Glee in GQ, Part Deux: The Parents Television Council does not care for those photos
Not surprisingly, the sexy "Glee" photo shoot in GQ has fired up the Parents Television Council, prompting the conservative watchdog group to issue a news release today chastising the magazine as well as Fox for allowing pictures of a scantily clad Lea Michele, Dianna Agron and (not scantily clad) Cory Monteith to reach the public.
“It is disturbing that GQ, which is explicitly written for adult men, is sexualizing the actresses who play high school-aged characters on ‘Glee’ in this way," PTC President Tim Winter is quoted as saying in the release. "It borders on pedophilia. Sadly, this is just the latest example of the overt sexualization of young girls in entertainment."
As I noted yesterday, I agree that the pictures are a bit disturbing, partly because -- even though the actresses in question are in their 20s -- the photos do sexualize young women to an unnecessary degree, and partly because they demonstrate how ridiculously over-the-top the promotional machine behind "Glee" and its stars has become. And I say that as a fan of the show.
All that said, the PTC is wrong on a couple of counts here.
First, Fox isn't entirely, if at all, to blame for the GQ episode. Reps for the network and the show may not have been involved in the shoot or fully understood what those photos were going to look like. That said, if the network is actually interested in maintaining a certain "Glee image," perhaps it needs to communicate that to the members of the cast and their various agents, publicists, etc.
Second, and more important, referring to this magazine shoot as "pedophilia" is more than a stretch. Yes, the pictures purposely play with the stars' TV image as teen girls. But Michele and Agron are adults. No one is being abused here. By that argument, Britney Spears's video for "Oops I Did It Again" also qualifies as pedophilia. (Although maybe the PTC would agree with that.)
The PTC release closes with another comment from Winter: "Parents need to be on guard as we expect the show to push the envelope even further. Unfortunately, it seems ‘Glee’ is only masquerading as [a] family show and is far from appropriate for young viewers.”
As one of the commenters on yesterday's post rightly noted, "Glee" isn't exactly a family show. While it has undeniably attracted some younger fans, it also has depicted teens having sex, teen pregnancy and other "mature" themes from the very beginning. If parents don't want to expose their kids to that, they don't have to and they should feel free not to. It shouldn't take a saucy magazine cover to make them realize that.
Do parents need to be aware of what their kids are watching? Absolutely. Do they need to be "on guard," blocking the evil forces of potential nudity and sexuality from their kids' impressionable eyes at every moment of the day? No. That kind of charged language makes it sound like "Glee" is destroying all decency in America. And honestly, as ill-advised as those photos might be, there are a lot more important things for parents to worry about than the potential trauma caused by seeing Rachel Berry in a bra.
| October 20, 2010; 2:45 PM ET
Categories: Celebrities, TV | Tags: Glee
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