Adam Lambert has claimed ABC threatened him with a lawsuit over his famed same-sex kiss at the 2009 American Music Awards.
The Queen singer, 40 – who recently slammed the idea of Theo James playing George Michael in a biopic – spoke about the homophobia he had experienced in his career which escalated when he spontaneously kissed his keyboardist during his performance at the awards.
Speaking at the 2023 Creative Coalition Spotlight Initiative Gala on Saturday, he said: ‘I did the kind of performance I’d seen since I was a teenager. I was like, I want to be sexy and have dancers on stage, and I did a couple of suggestive moves with some of my dancers and an impromptu kiss… I was feeling it.’
Moment in history: Adam Lambert has claimed ABC threatened him with a lawsuit over his famed same-sex kiss at the 2009 American Music Awards
The network was like, “How dare you?” They banned me for a while. They threatened me with a lawsuit. I was like, “Oh, OK, that’s where we’re at.”‘
‘I didn’t know.’ I lived in a bubble in LA amongst artists and weirdos, and I didn’t realize that kind of thing ruffled feathers the way it did. I’m going to be as gay as I f****g can be and be flamboyant and be wild and if it gets me into trouble, it gets me into trouble. I’m not going to go back down from it.’
DailyMail.com has contacted representatives for ABC for comment.
Back in 2009 the star drew global attention when he kissed a male musician and simulated oral sex with a dancer during his performance of his single For Your Entertainment – sparking 1,500 complaints.
Candid: The Queen singer, 40 spoke about homophobia he had experienced in his career which escalated when he spontaneously kissed his keyboardist during his performance at the awards (pictured Jan 2023)
After the show was broadcast live, hundreds of complaints flooded into US TV network ABC.
During his performance Lambert cavorted on stage with male and female dancers, who were dressed in S&M-style outfits and masks.
The singer, who was the runner-up in the American Idol final earlier this year, also grabbed his crotch and stuck his finger up at the audience during his risqué set.
Following the outrage, ABC breakfast show Good Morning America canceled Lambert’s planned live performance over fears he may repeat his controversial behaviour.
An ABC spokesperson said at the time: ‘Given his controversial American Music Awards performance, we were concerned about airing a similar concert so early in the morning.’
Instead, he was offered a slot on rival channel CBS’s The Early Show today, where he tried to explain himself.
He said: ‘I admit, I did get carried away, but I don’t see anything wrong with it. I do see how people got offended and that was not my intention. My intention was just to interpret the lyrics to my song and have a good time up there.’
Raunchy: Speaking at the 2023 Creative Coalition Spotlight Initiative Gala on Saturday, he said: ‘I did the kind of performance I’d seen since I was a teenager. I was like, I want to be sexy and have dancers on stage, and I did a couple of suggestive moves’
Responding to criticism it was racy for younger viewers, Lambert added: ‘Honestly, it didn’t cross my mind… children. It was almost 11 o’clock. It was a night-time show. I was there in the audience full of mostly adults.’
Lambert pointed out that fellow AMAs performer Janet Jackson was seen grabbing a dancer’s crotch on stage.
He said: ‘If I was a female pop performer doing the moves… I don’t think there would have been nearly as much of an outrage.
‘I didn’t hear one peep about (Jackson)… (I think people are complaining because) I am a gay male.’
Conservative group Culture and Media Institute of the Media Research Center hit out at The Early Show for broadcasting Lambert’s ‘brand of raunch’
Dan Gainor, the group’s vice president said: ‘Rather than back ABC’s decision to temper such trash, CBS is compounding the problem and rewarding Lambert with not one but two TV appearances.’
In an interview with Access Hollywood immediately following his AMA performance, Lambert said: ‘If I offended some people… well it’s apples and oranges. I’m not an artist that does things for every single person.
Attention-grabbing: Back in 2009 the star drew global attention when he kissed a male musician and simulated oral sex with a dancer during his performance of his single For Your Entertainment – sparking 1,500 complaints
I believe in artistic freedom and expression. I believing in honoring the lyrics of the song and those lyrics aren’t really for everyone either.
‘I wish people could open their minds and enjoy things. It’s all for a laugh. Shock rock is fun.
When asked how he felt his performance being edited for repeated broadcasts, Lambert said: ‘If it’s edited, that’s discrimination. I will be a little disappointed because there is a bit of discrimination going on in this country.
There’s a big double standard. Female pop artists have been doing provocative stuff like that for years and the fact that I’m a male and I’ll be edited and discriminated against could be a problem.’
This comes after Lambert slammed the prospect of Theo James playing George Michael in an upcoming $104million biopic about the Wham! singer.
The singer took to Instagram after the Daily Mail exclusively reported The White Lotus star, 38, is the favorite to play the iconic singer in a new film.
He commented with an eye roll emoji and wrote: ‘Yay another straight man playing a gay icon.’
Lambert, who was a finalist on American Idol in 2009 and has since forged a wildly successful career as part of Queen + Adam Lambert, is a huge fan of the Careless Whisper legend and has covered his songs in the past.
In March 2020, Lambert, who is gay, told Metro that he would like to play Michael – who died in 2016 aged 53 – should a biopic be made.
He said: ‘That’d be cool, I just feel like, we don’t know that much about him. You know, to me, it would be great to kind of explore George’s life.
‘I’d give it a go. Yeah, sign me up.
Success story: Lambert, who was a finalist on American Idol in 2009, has since forged a wildly successful career as part of Queen + Adam Lambert (pictured June 2022)