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Out Magazine’s Shana Krochmal responds to controversy over her Adam Lambert interview

November 17, 2009

Shana Naomi Krochmal, author of the upcoming Adam Lambert interview in Out Magazine, responds to both editor-in-chief Aaron Hicklin’s letter and the “ferocious dedication of Lambert’s fanbase.” I’m glad Shana responded, mainly because it also offers more insight into exactly what she encountered from 19E when meeting with the Season 9 runner-up, and what the magazine meant when defending it’s version of “gay” with 19 E’s wishes.

Let’s get the most obvious thing out of the way first: Yes, it is totally absurd to imagine that anyone thinks they can somehow control or manage how gay Adam Lambert seems on any given day. You’ve seen him, right? Maybe read an interview with him? That’s exactly what I love about Adam, that in addition to being able to sing his face off (his words), he is defiantly, outrageously campy and queer — and that he seems to have such a sense of humor about it, and a willingness to shake things up.

That said: Despite plenty of back and forth between the magazine and the label about the cover and the photo shoot, I still wasn’t prepared for what happened when I showed up at the 19 Entertainment offices for the interview. I briefly met Adam, and then the publicist and I walked out to the balcony, at which point I was cautioned against making the interview “too gay,” or, “you know, gay-gay.” Specifically I was discouraged from asking about the March on Washington that upcoming weekend or other political topics. I pointed out the difference between the Advocate, Out‘s sister newsmagazine, and Out, which is more broadly a men’s fashion and lifestyle book, but obviously made no promises one way or the other. It was pretty awkward, as if we were discussing two totally different people — an Adam who doesn’t seem to have any real filter when talking about his life or his opinions, and an Adam who could somehow be contained, made safe for mainstream America.

When Adam joined us, the publicist left, and Adam and I sat down for a little over an hour on our own. You can read a transcript of Part One here and Part Two here. (It was very lightly edited, mostly to remove blathering set-up for questions on my part or redundant or vague discussion of an album that, in early October, didn’t even contain a track listing.) He clearly has no trouble expressing himself on any issue, be it political, cultural, sexual or musical.

I still wish I’d been more surprised when I was met with such a ludicrous and offensive request. I am a journalist. I ask questions. Out is a magazine whose primary audience is gay men. Is anyone confused about that? I’ve been doing this for a long time and though I’ve been generically warned in a similar fashion before — “let’s make it upbeat and fun!” reps often say, or “just talk about the album/movie/TV show!” — it’s never been quite so egregious or with such an obvious expectation that I would comply.

When I filed my piece I included in the email what happened that day, and like Aaron’s letter from the editor, it was full of anger. (Aaron at least has the excuse of being British, and in my experience when he’s pissed off, everything he writes sounds more formal.) This is our profession, as much as Adam’s is singing and entertaining. A decision to celebrate and respect that talent is why none of the circumstances surrounding the interview were mentioned in my piece within the actual portfolio.

I think Aaron’s very right to point out that this scenario — a pop star at this level out from the get-go — is basically unprecedented. I’ve seen such striking change in even the last two or three years of how comfortable industry gatekeepers and their clients are in handling such new territory. We’re witnessing a changing of the guard, and it’s bound to overlap a bit in the middle, creating these strange moments where we work with both proudly out stars and their reluctant handlers, sometimes at odd with each other even when they have the same ultimate goals. I’m sorry it happened like this, too. But I’m looking forward to Adam Lambert having a long career, and to him proving every single one of us wrong in one way or another.

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65 Comments leave one →
  1. kimberly permalink
    November 17, 2009 10:10 pm

    What’s with the commas? Sheesh. I’m a comma freak. ::shakes head::

  2. kimberly permalink
    November 17, 2009 10:06 pm

    “Maybe Adam himself requested that the interview not focus on his political views on gay community issues and the message was poorly delivered by the handler.” Verbally Dyslexic

    I had the same thought. As was pointed out Adam doesn’t want to be a poster boy for the gay community/issues. Out is fashion-oriented which suits Adam just fine, but just to be on the safe side has the “handler” address the issue, albeit badly. If Adam requested it himself, it would, I’m sure, put him in an even worse light.

    “It still gets Adam’s name out there. Maybe their agendas are not so conflicting after all.” — Verbally Dyslexic

    Again, I agree here. At this point, Adam would be luckier if the mainstream wasn’t aware of all these clusterfucks. Whether it’s manufactured or not, I’m not seeing anything postive coming from any of this stuff. As I said, the single issue, is just as convoluted. It’s very confusing to the radio listeners. On a positive note: Daughtry didn’t release a single until after the album release, so there’s still time. ::shrugs::

  3. Mithra permalink
    November 17, 2009 9:26 pm

    Sherena, if you read the articles I linked to, you’ll see that there’s a lot of mixed signals going on. I remember an interview with RJ Helton where he says more definately that AI closets contestants – but now I can’t find it and forgot where it was, although the first link quotes part of it. He also outs a few people and I remember fans being pissed at the time about him doing that.

    I suspect that it’s all very grey and as some have spoken out about AI/19’s policies and behavior, bitched or whatever, they get back in company line signed or not because of the risk of missing out on all those “AI family” related gigs. Mini tours, shows, spots on the cable extra shows, all that. Don’t bite the hand that feeds. Even Blake Lewis is being a major kiss ass now after his radio tour talking smack.

  4. Sherena permalink
    November 17, 2009 9:01 pm

    I wonder if Adam even knows his team is managing how gay his image is so actively. I mean, I’m sure it’s a pretty standard industry kind of thing, and he does seem savvy about the marketing part of the industry, so I would hope so. It would suck if this is how he found out about it.

    • Sherena permalink
      November 17, 2009 9:18 pm

      Except I’m not sure how far I believe Aaron either. The Planet Fierce rebuttal I just read made some really good points.

      • November 18, 2009 4:23 am

        They did, and that is where I have been coming from with my point of view here. Planet Feirce response reads well and sounds solid, but hardly going to be the most unbiased of views – though I doubt you could accuse AfterElton of being biased, and their response also pretty much says the same thing – guess they must be homophobic too 🙂

    • 8sourcandy permalink
      November 17, 2009 9:33 pm

      19E is about money. They want Adam to appeal to as many people as he can. “Hetero-ing” him up is no different then when the Homo-up Kris so he cam appeal to the fan-boys. Kris will be on Logo next month. The whole Kradam thing, the crush thing, all of that shit is part of the image machine. But in the end Kris will always be straight and Adam will always be gay. I honestly don’t think they are trying to FOOL anyone, just play into the fantasies of music buying fans. Just because Idol is called a reality show doesn’t mean it’s based in reality.

  5. Sherena permalink
    November 17, 2009 8:45 pm

    Oh. Gosh. I’m gonna have to get caught up on this whole deal now 😦 On the positive side, Adam’s new album is fantastic. ♥

    • 8sourcandy permalink
      November 17, 2009 9:04 pm

      Sherena,

      I keep my rants to bi-weekly. Today I am all about happiness and hugs.

      You may want to lay low on Thursday, though. 🙂

      .

  6. 8sourcandy permalink
    November 17, 2009 8:04 pm

    FROM ADAM”S TWITTER:

    Dear Aaron, it’s def not that deep. Chill! Guess ya gotta get attention for the magazine. U too are at the mercy of the marketing machine.

    (cont.) Until we have a meaningful conversation, perhaps you should refrain from projecting your publications’ agenda onto my career.

    • Sherena permalink
      November 17, 2009 8:56 pm

      That doesn’t really address the issue though. I mean, *Adam* may be totally open about everything, but if his publicist really did say the stuff Aaron blogged about, it wouldn’t have helped for him to have a conversation with ADAM about it, because he probably doesn’t know what his publicists are doing/saying any more than Aaron does.

    • Verbally Dyslexic permalink
      November 17, 2009 9:32 pm

      Adam needs to chill and not address the guy on Twitter. It comes across as patronising and only gives Hicklin more mileage. Its his management’s job to clean up this mess.

    • LeighKat permalink
      November 17, 2009 11:18 pm

      and once again, Adam does himself no favours with that tweet. I imagine he must be pretty peeved though- couldn’t resist a chance to chew the guy out. Reminds me of his recent comments about Simmons.
      While it isn’t the smartest move, I can understand the temptation to get even by saying something snarky.

      • Steph permalink
        November 17, 2009 11:47 pm

        Adam needs to sit down and shut up. This isn’t helping the situation any. Sometimes he needs to be a little less candid. Why couldn’t he have just left it alone and let his “management” clean up the mess. Isn’t that what they’re supposed to do anyway?

        You’re right LeighKat, no favors with this at all. It just turns into a bigger mess than what it already is, even if I too can understand the desire to fire back.

        I swear every time I like something Adam does(like his album isn’t bad by any means) he does something like this, which just seems self-centered and famewhoring and on TWITTER nonetheless, he takes two steps backwards for me by being pompous.

  7. Mithra permalink
    November 17, 2009 6:33 pm

    Okay, that link didn’t work, this should:

    http://tinyurl.com/ya9ptao

  8. Mithra permalink
    November 17, 2009 6:27 pm

    Here’s a little history. A blast from the past. I find it quite ironic that the same Adam fans who chased out anyone who dared utter the word GAY on the AI forums from the very beginning, who mass reported threads and got them deleted like wildfire, are now self rightous gay activists. It’s because Adam came out, and all that is about Adam is gold. If Adam said he likes clubbing baby seals for sport, these same fans would carry on about how soft their fur is and want to buy the end product (and send it to their family, friends, and the troops – because it’s cold in Iraq…) If Adam said he liked to kill kittens and eat their raw hearts and kidneys, they would flood all blog comment sections with essays about pet overpopulation and discuss recipe suggestions…

    Amyway:

    http://www.realityblurred.com/realitytv/archives/american_idol_6/2007_Apr_18_gay_contestants

    http://www.thefreelibrary.com/American+Idol's+Big+Gay+closet.+with+its+sappy+songs,+flamboyant…-a0164159706

    ^^^ sorry I couldn’t find the original link at The Advocate when I googled.

    • LeighKat permalink
      November 17, 2009 11:08 pm

      hahahahaaa!!! You are fantastic! loved this comment!

  9. Verbally Dyslexic permalink
    November 17, 2009 4:46 pm

    Considering the timing of the open letters, it looks as though they were sequenced to boost sales of Out. The handler said something idiotic, which could’ve been dealt with through a complaint made directly to the management. It could’ve potentially ended there. But the fact that Hicklin as editor called out Adam like he’s supposed to carry the torch of the gay community after the issue is out seems fishy to me.

    Maybe Adam himself requested that the interview not focus on his political views on gay community issues and the message was poorly delivered by the handler. There’s no good guy/bad guy conflict here. Just two sides with seemingly conflicting agendas and one side is more savvy in spinning circumstances to their advantage. I know of political parties that would do nothing less.

    It still gets Adam’s name out there. Maybe their agendas are not so conflicting after all.

    • Sherena permalink
      November 17, 2009 11:21 pm

      Eh… I really don’t think this was planned. “All publicity is good publicity”… except for when it’s NOT, and this is one of those cases. Way too much real anger and frustration brought out, not enough guilty-pleasure scandalousness.

      But yeah, agree with you about the origination of the “no political talk” requirement. I really think Adam was blindsided by this whole issue, especially when in his actual interview he talked a lot about the gay community and his own attitudes towards love. He’s never wanted to get political though… I think a large part of this was a misunderstanding that could’ve been cleared up with some communication between Out Magazine and Adam’s team.

  10. blacklisted permalink
    November 17, 2009 4:02 pm

    lol @ the bitchfight between Michael Jensen and Aaron.

  11. Nicole permalink
    November 17, 2009 3:28 pm

    AfterElton.com’s editor-in-chief’s take on the OUT magazine editorial:
    http://www.afterelton.com/people/2009/11/adam-lambert-aaron-hicklin

    And I find Hicklin’s backstabbing of Lambert to be especially dismaying — and either slightly disingenuous or uniformed. After all, Lambert did do the Out cover and gave an interview that by all accounts is remarkably refreshing and candid. To include an Editor’s Letter criticizing him in the same issue not only seems akin to inviting someone to dinner and hitting them in the face with a cream pie at the end, but frankly, also seems suspicious.

    And if Hicklin or Out reporter Shana Naomi Krochmal really were bothered by the conditions Lambert’s management placed on their interview, why didn’t they pass? Lord knows I’ve had to do that.

    Krochmal released a letter stating how shocked she was that as the publicist took her to meet with Adam that the she requested the interview not be “too gay” or “gay-gay” or to be political. As she should have, Krochmal made no promises as to what she would or wouldn’t ask. But having been in this situation myself — both with straight and gay celebrities — I find all of this amazement over a publicist trying to shape a story to be rather disingenuous.

  12. blacklisted permalink
    November 17, 2009 3:13 pm

    Does anyone really care what’s in the mind of people who troll Perez’s site? lol

  13. kneipho permalink
    November 17, 2009 2:52 pm

    However one feels about the OUT magazine situation, love Adam Lambert or hate him, the entire interview is worth reading, in my opinion. And, while these discussions are insightful and, also, in my opinon, important ( real change will never occur with an exchange of view points), something is getting lost during all of these discussions: Adam Lambert’s music. His album is streaming today. OUT may see him as a “pop star”, but that will never really happen if no one ever istens to his music.

  14. LeighKat permalink
    November 17, 2009 2:50 pm

    The bottom line is Out wants Adam to become some kind of poster boy for the homosexual community- despite the fact that Adam has repeatedly said he doesn’t want to be one. He seems to be more focused on “controversial” and sensational to keep people’s interest.
    While it is admirable (to me) that the editors called out his management on shady dealings, we have to acknowledge that Out has it’s own agenda.
    Just look at sites like Perez, which states that the crucial thing now is to see how Adam responds. In their minds, Adam’s response will make or break how good a representative he is for the gay community.

    • isidra permalink
      November 17, 2009 3:10 pm

      Of course Out has an agenda. That doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t call out Adam’s management for blatantly offensive behavior.

      The people at Out didn’t create this situation for Adam, Adam’s management did.

      • Lil Lulu permalink
        November 17, 2009 3:44 pm

        “No one has to agree with the people at Out, but getting mad at them for expressing a valid criticism that’s not even directed at Adam himself, just makes Adam’s fans look bad.”

        Except Hicklin DID direct it at Adam.

        And this whole, “Adam’s fans look bad/You crazy Glambert’s” stuff… ugh. This topic should be bigger than that. This issue is kind of a big deal and really shouldn’t be about how it makes the “Glambert’s” look. First of all, there’s the fact that homophobia is still so prevelant in this country, that publicists want to Rock Hudson even their most “out” clientale. Then, there’s the way the magazine editor chose to handle this incident. Did he go full-on at 19, not only disclosing their anti-gay agenda, but also disclosing the fact that they aren’t fully on board with Adam’s desire to just be himself? No. He went the “blame-the-victim” route. Why? That’s the real topic.

        • Isidra permalink
          November 17, 2009 3:58 pm

          I read the same letter. He addressed it to Adam, but he was very specifically and deliberately placing the blame on Adam’s managers. The only thing that could remotely be an attack on Adam was his “You better not screw this up” after explicitly addressing his significance as an openly gay performer at the start of his career.

          It wasn’t the most diplomatic letter, no, it was clear the guy was pretty irate and could have phrased it better. But I think most people who read that letter will understand who the real people to blame are: Adam’s management.

          And in the end, there still wouldn’t have been anything for Hicklin to put on Adam or his managers, if the MANAGERS hadn’t said what they’d said.

          • November 17, 2009 4:06 pm

            “You better not screw this up”. No pressure then Adam.

            • blacklisted permalink
              November 17, 2009 4:10 pm

              Welcome to being a minority. Once you are a minority, you wind up representing. Kinda sucks but that’s life.

        • rehabilitard permalink
          November 17, 2009 5:23 pm

          Sad fact is that the most of Glamberts ARE crazy.

    • Nicole permalink
      November 17, 2009 3:13 pm

      BINGO!!

    • Isidra permalink
      November 17, 2009 6:37 pm

      “In their minds, Adam’s response will make or break how good a representative he is for the gay community.”

      I think his twitter responses might have just put the checkmark squarely in break.

  15. November 17, 2009 2:08 pm

    As a journalist, I completely understand Krochmal’s position. I also appreciate the manner in which she chose to address the matter and respond to the “contreversy”.

    As an editor-in-chief, I find Hinklin’s letter inappropriate and as biased as the requests 19E have made of his publication.

    If OUT is in fact not politically driven, why is so much emphasis of his letter put on Adam’s responsibility to the gay community? Why does he even have a responsibility solely because he happens to be gay? Unless he asks to be a spokes person, his responsibility to the gay community is limited to entertaining them – the same responsibility he has to the straight community.

    the fact that his letter was addressed to Adam rather than 19E, requires action on his part, which is what is unfair about the matter.

  16. November 17, 2009 1:55 pm

    Is it really so shoddy of 19 to ask Out to not concentrate on the gay-gay so much? 19 are there to promote Adam – to make him as acceptable to as many as possible. There really is no shame in that – it is a business. It is quite an undertaking to market an openly gay man in our culture. 19 seem to have given Adam great freedom both with his music, what he says and how he performs. From what I can tell, and from what Adam says, 19 have pretty much given him free reign.

    Out, on the other hand, got an amazingly open interview from Adam. In the concluding paragraph of the interview Adam says – “My job is to make this look easy and fun. That’s the illusion, the vibe I’m trying to create for people to feel. That’s what I want to do as an entertainer, create a mood that rubs off on people. This is scary, and it is a lot of work. And I’m OK, I’ll be fine. But, wow, this is a lot. And I hope that people are compassionate about that. I took a chance, stepped my life up a little, have some opportunities, have a little money, and I’m doing the best I can. I’m doing the best I fucking can, you know?”

    Out have stabbed both Adam and 19 in the back – and in my opinion is counter-productive for the gay community. What publication would normally reveal a confidential conversation like this? They haven’t looked at the bigger picture – and just made life a little harder for a young man who is trying desperately hard to make it in an industry that remains stubbornly homophobic.

    • blacklisted permalink
      November 17, 2009 2:07 pm

      Yes it is shoddy of 19E to do this and they should be called out on their behavior. Why are the glamberts blaming gay people for speaking the truth? Maybe folks need to look at their biases.

      • November 17, 2009 2:20 pm

        I don’t think anybody is blaming “the gay community”. I certainly am not and have read no comments that are.

        A finger is pointed at Hinklen and by association OUT magazine – as he is the editor-in-chief of this publication – based on the manner in which he chose to address the “issue”.

        I also find it hypocritical that people who disagree with Hinklen’s approach (which seems the be what people are taking issue with rather than topic itself) are lumped together as having issues with the gay community as a whole.

        This isn’t about the straight people repressing the gay people. It is about a performer being excepted be a political activist simply based on who he chooses to share a bed with.

        There is no good way for Adam to respond to this. If he says nothing or defends his label, the “gay community” goes up in arms. If he agrees with OUT, he bites the hand that feeds him.

        Has nobody considered that maybe Adam is as “out” as he wants to be?

      • November 17, 2009 2:28 pm

        I assure you I am not biased. There was never a less judgemental soul than myself and although I am basically straight, married, I have dabbled shall we say and one of my closest friends is gay. But you cannot change society or its opinions overnight – I think this should have been handled perhaps with a little more sensitivity by 19 but Out should be supporting Adam – for the sake of the bigger picture – which to me the bigger picture is gaining more mainstream acceptance for homosexuals.

        • isidra permalink
          November 17, 2009 2:36 pm

          Honestly, it never looks good when a person praises their own lack of bias/judgmental tendencies. It might be true, but the whole point of bias is that a person is generally unaware of it.

          And it tends to come across like that old standard of “I’m not a racist, BUT…*insert racist statement here*.”

          • November 17, 2009 2:56 pm

            Are you really saying that you think I am homophobic but I just don’t realise it?

      • November 17, 2009 3:00 pm

        Adam is a gay person too you know.

        • November 17, 2009 3:02 pm

          Adam is a gay person too you know was directed at blacklisted’s comment.

    • isidra permalink
      November 17, 2009 2:22 pm

      You seriously don’t see a problem with the managers of an openly gay (and proud) performer wanting a gay-themed magazine to not portray him as “gay-gay” or whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean?

      Why shouldn’t the people at Out be offended when they’re essentially told that their sexuality, the thing that they, and their audience, share with Adam himself, is something to be downplayed and hidden away?

      It’s not like Out is a huge political magazine either. If Adam’s management had said nothing, the interview probably would have played out nearly exactly the same. Without offending people.

      Accusing the people at Out of backstabbing Adam is ridiculous. They have every right to be offended and every right to talk about how they feel offended. Both the editor and the writer have made a point of emphasizing that it’s Adam’s management they’re upset at, and have emphasized Adam’s significance as a performer who is openly gay at this stage in his career.

      No one has to agree with the people at Out, but getting mad at them for expressing a valid criticism that’s not even directed at Adam himself, just makes Adam’s fans look bad.

      • November 17, 2009 2:53 pm

        I can understand that Out would be upset at hearing this request – but I think they over-reacted. Many people will read this as Adam wanting to play his gayness down, not 19. That is where the damage is done. And damaging a gay man who is doing something quite ground-breaking i.e. trying to start a career in an industry where it would normally be perceived as a disadvantage to be gay, and proclaims his homosexuality up front is to be applauded and supported. Surely Out will be celebrating when the first openly gay man reaches number 1, or has international acclaim for his talents, regardless of his sexuality. This is my point, the more people take swipes at him (or his management, who although unsavoury as it will appear for them to have requested this from Out, 19 are supporting him and want him to succeed). Adam’s success will count for more and be of more benefit to the gay community if he attains that success. I truly do understand how awful it must feel for Out staff to hear this from 19. But it was not like they were saying they hate homosexuals or anything – just don’t concentrate on certain things. And for the BIGGER picture, I think they should have kept quiet. The prejudices against homosexuality are frequently hidden, but stubbornly there. For certain people to accept this other type of sexuality, and that it is valid, needs careful handling. There are many ways to crack a nut! Adam, if succesful, may help with cracking that nut.

        • isidra permalink
          November 17, 2009 3:05 pm

          Okay, that’s a ridiculous argument, I’m sorry to say.

          Think about it for a moment. You’re telling a group of people to keep quiet about something blatantly offensive and homophobic, on the off chance that Adam Lambert will be successful and what? be some kind of miracle panacea to the gay community? What if instead of Adam Lambert, it was Ruben Studdard on the cover of Ebony, and the writers were asked to make sure he doesn’t seem too black? Do you really think that would fly?

          Even if Adam Lambert does become the new Bowie or Elvis, that’s not going to automatically fix gay-straight relations in this country. There will still be slights, insults, injustices. The only way to change that is to call them out and let them know that it is unacceptable.

          And maybe next time that 19E is managing a gay performer, they won’t ask a gay magazine to not making him TOO gay.

          • isidra permalink
            November 17, 2009 3:07 pm

            Sorry, that was supposed to read “they won’t ask a gay magazine to not make him TOO gay.”

        • blacklisted permalink
          November 17, 2009 3:23 pm

          “But it was not like they were saying they hate homosexuals or anything – just don’t concentrate on certain things. And for the BIGGER picture, I think they should have kept quiet.”

          Yeah, because we are all a bunch of Uncle Tom’s waiting for massa to tell us when we should point out hypocrisy and homophobia. Yeah, that’s the way to win the fight. To just lay back and think of England.

      • TopIdol permalink
        November 17, 2009 2:55 pm

        No one has to agree with the people at Out, but getting mad at them for expressing a valid criticism that’s not even directed at Adam himself, just makes Adam’s fans look bad.

        BINGO!

        • Nicole permalink
          November 17, 2009 3:12 pm

          The problem is some people and some sites are directing it at Adam. And I mean more credible sites than Vote for the Worst and Perez Hilton. lol And its ok for Adam fans to express an opinion too last time I checked. lol I haven’t read anything on here antagonistic from people who disagree with how OUT handled the situation.

          • isidra permalink
            November 17, 2009 3:19 pm

            Adam fans can express opinions. And we can express them back. (At least until TopIdol gets annoyed at us. :-))

            It’s sad that this is being turned on Adam. But Out didn’t create this situation. Adam’s management did. If they didn’t say what they had, there wouldn’t be anything for Out to criticize, and Adam wouldn’t have a problem at all.

            I think it’s a shame that so many of Adam’s defenders are going after the people reporting the problem rather than the people who have caused it.

        • November 17, 2009 3:21 pm

          I don’t think I am really angry about this subject, just responding to the current topic at hand. The furore over Adam’s sexuality is quite breathtaking for me. Just recently in US a black man became president. Do you think that happened without him and the people around him not having to have to bite their lip at times on their journey. I am not saying it is right to have to encounter prejudice or to put up with it. But choose your fights carefully – for the sake of the bigger picture. In Obama’s case – that resulted in him being president and therefore becoming an inspiration for ethnic minorities. My love of the underdog, the outcast, the downtrodden, the excluded and the unfashionable in society means I would bite my lip over a petty slight if it were to bring them greater acceptance down the line.

          • isidra permalink
            November 17, 2009 3:33 pm

            1) I hope you’re not seriously equating a career as a successful pop singer to a presidency.

            2) It’s been 46 years since Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his “I have a dream” speech, and things have not miraculously fixed themselves since. The fact that Barack Obama doubtlessly had to put up with slights that he couldn’t afford to respond to is indicative that there are still problems to be addressed.

            3) Barack Obama being elected president did not miraculously fix race relations. Adam Lambert’s album will not fix gay-straight relations.

            4) If Ebony Magazine were asked by Barack Obama’s campaign manager to make Obama look “not too black” I sure as HELL would expect them to call them on it.

            • November 17, 2009 3:58 pm

              I don’t think I can argue about this much more – this is my last shot :). I have tried to express my opinion as eloquently as I can. I care very much about people in society who feel that they are victims of prejudice. Ok, you make a good point, Adam or a successful gay performer will probably never make such an impact as a black president. Unless that is of course, an openly gay man runs for president. Much more likelihood of that happening if gay people generally are more accepted for their professional succeses rather than judged on how gay they want to be portrayed. And the likelihood of that is far greater if said gay person is not knocked by his so-called “own” community. Of which he has always said he never wanted to be a banner boy for anyhow. There are so many extreme view points about everything in society – some people will never get this or that – because it seems so totally alien from their standpoint – which is why it is better to try to compromise in certain situations. For the greater good. Peace.

  17. Lil Lulu permalink
    November 17, 2009 1:20 pm

    Thanks for posting this, TI. I prefer her tone to Hicklin’s. I think he had every right to be furious with 19. However, his letter was addressed to Adam. Very deliberately addressed to Adam. It was a full bodycheck of a letter placing the responsibility for 19’s actions squarely on Adam’s shoulders.

    Am I surprised by 19? Not at all. Their current goal, with Adam, is to make sure he’s a success. Here’s my question: Is it any worse for a publicist to say, “Just stick to the album/movie, please – *wink* *wink*” or to say, “Don’t make the article too gay?” They’re both saying the same thing, just one in a more politically correct manner. I think that’s what’s good about Shana’s letter. She’s not just exposing 19, she’s exposing the entire industry. And, again. Who is surprised? No one should be.

    • Nicole permalink
      November 17, 2009 1:28 pm

      I agree Lil Lulu. The problem with addressing the letter to Adam is that some sites and people are twisting it around saying Adam is a Diva and hypocrite for not wanting to do the Out interview. There’s no evidence and Hitchins did try to be clear his anger was with 19 and not Adam, but we all know how the media and some blogs can be. I personally never thought Adam shyed away from his sexuality even on the show, but thats just me. I think Out could have handled the situation A LOT better without hurting Adam in the process.

      Oh well. I hope Out enjoyed that interview since they won’t be interviewing anyone from 19 ever again. lol

      • blacklisted permalink
        November 17, 2009 1:45 pm

        Maybe Adam’s HANDLERS could have dealt with the situation better. Seriously, why not look at the real culprits?

        It’s like the wife who’s told her husband is cheating. Don’t blame the messenger, blame the person who’s sticking it to someone he’s not supposed to be sticking it to.

        • Nicole permalink
          November 17, 2009 3:09 pm

          I wasn’t there so I don’t know what happened. Even still, if Out’s beef is with 19 then that is where they should take their fight. Addressing a letter to Adam solves nothing. All I know is that Adam has stated he’s gay in pretty much every magazine article he’s in and 19 hasn’t stopped him from doing them. And do I need to bring up his album cover…. Personally I think there’s more to the story than Out is saying. Either way, they handled the situation wrong in my opinion.

        • Lil Lulu permalink
          November 17, 2009 3:18 pm

          I don’t take issue with Out Magazine addressing what 19 did. I just think Shana directed her outrage at the appropriate party – 19M. Hicklin, IMO, seemed to be implicating Adam.

          Anyway, I’m glad this information came out, and I’m glad it’s getting attention. As for Adam, there’s really no such thing as bad press. Particularly since he didn’t actually do anything wrong in this situation.

  18. blacklisted permalink
    November 17, 2009 12:58 pm

    I’m not surprised. Publicists are in the business of managing image.

    I don’t know why anyone would assume that interviews with celebs are ever free from meddling. Stuff like this happens all the time. It’s just that 19E got called out.

    Dumbest part was that they did this with OUT which is not known as a magazine interested in politics.

    • veritas permalink
      November 17, 2009 9:05 pm

      After putting a picture of Adam on his CD that makes him look like the victim of a bad Sephora makeover, 19 makes a clumsy attempt to prevent an interview with a gay magazine from making Adam seem too, you know, gay. Stupid. But apparently they did not succeed. The interviewer claims that she did not agree to any restrictions and the interview as published certainly does not read like anything was off limits.

      So Hicklin takes a really good interview whines about not getting an interview before Rolling Stone or Details. Boo to the hoo. So Hicklin decides that Adam’s gayness is not gay enough. Reminds me of when people wondered whether Barack Obama was black enough.

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