The Lambert Effect :: Is American Pop Queer-friendly?
by Joseph Erbentraut
Monday Mar 1, 2010
When Adam Lambert made his man-kissing, leather-clad appearance on the American Music Awards late last year he subsequently ignited a backlash of viewer complaints, cancelled appearances and media criticism.
At the time, many in the music industry, including Lambert himself, questioned the degree to which the ensuing uproar had to do with his being openly gay, rather than simply overtly sexual. After all, numerous prominent, heterosexual female performers have performed equally, if not surpassingly, titillating displays on television in recent years. Unlike the provocative lineage these Madonnas and Britneys follow, Lambert does not enjoy the same luxury. When it comes to sexually explicit, openly gay American male pop performers, the precedent is practically nonexistent.
And yet, despite the controversy, it appears Lambert has weathered the storm, rendering the uproar an unlikely publicity victory. Over two months later, the American Idol runner-up remains a hot Hollywood commodity, recently appearing on the Oprah Winfrey Show and registering album sales that continue to hold steady on the Billboard charts.
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