Remember when ABC booted Adam Lambert from Good Morning America because they were afraid of him spontaneously kissing a guy like he did at the American Music Awards? Well, the morning show just aired Miley Cyrus on the heels of her faux-lesbian kiss on Britain’s Got Talent. Is this another case of TV’s gay-versus-lesbian double standard or is there a genuine difference between their small screen kisses?
One important difference is that Cyrus had a fake lesbian kiss (their lips didn’t even touch) whereas Lambert had an actual open mouth gay kiss. Between Britney, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Roseanne Barr and countless straight porn performers, perhaps American audiences have become less scandalized by lesbo-kisses, they might even come to expect them as part of the female pop rocker act. It could also be that since Cyrus’ kiss happened on European shores and airwaves instead of American that neither British nor American audiences felt the need to complain to ABC.
In contrast, Lambert planted his kiss while performing on a live American awards show — broadcast by ABC to millions of American viewers. Homosexuality isn’t as common in the male rocker persona, despite your Jared Leto fantasies, and in some ways bisexuality even less so. Keep in mind, Lambert not only kissed a guy, but he also simulated gay oral sex, and kissed and fondled women as well. Over 1,500 viewers complained and so ABC had a choice: potentially air more of his bisexual antics and deal with a small tempest of crap controversy afterwards or pull Lambert’s plug beforehand and enjoy the silence.
So viewed one way, ABC is homophobically saying that “it’s OK to pretend to be gay, but not to really be gay” (especially if you’re a girl). Viewed another way, ABC is putting the kibosh on unscripted male queerness, especially when it happens on American shores.
Both are bad, but at least the second is a fresher kind of prejudice — who says ABC is afraid of being cutting edge? What’s next, upskirt shots?