Adam Lambert's AMA performance draws ire

ABC: More than 1,500 complaints have been received

Adam Lambert's sexually charged performance at the closing of the American Music Awards on Sunday has drawn criticism from viewers and the Parents Television Council.

The controversial number, billed as the "American Idol" runner-up's first performance, featured Lambert belting his first single, "For Your Entertainment," to a S&M-themed choreography that included dancers in bondage costumes. The two most controversial moments included Lambert flashing a middle finger, holding a male dancer's head to his crotch and kissing a keyboard player on the mouth.

"In response to last night's broadcast of the 'American Music Awards' on ABC and a raunchy performance by Adam Lambert of 'American Idol' fame, the Parents Television Council is asking its members to contact ABC, Dick Clark Prods. and the show's advertisers with complaints," PTC said in a statement. "In areas where the explicit material aired before 10 p.m., PTC members are being urged to contact the FCC."

More than 1,500 people have called ABC to complain about Adam Lambert's number.

Lambert defended the performance.

"Female performers have been doing this for years -- pushing the envelope about sexuality -- and the minute a man does it, everybody freaks out," the openly gay Lambert said backstage at the awards show. "My goal was not to piss people off; it was to promote freedom of expression and artistic freedom."

The performance draws parallels to Madonna's kisses with Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera on the MTV Video Music Awards show in 2003.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.