'Good Morning America' Cancels Lambert Appearance After Controversial AMA Performance

November 24, 2009 - 5:11 PM
ABC's &quot;Good Morning America&quot; canceled an appearance by Adam Lambert following his racy American Music Awards performance, and he was quickly snapped up by ABC's morning rivals on CBS. Lambert was to sing Wednesday on &quot;GMA,&quot; but the network said Tuesday that &quot;we were concerned about airing a similar concert so early in the morning.&quot;<br />

Adam Lambert, left, gets ready to kiss one of the dancers as he performs during the closing act of the 37th Annual American Music Awards on Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)

New York (AP) - ABC's "Good Morning America" canceled an appearance by Adam Lambert following his racy American Music Awards performance, and he was quickly snapped up by ABC's morning rivals on CBS. Lambert was to sing Wednesday on "GMA," but the network said Tuesday that "we were concerned about airing a similar concert so early in the morning."
 
"Obviously, I respect their decision - they gotta do what they gotta do," Lambert said Tuesday in an interview with Ryan Seacrest. "It's too bad, I think there were a lot of fans who were excited to come see me.
 
"They probably had a lot of pressure coming at them from certain people who weren't happy about it."
 
While singing his new song "For Your Entertainment" at the awards program, Lambert kissed a male keyboardist, fondled a dancer and had another dancer briefly stuff his face in Lambert's crotch. It prompted many complaints to ABC.
 
While women have often crossed the threshold regarding sexually provocative appearances on television - think Madonna kissing Britney Spears - Lambert's performance was perhaps the first time it has been done by an openly gay man. The singer said before Sunday's show that he was hoping to accomplish just that.
 
"There are a lot of double standards as far as that goes," Lambert said backstage, a few days before the awards show. "We've seen female pop and rock performers do that for the last 10 years. They've been very provocative, owning their power and sexuality. You just don't see men doing it very often. And I'm hoping to break down that double standard with this number."
 
ABC had seen Lambert in rehearsals and knew some of what he had planned, but not the extent. Top ABC News management made the decision to cancel Lambert, spokeswoman Cathie Levine said. She said there was no pressure from the parent Walt Disney Co.
 
Lambert has performed on "GMA" before, most recently in August.
 
Shortly after ABC's cancellation, CBS quickly announced Tuesday that Lambert would appear on "The Early Show" Wednesday morning both to perform and discuss the reaction to Sunday's appearance. Lambert is also appearing on David Letterman's "Late Show" Wednesday, which was scheduled weeks ago.
 
The "Good Morning America" cancellation was first reported on TVNewser and Hollywood Life Web sites.
 
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Associated Press Writer Mark Kennedy in New York and AP Entertainment Writer Derrik J. Lang in Los Angeles contributed to this report.
 
Kentucky Police Call Census Worker’s Death Suicide
Police: Ky. census worker killed himself
By Bruce Schreiner and Roger Alford
Associated Press Writers
Frankfort, Ky. (AP) - A Kentucky census worker found naked, bound with duct tape and hanging from a tree with "fed" scrawled on his chest killed himself but staged his death to make it look like a homicide, authorities said Tuesday.
 
Bill Sparkman, 51, was found strangled Sept. 12 with a rope around his neck near a cemetery in a heavily wooded area of the Daniel Boone National Forest in southeastern Kentucky. Authorities said his wrists were loosely bound, his glasses were taped to his head and he was gagged.
 
Kentucky State Police Capt. Lisa Rudzinski said an analysis found that "fed" was written "from the bottom up." He was touching the ground, and to survive "all Mr. Sparkman had to do at any time was stand up," she said.
 
"Our investigation, based on evidence and witness testimony, has concluded that Mr. Sparkman died during an intentional, self-inflicted act that was staged to appear as a homicide," Rudzinski said.
 
Sparkman's mother, Henrie Sparkman of Inverness, Fla., bristled at the conclusion: "I disagree!" she wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press.
 
Authorities said Sparkman alone manipulated the suicide scene. Rudzinski said he "told a credible witness that he planned to commit suicide and provided details on how and when."
 
Authorities wouldn't say who Sparkman told of his plan, but said Sparkman talked about it a week before his suicide and the person did not take him seriously. He told the person he believed his lymphoma, which he had previously been treated for, had recurred, police said.
 
Sparkman also had recently taken out two accidental life insurance policies totaling $600,000 that would not pay out for suicide, authorities said.
 
If Sparkman had been killed on the job, his family also would have been be eligible for up to $10,000 in death gratuity payments from the government.
 
Sparkman's son, Josh, previously told AP that his father had named him as his life insurance beneficiary. Josh Sparkman said earlier this month he found paperwork for the private life insurance policy among his father's personal files but wasn't sure of the amount. Police wouldn't say who the beneficiary was.
 
The Census Bureau suspended door-to-door interviews in the rural area after Sparkman's body was found, but a spokesman said normal operations would resume in Clay County next month.
 
Anti-government sentiment was initially one possibility in the death. Authorities said Sparkman had discussed perceived negative views of the federal government in the county.
 
A friend of Sparkman's, Gilbert Acciardo, previously told AP that he warned Sparkman to be careful when he did his census work. Acciardo, a retired Kentucky state trooper, said he told Sparkman people in the area would perceive him differently because he worked for the federal government.
 
"The death of our co-worker, William Sparkman, was a tragedy and remains a loss for the Census Bureau family. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends," said census spokesman Stephen Buckner.
 
Sparkman's mother has said her son was an Eagle scout who moved to the area to be a local director for the Boy Scouts of America. He later became a substitute teacher in Laurel County and supplemented that income as a census worker.
 
Friends and co-workers have said that even while undergoing chemotherapy for cancer, Sparkman would show up for work smiling with a toboggan cap to cover his balding head. They said he was punctual and dependable.
 
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Associated Press writer Hope Yen in Washington contributed to this report.