American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi is saying what ABC won’t, and what GLAAD refuses to acknowledge: The decision to yank Adam Lambert off the network entirely is all about caving to advertiser pressure.
ABC might still think it’s the gay-friendliest network out there, but this is all about money, not warm fuzzies. While ABC often champions fictional LGBT characters (see: Ugly Betty, Brothers & Sisters, the late Dirty Sexy Money), it’s refusing to have anything more to do with Adam Lambert’s career. And while GLAAD has all but given the network a pass on its discriminatory censorship, it’s DioGuardi — who arguably had a role in Lambert’s success — who’s pointing out, taking snapshots of, and asking others to gather round the elephant in the room: advertiser pressure.
“We’re living in a pretty bad economic time, so they have to do what they have to do to keep their advertisers,” DioGuardi tells Marc Malkin. “Networks are doing what they think their viewers want and don’t want, so it’s just budgetary.” (DioGuardi adds that she didn’t find anything wrong with Lambert’s performance: “We always know he’s going to shock us, right?”)
So how come ABC won’t come out and just say “our advertisers threatened to bail”? Or at least, “We don’t want to give our advertisers reason to bail”? Because that, friends, would make for bad publicity. Simply shunning the most famous gay singer in all the world, however, is something they feel comfortable getting away with.
And GLAAD is letting them.