Social network Friendster put itself on the block this summer, and now it appears that the company could be sold by the end of December. CEO Richard Kimber told Reuters the company was currently negotiating with a “shortlist” of potential buyers, but a source told the pub that the deal is almost done.
Reuters pegs the sale price as “more than $100 million”, which sounds extremely high considering the company’s fortunes over the years. No specifics on the suitor, other than the fact that it will be an Asian company—since that’s where Friendster still has an avid user base—and the company spent money staffing up offices in Singapore and Sydney earlier this year. Chinese digital media company Tencent (owned by South African Media giant Naspers, which in turn owns a bunch of communication and IM platforms in Asia and eastern Europe) and Facebook were cited as interested parties early on. Rafat adds: Some of the names floated on the PE side included Softbank, and Oak Pacific (heavily invested in China).
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation says ABC’s decision to put Adam Lambert into performance exile is not because of homophobia but because he won’t follow directions, giving cover to the network from critics who say the ban from the Jimmy Kimmel Live and ABC’s New Years Rockin’ Eve show is due to Lambert’s homoerotic antics at the American Music Awards.
“It would appear that the kiss between Adam Lambert and his keyboardist did not factor into ABC’s decision,” GLAAD’s president Jarrett Barrios said in a joint statement with ABC. “ABC has a history of positive gay and transgender inclusion that includes featuring kisses between gay and lesbian couples on-air.”
GLAAD appears to have bought the network’s argument that Lambert’s act at the AMAs was different from what he’d done during rehearsals and they just can’t risk a Federal Communications Commission sanction. But many people think the network is overreacting and that focusing on Lambert’s man-on-man behavior smacks of a homophobic double standard that isn’t applied to women-on-women behavior or heterosexuals.
Barbara Walters, who will feature Lambert on her end-of-the year “Most Fascinating People” special on ABC, said on The View Dec. 3 that the concern about FCC fines was what caused the exile, but fellow panelists―including Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg―pointed to other examples where women like Madonna had been sexual on stage without repercussions from the networks.
GLAAD’s announcement was greeted with skepticism by some who believe ABC’s exile was caused by homophobia. “Amazingly (or perhaps not), GLAAD seems to have fallen for it hook, line, and sinker,” a blogger at AfterElton said about ABC’s FCC excuse.
The news of the ABC performance ban came after Lambert tweeted Dec. 2 that “Yes, sadly friends, ABC has cancelled my appearances on Kimmel and NYE. :( don’t blame them. It’s the FCC heat.”
The concern over an FCC fines appears to come from a complaint filed by Liberty Counsel, which describes itself as “dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of human life and the traditional family.” The complaint by the group with a long history of anti-gay rhetoric and litigation was filed Nov. 24 against ABC for “airing an outrageously lewd and filthy performance” where Lambert “simulated oral sex, simulated digital penetration, simulated sadomasochistic conduct and engaged in homosexual open-mouth kissing.”
The ABC Ban was discussed on The View yesterday:
ABC still hasn’t forgiven Adam Lambert for his performance at the AMAs: Not content to have un-booked him from Good Morning America (delivering him neatly to the CBS Early Show for a nice ratings bump), they have now disinvited him from Jimmy Kimmel on Dec. 17th, as well as the network’s New Year’s Eve special. He must be made to pay.
Like, seriously. I could have sworn I saw Jimmy Kimmel and Ben Affleck dressed in mesh and lamé for “I’m F*ing Ben Affleck,” the blockbuster follow up to the mega-blockbuster “I’m F*ing Matt Damon.” But let’s keep it clean, kids! As EW’s Michael Slezak points out:
ABC is the home of allegedly family-friendly Dancing With the Stars, where popular pro Derek Hough celebrated a win this past season in the “Group Mambo” round by forcibly thrusting partner Joanna Krupa’s head into his nether-regions. (Lambert fans are also dismayed that their man has become a possible FCC pariah despite the fact that Pink and a male dancer executed a similar “please come closer and examine my zipper” dance move — with tongue! — during the 2004 Billboard Music Awards on Fox.)
This seems like a pretty blatantly homophobic double-standard, if you look at that Pink moment (and I have to give that point to Glynnis MacNicol, who said that a woman doing it to a man would not be a big deal — she was right). An ABC spokesperson said, “We decided not to move forward with the booking at this time,” declining to elaborate, but what other reason could it be? How “unpredictable” he was? Come on, he’s been a good boy on all his appearances since then — even on his Twitter, where he cheerfully brushed off the cancellation (”Yes, sadly friends, ABC has cancelled (sic) my appearances on Kimmel and NYE. :( don’t blame them. It’s the FCC heat”) despite the fact that the FCC only applies “heat” before 10 p.m. and both Kimmel and his AMA performance hit the airwaves later than that.
EW’s Slezak is unimpressed with ABC’s “shaming as public relations strategy”; so am I. Give this kid — and the rest of us! — a break. It was an envelope-pushing musical awards show moment, and we’ve seen plenty of them across all the networks. Enough with holding this kid up as an example, especially to appease the less enlightened members of your audience. As Lambert says, “It’ll all blow over,” which is true — and then ABC will wonder why, in a few years, future superstar Lambert is signing huge deals with every other network.
In the meantime, look for Lambert on Jay Leno on Dec. 21st. As much as people bash Leno for being mild and un-edgy, he’s still welcoming him to his show. Maybe, for at least one night, his ratings will reflect it. If those Glambert fans have anything to say about it, I bet they will. ABC’s loss.
In the meantime, for your entertainment, I present Adam Lambert:
Glenn Beck's substitute host on The Glenn Beck Show is working hard to fill his shoes.
In a discussion about U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, Fox News senior analyst Andrew Napolitano proclaimed Afghanistan was "a mountainous region with illiterate people who still think like it's the 12th century." Therefor, Napolitano argued, we would gain nothing by leveling the country.
Napolitano is sub-hosting while Beck is away touring with his live show, "The Christmas Sweater."