Some Singaporeans have started an online petition to remove American singer Adam Lambert from a New Year's Eve countdown programme organised by MediaCorp.
Lambert is headlining the year-end Countdown 2016 show at The Float @ Marina Bay.
As of 26 Nov, the petition on iPetitions.com created on 25 Nov has garnered over 11,000 signatures. The petition was addressed to MediaCorp, the Singapore government, organisers of the Countdown 2016 show and Ministry of Community, Culture and Youth Minister Grace Fu.
The singer who rose to fame through reality TV show American Idol is openly gay. In a performance at the 2009 American Music Awards, Lambert shocked some viewers with a performance that included a kiss with a male keyboardist and simulated oral sex with a male dancer.
“Adam Lambert is hardly the kind of performer to send off our historic Jubilee Year or to usher in the New Year. His track record displays a flagrant disregard for the sensitivities of his audience – including whether or not children are watching,” wrote the petition’s creators. The petition is signed off by “Concerned citizens”, “Concerned parents” and “Concerned individuals”.
Over 4,000 people also commented on the petition page. “For such an important celebration we should engage a celebrity without controversies,” wrote Ronnie Lim. Other commenters said they were concerned about their children watching a performance that could possibly contain lewd elements, and suggested that the countdown should feature more local talent.
In response to the online petition, head of MediaCorp’s Family (English) and Premier Segments Debra Soon told TODAY, “Celebrate 2016 will be suitable for family audiences and conform with broadcast regulations.”
Another petition on iPetition.com was started on 26 Nov in response to the first petition. The counter-petition said Lambert should be allowed to perform at the show. As of writing, it has 14 signatures to date.
Its creators referred to Soon’s response and said, "So, there won't be sensual gyrations that can cause your loins to burst into flames.
“But what gets out collective goat is the fact that Lambert can't perform here because of his sexual orientation.”
Lambert also faced similar opposition when he was due to perform a concert at the Star Performing Arts Centre in 2013. The venue is a commercial entity owned by the business arm of New Creation Church. The church responded with a statement that said any event at the performing arts centre should not be misunderstood as the church "approving of its artistic presentation or endorsing the lifestyle of the performer".