Even before Adam Lambert’s show-stopping performance at the 2009 American Music Awards was edited for the West Coast feed, the singer told Access Hollywood’s Shaun Robinson that he felt censoring his performance would be wrong.
“You know honestly, if I offended some people … it’s apples and oranges. I’m not an artist that does things for every single person,” Lambert told Access’ Robinson backstage following his racy performance of “For Your Entertainment,” where he simulated fellatio with a male dancer and kissed male keyboardist Tommy Ratliff, who is straight.
The Associated Press reports that ABC says more than 1,500 people have called to complain about Lambert’s performance. The network characterized the response as “moderate.”
“I believe in artistic freedom and expression, I believe in honoring the lyrics of a song, and those lyrics aren’t really for everybody either,” Lambert said.
And before his performance was edited, he told Access the thought of changing what happened on stage for the other half of the country would be a double standard.
“If it’s edited, that’s discrimination,” Lambert said. “I will be a little disappointed because there is a little bit of discrimination going in this country. There’s a big double standard, female pop artists have been doing things provocative like that for years, and the fact that I’m a male, and I’ll be edited and discriminated against could be a problem.”
The singer did admit that an edited down performance would not shock him.
“I’m not going to be surprised that they edit it,” he continued. “People are scared and it’s really sad, I just wish people could open their minds up and enjoy things, it’s all for a laugh, it’s really not that big of a deal.”
Lambert said he’s only trying to add a little shock to his show — something many before him have done.
“Shock is fun, shock rock is like something that existed, for example, like in the ’70s, Alice Cooper … David Bowie, you had artists that liked to push the envelope and that’s what made them so fresh,” he explained. “Prince, for example, wore a**less chaps one year … I think that surprise is part of entertainment. I think that it keeps people watching, it’s fun, it makes you laugh and it should be that way. And if it made you uncomfortable, maybe I’m not for you.”
Early Monday morning the singer thanked his fans on Twitter for their support, writing, “All hail freedom of expression and artistic integrity … fans: I adore u.”