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GLAAD president explains his position regarding ABC's treatment of Adam Lambert

They say the third one's the charm.

In the third statement released in two days about the ABC v. Adam Lambert controversy, the Gay and Lesbian  Alliance Against Defamation on Friday explicitly criticized the network for using a "double standard" against the "American Idol" runner-up and called on the community to protest ABC.

GLAAD's previous two statements regarding ABC's cancellations of Lambert's performances on the network after his sexually charged American Music Awards appearance have drawn criticism and caused confusion.  In the first statement, GLAAD seemed to give ABC a free pass: "It would appear that the kiss between Adam Lambert and his keyboardist did not factor into ABC’s decision."

In the second statement, GLADD said "ABC confirmed this is not about a same-sex kiss or his sexual orientation but about being 'caught off guard.' GLAAD asked ABC and calls on them for clarification on 'caught off guard' so that the community knows why Lambert is being denied the opportunity to perform on the network."

This afternoon, GLAAD issued its strongest statement yet, saying that the organization does, in fact, believe that ABC canceled Lambert's appearances on "Good Morning America" and "Jimmy Kimmel Live" and stopped considering him for "New Year's Rockin' Eve" because he is an "openly gay performer."

All of this gave us whiplash, so we asked GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios for a telephone interview, which he granted.

Barrios said that he realized quickly after the first statement was issued that GLAAD's position was being misunderstood because "I'll admit it, the statement should have been more clearly worded," he said.

"Giving ABC the opportunity to explain themselves is important, but it's also important for us to be clear about what our position is," Barrios said. "And that is that we believe that Adam Lambert is being subjected to a double standard because he's an openly gay entertainer. Canceling his performances, past and future, are a result of that double standard."

Although GLAAD asked ABC to explain itself to the public in the second statement, it failed to be clear about how the organization deemed ABC's actions. Barrios decided to issue a third statement, he said, to make it crystal clear.

"GLAAD is appreciative of ABC's other work," Barrios said, referring to the commendations ABC has received in recent years for the network's portrayal of gay characters on several of its prime-time shows.  "But let me be clear: We remain steadfast in our beliefs that he's being subjected to a double standard because he's an openly gay performer."

GLAAD no longer wants ABC to explain what it meant by "caught off guard" to the public. Instead, Barrios said he hopes viewers will let ABC know what they think about how Lambert is being treated. ABC declined to comment today.

"We're urging the community to reach out to ABC and express those concerns because we believe Adam Lambert is being subjected to an unfair double standard," Barrios said.

--Maria Elena Fernandez (follow me on Twitter @writerchica)

Photo: Adam Lambert appears on "The Early Show"/Credit: Getty Images


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Comments () | Archives (34)


Well, it's about bloody time GLAAD. ABC is ridiculous for canceling Adam.

whether gay- lesbian or hetrosexual was not the issue. Preview Spears and Madonna theirs was not deep throat and filled with passion. Sex preference was not the issue- a time and a place was.


Well, great, GLAAD has clarified their clarification. Expect another clarification to come soon to clarify that one. And, of course, the only ones left shaking their heads in the dust are gay people, who GLAAD has proved to be utterly useless for, time and time again. Gotta love those gay rights organizations - right on top of it.

It's about time! This double standard was apparent to most of us the minute ABC cancelled Adam's GMA appearance. I am a huge and long-standing admirer of Adam's talent and have taken ABC's treatment of Adam personally. I, and a legion of other's around the world, are boycotting not only the ABC network, but the products of all of ABC's sponsors! I will not consider lifting my boycott until ABC apologizes to Adam Lambert.

Well, okay, I'm glaad to hear that. It makes more sense, anyway. [deep breath]

I'll be the first to admit there is something going on here that I do not get. Okay, that's fine. Believe me, at this point, I want there to be something I do not get – because all that I've been able to read, research and glean only confuses me further.

ABC, you've been in existence all these years, I can only imagine there MUST be a method to your madness. And if I've ever known anything about Disney, is that they have a cadre of lawyers who serve the company's best interest (and for those willing to discount this PR IS A HUGE PART OF THAT). Sorry for yelling, but it was a point that needed to be hit and one that has confounded me.

Why is ABC gambling its entire reputation on a theoretical FCC fine? What is it? Like $500,000 at the worst? Isn't that like a day's revenue off .34 of your overall venues?

ABC, I've said it before and I'll say it again, I've loved you my whole life, from the time I was watching "All My Children" at age 6. You have blown it, epically. I truly believe there is something legal behind this (because, to be honest, no other theory holds a dram of water), but what the hell is it????

GLAAD, you are a by-product of this scandal and I want to figure this out too, but you've got me flummoxed.

At first I had my doubtsif ABC was discriminating cause Adam's performance was quite raunchy, although I was not offended by it. But, once I learned who is behind the pressure, the same group who went after the purple teletubbie for being gay, I am boycotting ABC and all products that sponsor their tv programming. It is a shame what ABC is doing to this talented young man who now knows better on what the public wants, How can they let a fraction of people control them, a fraction of people with a control remote in their hands, a fraction of people who sat for two hours of a show that had performers being even worst than Adam, like Eimenem and his alleged rapes


Adam was disgusting whether he is gay or not! His preformance was sickening. He is a rude, crude, lewd dude! I support ABC's decision.

Signed....former Adam fan

Yes the third time is the charm but I do appreciate that he was probably trying to navigate and give ABC the opportunity to explain themselves so he gave them the benefit of the doubt. Realizing they were not going to give a acceptable answer GLAAD has now revamped their statement to reflect what is actually going on. Thank you for your articles the past couple of day as I think they helped clear up any misguided thoughts that GLAAD initial had.

It is about freaking time GLAAD!! You people are just useless to let Adam hang out there by himself when there is so obviously a double standard and witch hunt going on here. Thank God Adam has balls of steel because he has proven he is calm under fire. He has been nothing but gracious toward ABC and is truly proving what a remarkable person he is. Anyone who says that this one performance made their opinion about Adam was just looking for an excuse to bash him. People are afraid of gay and male sexuality and they are projecting that fear on to Adam. Mean while the right wing have decided to latch on to Adam as a lightening rod to further their own agenda. Insanity anyone?? Talk about mountains out of mole hills.

To all the haters, just three words, you are psycho!!

Would you please post contact info for ABC so we know how to complain to them about their horrendous treatment of Adam? Thank you.

Adam Lambert is an entertainer, when he is onstage he is not a gay man or a gay advocate, and what he did was put on a SHOW, ppl who can't understand that should simply throw their tv's out the window.

Translation: The idiot got whipsawed by the outcry against their feet-dragging and butt-kissing of one of their biggest donors. Thus, desperately trying to save face, he says, in effect "We were behind Adam Lambert all the time, you just didn't notice!"

Bullcrap! Good thing Adam bounces well from being bussed by his own tribe.

And LOL!!! He just Tweeted that ABC's relenting and letting him perform and be interviewed on The View December 10!! So, there may be hope yet for Dick Clark's NYE show.

There is a double standard and HERE IS PROOF!!!! Watch the video of Pink performing at the Billboard Awards in 2004!!!!!! A guy wiggles his tongue and then she grabs his head and puts his head to her crotch!!!!!!! Did anyone say boo to that?? Where was the FCC then! Did anyone cancel her???? Watch the video and you will be outraged that Adam Lambert is being treated the way he is -- UNFAIRLY and being blacklisted by ABC. This is a travesty of justice if I have ever seen one.

There is a double standard and HERE IS PROOF!!!! Watch the video of Pink performing at the Billboard Awards in 2004!!!!!! A guy wiggles his tongue and then she grabs his head and puts his head to her crotch!!!!!!! Did anyone say boo to that?? Where was the FCC then! Did anyone cancel her???? Watch the video and you will be outraged that Adam Lambert is being treated the way he is -- UNFAIRLY and being blacklisted by ABC. This is a travesty of justice if I have ever seen one.

@SQUAW14 if you actually watched both performances as opposed to just repeating some biased secondhand report, Lambert's kiss lasts for all of five seconds and is filmed with middle/long distance shots. The Spears/Madonna/Xtina kiss was filmed much closer up, lasted a touch longer, and was indeed also a passionate tongue kiss. Try again.

It's seriously amazing how many different excuses people will try and dredge up to deny that they are freaking out because a gay male performer actually displayed his real sexuality.

And I love ABC's claiming this is because they were taken off-guard. No, it's because they were taken off-guard and they didn't like what he did. Meaning that if they'd known, they would have ordered him to censor the performance, despite all the other risque and explicit heterosexualized performances. THAT is the double standard. It's seriously unfortunate it took GLAAD three separate rounds to figure out that excuse is crap.

With friends like this, who needs enemies?

No wonder gay rights have suffered a string of defeats across the country. Gay "advocacy" groups like GLAAD are more interested in kissing up to the Powers That Be than coming to the defense of actual gay Americans who are flagrantly and openly being discriminated against. How many revisions, retractions and parsing of words did Martin Luther King issue before he came to the defense of Rosa Parks or countless other Americans suffering from bigotry? What a sad, disgusting spectacle that GLAAD needs a week of PR lessons and damage control before it figured out what its mission is to advocate for gay people, not be a stooge for the entertainment industry. I haven't lost sight of the fact that it's ABC that is conducting itself in a despicable manner, literally blacklisting a performer for conduct that is encourages and airs from straight performers. But GLAAD's behavior is contemptible in its own right. It won't ever get a cent or an ounce of respect from me.

ABC is a business and they have a right to book who they want based on what they think is best for their bottom line. Double standard? assuredly, but it's their right based on what they feel their viewing public finds acceptable.

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