"The Early Show" viewers on Wednesday didn't get to see what made Adam Lambert's performance at the American Music Awards so controversial.
In a move that could be seen as prime evidence that the double standard which the gay, male singer has spoken out against in recent interviews does indeed exist, the network blurred a pair of racy moments from his performance footage, included a simulated sexual act and a kiss with his straight keyboard player.
"The Early Show" also played Madonna and Britney Spears' famous same-sex smooch from the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards – without the blur. But why?
"We gave this some real thought," a CBS rep said in a statement to Access Hollywood. "The Madonna image is very familiar and has appeared countless times including many times on morning television. The Adam Lambert image is a subject of great current controversy, has not been nearly as widely disseminated, and for all we know, may still lead to legal consequences."
In turn, GLAAD, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, spoke out against the editorial decision in a statement to Access on Wednesday.
"'The Early Show's' decision this morning to blur Adam Lambert's kiss from the American Music Awards reinforces an unfortunate double standard that is applied to openly gay performers," Jarrett Barrios, GLAAD's president, said in the statement. "I would have hoped CBS would provide the same treatment for images of gay and lesbian people and not create an unfair double standard that treats our community differently."
Barrios went on to cite other networks' coverage of the event as being fairer.
"CBS regularly shows kisses throughout every daypart. The kiss was not blurred on ABC nor in news coverage on other networks. While we continue to applaud 'The Early Show' for featuring Adam Lambert today, we have reached out to the show's producers to express our concerns about their decision and offer ways they can make their coverage of gay and transgender people more fair."
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