Post-Lambert, ABC Looking at Live Performance Rules

Sweeney: The “American Idol” star’s risque performance at the AMAs has Disney looking at ways to keep artists in check.

Last Updated: November 30, 2009 @ 5:13 PM

There’s more fallout from the Adam Lambert/ American Music Awards kerfuffle.

ABC is taking a closer look at how it approaches lives appearances and performances on awards shows, according to Anne Sweeney, president of the Disney/ABC TV Group. Sweeney confirmed the review to Reuters at the news organization’s annual media summit Monday.

"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.

The executive said ABC was looking into ways of getting guarantees from artists to not deviate greatly from their rehearsed performances. It might also seek contractual guarantees from performers to make sure they don’t step out of line.

Lambert’s over-the-top performance Nov. 22 featured simulated oral gratification, crotch grabbing and a middle finger, among other things. While similar in tone to other past music awards show spectacles, the Lambert appearance nonetheless generated more than 1500 calls of complaint to ABC.

ABC decided to cancel Lambert’s planned appearance on "Good Morning America" in the wake of the incident, a move Sweeney defended.

"We really had to take the decision very seriously and found that his performance was very unpredictable at night and (we) didn’t know what to expect in the morning," Sweeney said, according to Reuters.