The advocacy group Parents Television Council is asking its members to contact ABC, Dick Clark Productions, and the show’s advertisers to complain about the “tasteless and vulgar” content of the AMAs, aired Sunday night on the network—specifically, Adam Lambert’s finale performance, which featured S&M costumes, dancers on leashes, and simulated oral sex.
“American teenagers – and especially teenaged girls – are literally under siege by the entertainment media,” said PTC president Tim Winter in a statement. “It is outrageous that children today cannot watch a televised awards program for an industry that is built squarely on their backs. Teens comprise a huge portion of music sales, yet this is how they are treated? It is beyond contemptible.”
“ABC and Dick Clark Productions had every reason to know what to expect,” he continued, “as Lambert himself proclaimed that his performance would be ‘very sexy’ and would include leather and chains. But the producers and the network chose to bury their heads in the sand.”
The show aired live at 8 pm ET/7 pm CT with a TV-14 L rating; the oral sex scene was edited out of the West Coast broadcast.