After 'Glee' GQ photos cause controversy, cast member responds
[This story has been updated with a statement from actress Dianna Agron.]
Seven months after singing live for the kiddies at the White House Easter Egg Roll, some of the cast members of Fox's "Glee" have donned Pout-by-Victoria's Secret bras, American Apparel panties and, weirdly, Christian Louboutin pumps for a photo spread in the November issue of GQ.
Fox, its high school musical "Glee," self-appointed TV watchdog group the Parents Television Council and GQ each hit the publicity mother lode Wednesday when the photos somehow leaked (GQ had planned to release them later in the week, in what we're sure would have been an unquestionably dignified fashion) and PTC lept to action.
The photo gallery destined for GQ's November issue (on newsstands Oct. 26!) shows "Glee" cast members Lea Michele and Dianna Agron prancing about what GQ tells us is Hollywood High School in their undies and a few scraps of clothing they're having one heck of a time keeping on. See them cling to shreds of clothes while straddling benches in the locker room, straddling "Glee" hunk Cory Monteith, licking lollipops in ways Mommy didn't teach them, while checking out books in the school library. Whatever happened to hall monitors?
"How the hell did a show about high school theater geeks come to be the biggest TV show in America?" GQ faux-wonders in the intro to the photo shoot and, we're sure, decidedly less revealing interview with the three cast members.
(In the interest of accuracy, "Glee" is not the biggest TV show in America. ABC's Monday "Dancing With the Stars" performance show is the biggest show in America. We're sure GQ will want to correct that.)
For its part, Parents Television Council got untold amounts of free publicity on Wednesday from The Reporters Trolling for Hot TV Stories With Great Art Elements to Slap on Their Blogs, when the professional tsk-tskers e-mailed their outrage toward the show's producers for having agreed to the "hyper-sexualized GQ photo shoot."
Among PTC's complaints, it says the photo shoot "borders on pedophilia."
"Many children who flocked to 'High School Musical' have grown into 'Glee' fans," PTC President Tim Winter bemoaned in his organization's missive. "They are now being treated to seductive, in-your-face poses of the underwear-clad female characters posing in front of school lockers, one of them opting for a full-frontal crotch shot. By authorizing this kind of near-pornographic display, the creators of the program have established their intentions on the show's direction. And it isn't good for families."
Over at GQ, Editor in Chief Jim Nelson took a break from dancing the Happy Dance on Wednesday to issue a statement of his own:
"The Parents Television Council must not be watching much TV these days and should learn to divide reality from fantasy. . . . As often happens in Hollywood, these 'kids' are in their twenties. Cory Monteith is almost 30! I think they're old enough to do what they want."
I ask you: Do we need yet another illustration as to why no good can come of having thespians who are staring at "3-0" playing teens on TV shows?
"Glee" is on something of a tear this season, averaging more than 13 million viewers; during the same weeks last year, it averaged only 8.7 million viewers. And yet, Fox primly declined to comment about the sexy GQ "Glee" shoot and story. Ditto "Glee" exec producers. Sigh.
(Update: Agron, who is apparently made of less timid stuff than either the network or the producers, put an apologetic-yet-somehow-defiant statement on her blog:
"In the land of Madonna, Britney, Miley, Gossip Girl, other public figures and shows that have pushed the envelope and challenged the levels of comfort in their viewers and fans...we are not the first. Now, in perpetuating the type of images that evoke these kind of emotions, I am sorry. If you are hurt or these photos make you uncomfortable, it was never our intention. And if your eight-year-old has a copy of our GQ cover in hand, again I am sorry. But I would have to ask, how on earth did it get there?...Nobody is perfect, and these photos do not represent who I am.")
PTC, on the other hand, was just brimming with comments:
"With a demonstrated market of eager fans for an entertaining, musical-themed program like 'Glee,' we wonder why the show's creators feel the need for such graphic sexualization of women," Winter said.
He added: "Interestingly, the photos of the male character showed him wearing a shirt, tie and vest."
Read more TV Column Glee coverage here.
Lisa de Moraes
| October 21, 2010; 8:50 AM ET
Save & Share: Previous: Larry King gives Jon Stewart portable restroom for Mall rally
Next: CBS picks up all its new series for the entire TV season
Posted by: JoStalin | October 21, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: folder9633 | October 21, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: buffysummers | October 21, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: jrzwrld | October 21, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: kidvidkid | October 21, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: pbrewer2 | October 21, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: myopinioncounts1 | October 21, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: dataflunky | October 21, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: asmith1 | October 21, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: citizen625 | October 21, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Smarg | October 21, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: YourDaddy1 | October 21, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: mags044 | October 21, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Wildthing1 | October 21, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Wildthing1 | October 21, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: ozpunk | October 21, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: pbrewer2 | October 21, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: oldno7 | October 21, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: SarahBB | October 21, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: gtinla | October 21, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 21, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Gazoo1 | October 21, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: mags044 | October 21, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: ihurtiaminfashion | October 22, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: gdwplantz | October 27, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: gdwplantz | October 27, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse