Singer, and songwriter, Adam Lambert, claims that ABC temporarily banned him and threatened to sue him for kissing a man during his 2009 American Music Awards performance.
Lambert made the revelation during an acceptance speech for an award at the 2023 Creative Coalition Spotlight Initiative Gala.
The “If I Had You” singer also revealed that, despite the network’s reservations about his performance at the time, being openly gay has helped him connect with even more fans.
Read on for more details.
Adam Lambert Recounts Moment He Kissed A Man On Stage At The AMAs
Lambert was honored with an award at the 2023 Creative Coalition Spotlight Initiative Gala for his role in the Sundance Film Festival drama “Fairyland.” While receiving his award at the event, he recounted his experience performing at the 2009 AMAs and the reactions he got after he kissed a man on stage.
“I did the kind of performance I had seen since I was a teenager,” he said per Entertainment Weekly. “I was kind of sexy and had dancers on stage, and I did a couple of suggestive moves with a couple of dancers, and an impromptu kiss with my bass player.”
The star walked up to his bass player, pulled him by his hair, and proceeded to kiss him for a couple of seconds. He noted that “he was feeling” the moment as he shined in full rockstar mode.
ABC Had A Problem With Adam Lambert’s Performance
The “For Your Entertainment” singer went on to describe the negative reaction he received after his performance, claiming that ABC, which broadcasted the award show, didn’t like it and “temporarily banned” him.
“I got off stage and I got in trouble. The network was like, ‘How dare you?’ They banned me for a while,” Lambert said, via EW. “They threatened me with a lawsuit. It was like, ‘Oh, okay, that’s where we’re at.'”
The “American Idol” alum went on to explain that he didn’t know the singular act of kissing another man on stage would cause such a backlash. He said, “I’d been in a bubble in LA amongst artists, weirdos, and I didn’t realize that that kind of thing would ruffle feathers the way it did.”
He Became As Gay As He ‘F***ing Can Be’
During his acceptance speech, Lambert, 40, disclosed that following the turn of events after his performance back then at the AMAs, he decided to go full steam on and “be as gay as I f***ing can be,” to be part of something new that could help “effect change.”
“If it gets me into trouble, it gets me in trouble, but I’m not going to back down from it,” the singer said of his decision to be “flamboyant” and “wild.”
He reminisced on the fact that his life and actions have helped other young people come out. “Over the last few years, I’ve met more and more young people who saw me on TV when we were kids and said, ‘You helped me talk to my parents about being gay,'” he explained.
Adam Lambert Makes A Case For More ‘Visibility’
Concluding his acceptance speech for the award, the “Ghost Town” crooner acknowledged the fact that the situation now is a bit different from what it was then and went on to make his case for visibility.
Lambert believes that signing gay talent is a “viable business move” in the music industry. And the film industry is moving forward. “An increasing number of queer stories are being told.”
“Visibility is so powerful,” the talented artist proclaimed per EW. “The LGBTQ community has been under attack for a long time, and are under attack again. There’s a lot of conservative pushback, and making art that represents the queer experience and stars people, that gives the LGBTQ community hope and strength. It gives us inspiration.
“It makes us shed some of that shame and self-loathing that we grow up with. I’m so thrilled to be an artist at this time. We have a lot of challenges in front of us. It’s not over yet. There’s still work to be done, but I am just so proud of the work that’s been done so far,” Lambert concluded.