Dianna Agron, the sexy teenaged cheerleader Quinn on the Fox Television hit musical comedy “Glee,” has a few things to say about the “Glee” GQ photos that have become the focus of a raging controversy over appropriate attire and responsibility. She took to her personal blog and apologized to those who were hurt or offended by the GQ photos. But Dianna Agreon didn’t stop there, noting that the responsibility of what a child was exposed to was a parent’s domain.
Taking full responsibility for her opinions, Agron wrote about her “thoughts on the November issue of GQ.” She noted that she, Lea Michele, and Cory Monteith (the three “Glee” cast members who posed for the GQ photos) weren’t the first to “have pushed the envelope and challenged the levels of comfort in their viewers and fans…” She continued: “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 then she relieves herself and her cast mates of some of the responsibility. “But I would have to ask, how on earth did it [the GQ magazine] get there?”
Dianna Agron also explains herself. “I am twenty-four years old. I have been a pretty tame and easy-going girl my whole life. Nobody is perfect, and these photos do not represent who I am.”
And the show: “‘Glee’ is a show that represents the underdogs, which is a feeling I have embraced much of my own life, and to those viewers, the photos in GQ don’t give them that same feeling. I understand completely.”
And the “Glee” GQ photo shoot: “For GQ, they asked us to play very heightened versions of our school characters.” Although not her “favorite idea,” she said, Agron wrote that she was “… moving forward from this one, and after today, putting it to rest. I am only myself, I can only be me. These aren’t photos I am going to frame and put on my desk, but hey, nor are any of the photos I take for magazines. Those are all characters we’ve played for this crazy job, one that I love and am so fortunate to have, each and every day.”
For the record, Lea Michele is also 24 years old. Cory Monteith is 28. They are indicative of actors who are often older than the characters they portray, something that most recognize as a Hollywood casting given.
But the “Glee” GQ photos, which show Lea Michele and Dianna Agron in skimpy, revealing clothing (short skirts, underwear, revealed bras and over-the-shoulder tops) came under fire immediately when the cover and interior photos were revealed online. The Parents Teaching Council (PTC) took exception to the images, saying that the photo shoot “borders on pedophilia.”
“It is disturbing that GQ,” the PTC statement went on, “which is explicitly written for adult men, is sexualizing the actresses who play high school-aged characters on ‘Glee’ in this way. Sadly, this is just the latest example of the overt sexualization of young girls in entertainment.”
The PTC further stated that with the “near-pornographic display, the creators of the program have established their intentions on the show’s direction. And it isn’t good for families.”
But GQ didn’t take the criticism stoically. “The Parents Television Council must not be watching much TV these days and should learn to divide reality from fantasy,” the magazine wrote in a statement. “As often happens in Hollywood, these ‘kids’ are in their twenties. Cory Montieth’s almost 30! I think they’re old enough to do what they want.”
In the end, the controversy appears to be about perceptions — those that are real and those that are fantasy but can be construed as real to the impressionable. Dianna Agron seems to have captured all sides of the argument admirably in her blog post. She also accepts her personal responsibility for the “Glee” GQ photos as well as noting that parents also have a responsibility to monitor the images to which their children are exposed. And her intentions for herself — “I’m moving forward from this one, and after today, putting it to rest” — should serve as a guide to all concerned in the matter.