC fine because Lambert’s performance was broadcast around 11 pm in most of the nation, outside the FCC’s 6am-10pm time frame prohibiting the broadcast of indecent material.

The aftermath of the performance is still going strong as ABC’s morning program Good Morning America has canceled Adam Lambert’s live morning show concert for 11/25.

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