Thoughts, Ideas, and Concepts by Sandra Parks

Posts tagged ‘TV’

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

NEW YORK (AP) — Adam Lambert’s racy American Music Awards performance cost him a gig on “Good Morning America,” but he will perform live instead on ABC’s morning rivals at CBS.

Lambert was to sing Wednesday on “GMA,” but the network said Tuesday it was canceling the openly gay singer because “we were concerned about airing a similar concert so early in the morning.”

While singing his new song, “For Your Entertainment,” at the awards program on Sunday, Lambert kissed a male keyboardist, fondled a dancer and had another dancer briefly stuff his face in Lambert’s crotch. The performance prompted many complaints to ABC, and the network cut out the brief oral sex simulation for its West Coast broadcasts.

“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,” he said.

ABC News’ top management made the decision to cancel Lambert, spokeswoman Cathie Levine said. She said there was no pressure from the parent Walt Disney Co.

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.”

Said Alicia Keys when asked about Lambert’s performance, “I don’t know. You make different choices as a performer. It’s all about opinion. It’s all about what works for the performer.”

ABC said it felt burned because Lambert went further on the air with sexuality than he did in rehearsals — including the kiss. But the man putting his face to Lambert’s crotch was included in a rehearsal, according to an Associated Press reporter who attended the rehearsal. It was that sort of unpredictability that bothered ABC, particularly on a morning show with many young viewers watching.

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 morning news ratings leader, NBC’s “Today” show, did not consider Lambert because it already has a Bon Jovi concert scheduled for Wednesday, said its executive producer, Jim Bell.

The “Good Morning America” Web site was flooded with comments from viewers about the Lambert cancellation. Some applauded ABC for taking a stand against vulgarity, while others suggested the network was being homophobic.

The glam rocker finished second on “American Idol” this spring. His performances on the reality singing contest were not as provocative, but he was among the show’s most colorful competitors with a voice compared to Queen’s Freddie Mercury. After the competition, he came out publicly as gay.

“For Your Entertainment” is the first single from Lambert’s new album, which went on sale Monday.

The “Good Morning America” cancellation was first reported on TVNewser and Hollywood Life Web sites.

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF SARAH PALIN?

 

CHICAGO – Sarah Palin tells TV talk show host Oprah Winfrey that she doesn’t have her sights set on the 2012 presidency.

“I’m concentrating on 2010 and making sure that we have issues to tackle,” Palin said in the interview taped last week and broadcast on Monday’s “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” “I don’t know what I’m going to be doing in 2012. [Running for president is] not on my radar screen right now.”

Palin spoke to Winfrey as she began rolling out her 413-page memoir, “Going Rogue,” which will be released Tuesday. She begins a book tour Wednesday in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Winfrey opened by asking Palin if she felt snubbed at not getting an invitation to “The Oprah Winfrey Show” last year. Winfrey said she didn’t have any candidates on her Chicago-based show during the campaign because of her support of President Barack Obama.

Palin said she didn’t feel snubbed and told Winfrey, “No offense to you, but it wasn’t the center of my universe.”

The former vice presidential candidate also discussed her experiences on the campaign trail and said she was confident in her abilities when she was asked to run with Sen. John McCain. When chosen, she said, “I felt like, wow, John McCain is a maverick. He’s all about empowering women. He is all about equality. He’s about the everyday working class individual who can succeed in this country and he chose someone who reflects that.”

At the time, she thought that the only skeleton in her closet was the fact that she was received a D in college.

“I thought that was going to be the extent of the controversy,” she said, laughing.

Palin said that she doesn’t blame herself for the Republicans’ election loss. “The reason we lost is because the economy tanked,” she said. “People were sincerely looking for change … Our ticket was perceived as status quo.”

Opening up about family
Palin talked about her family, telling Winfrey that the McCain campaign didn’t let her address the pregnancy of her teenage daughter, Bristol, the way that she wanted.

“This is not to be glamorized,” she said. “This is not to be emulated … I didn’t want that message getting out there that we were giddy happy to become grandparents.”

She added that her daughter called her in tears and was “devastated” and “embarrassed” when her pregnancy became public.

The former Alaska governor was asked about being pregnant with her son Trig, who has Down’s Syndrome. She said that she could understand why a woman would contemplate abortion.  

“It was easy to understand why a woman would feel that it’s easier to just do away with some less than ideal circumstance, to do away with the problem,” she said.

But the situation eventually stengthened her pro-life stance. “What I have been given is a gift,” she said.

Levi Johnston
Palin did not respond to the criticism she’s received from Levi Johnston, the father of her grandson, and denied rumors that Johnston and her daughter used to live together. She said it’s “a bit heartbreaking” to see the road that he has taken, saying that it is “not a healthy place to be,” referring to his plan to appear in Playgirl magazine.

“We don’t want to mess up the gig he’s doing: aspiring porn star,” Palin cracked. “I also saw I didn’t go to hockey games. There are so many untruths.”

The new memoir doesn’t contain any references to Johnston, who’s sparred with his former mother-in-law-to-be.

The former Alaska governor and former Republican vice presidential candidate told Winfrey that Johnston has been busy with media tours and hasn’t seen his son “for a while.”

Palin said she continues “to hope for the best and to pray for Levi” and that “this can all work out for good.”

The infamous interview
When asked about her infamous interview with Katie Couric, Palin said that she was “annoyed” while speaking to Couric and said the way the interview was edited was partially to blame for how she was portrayed.

“I don’t blame people for thinking I was not qualified,” she said. “Her agenda was not neccessarily to show me in the best light.”

She added that the McCain campaign gave her the green light to continue with the multi-part interview, even though she didn’t feel she had done well.

“The campaign said, ‘Right on, good!’ … if they thought it was a good interview, I don’t know what a bad interview was.”

Winfrey ended by asking Palin if she planned to host her own talk show. “Oprah, you are the queen of talk shows,” she responded. “There’s nothing to worry about.”

Australian TV show apologizes for blackface skit!!!

Australian TV show apologizes for blackface skit
Oct. 8, 2009, 5:06 AM EST

ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) — An Australian variety show host has apologized for a skit in which singers parodying the Jackson Five performed in blackface.

American singer and actor Harry Connick Jr., who was serving as a guest judge on Wednesday night’s “Hey Hey It’s Saturday,” was visibly shocked by the skit, in which four men with afro wigs and blackface sang and danced behind a Michael Jackson impersonator wearing white makeup.

Connick, 42, gave the performance a zero score and told them that if it had been done in the United States it would have been pulled off the air.

Blackface was a traditional trope of minstrel shows in the U.S. that dates to the 19th century. Whites playing stock black characters — usually offensive stereotypes meant to demean — rubbed coal, grease or shoe polish on their faces. Blackface performances are not common in Australia.

Public reaction to the “Hey Hey” performance in online forums was mixed. Some Australians said they were embarrassed such a racist sketch had been broadcast, while others said detractors were too politically correct and that the skit was funny.

Michael Jackson died June 25 at age 50.

At a news conference on other issues Thursday morning, opposition politician Helen Coonan labeled the skit “disgusting.”

Host Daryl Somers apologized to Connick at the end of the live show.

“I know that to your countrymen, that’s an insult to have a blackface routine like that on the show, so I do apologize to you,” Somers said.

Connick said he would not have appeared on the show if he’d known about the skit.

“I just want to say, on behalf of my country, I know it was done humorously, but we’ve spent so much time trying to not make black people look like buffoons, that when we see something like that we take it really to heart,” he told Somers after his apology.

Anand Deva, the frontman of the “Jackson Jive” act, said it was not meant to cause offense but added he would not have performed it in the United States.

“Hey Hey” ran for 27 years starting in 1971. The “Jackson Jive” group first appeared on the show 20 years ago and were invited back to reprise their roles during the second of two reunion shows for the once-popular program.

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