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ABC cancels Adam Lambert's "Kimmel" performance

 Singer Adam Lambert performs on CBS
Singer Adam Lambert performs on CBS's 'The Early Show' in New York, November 25, 2009. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
— image credit: Reuters

By James Hibberd

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - For the second time since his controversial American Music Awards performance, ABC has canceled an appearance by Adam Lambert, this time on "Jimmy Kimmel Live."

On his Twitter account, glam rocker Lambert, who finished as runner-up on "American Idol" in May, wrote, "Yes, sadly friends, ABC has canceled my appearances on Kimmel and NYE. :( don't blame them. It's the FCC heat ... I AM doing Leno though. And lookin into something for NYE ... It'll all blow over. Let's focus on being positive! :)"

"NYE" presumably means ABC's telecast of "New Year's Rockin' Eve." Sources say Lambert's appearance on the Dick Clark-produced event was still tentative.

Lambert was booked to perform on Kimmel's outdoor stage December 17 before his performance at the November 22 American Music Awards. During the live telecast of the awards show, the openly gay Lambert caused a furor with a rendition of his debut single, "For Your Entertainment," that included simulating oral sex and kissing a male keyboard player.

After ABC, which had broadcast the show, received more than 1,500 complaints about Lambert's performance, the network canceled Lambert's scheduled appearance on its "Good Morning America" news and talk show.

CBS' "Early Show" swooped in and booked Lambert instead, only to get blasted by some viewers for blurring video footage of the kiss between Lambert and the keyboard player.

Disney/ABC Television Group president Anne Sweeney recently said the company was reviewing the steps it takes to vet live performances and plans to contractually obligate artists to match their stage shows to their rehearsals.

"We certainly don't want to suppress artistry at any level, but we also have to be very cognizant of who our audience is," Sweeney said.

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