After the discussion about whether it was a double standard for ABC to cancel an appearance by American Idol alum Adam Lambert after a racy performance at the AMAs last month, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) issued a statement earlier today that seemed to side with the network’s decisions about pulling his appearances. (A performance on the network’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! was also scuttled earlier this week.) “It would appear that the kiss between Adam Lambert and his keyboardist did not factor into ABC’s decision,” said Jarrett Barrios, GLAAD president, in that early statement. “ABC has a history of positive gay and transgender inclusion that includes featuring kisses between gay and lesbian couples on-air. We applaud the visibility of openly gay performers and congratulate Adam Lambert for sharing his story on The Ellen DeGeneres Show this week as well as his upcoming appearance on The Jay Leno Show.
But then later this afternoon, the organization sought to clarify that early statement. In the later statement, received by EW.com at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Barrios said: “We appreciate ABC’s commitment to gay and transgender inclusion in other programming. However, let us be clear that GLAAD remains steadfast in our assertion that Adam Lambert is being subjected to a double standard by ABC as an openly gay performer. We do not support ABC cancelling Adam Lambert’s past and future performances. We urge the community to reach out to ABC and express their concerns that Adam Lambert is being subjected to a double standard.”
When GLAAD originally approached the network about whether the Lambert situation was a double standard, ABC issued this statement: “Given the live nature of the American Music Awards, Adam Lambert’s performance, which differed greatly from his rehearsal, caught many, including the network, off guard. This is not a question of Lambert’s sexual orientation. As is evidenced by GLAAD’s media report card, ABC is at the forefront of positive gay and lesbian portrayal on television. We welcome openly gay performers and look forward to continuing our great work within the LGBT community.”