The latest issue of GQ hits newstands on October 26, but the magazine’s photos created controversy for nearly a week now. “Glee” stars Lea Michele, Dianna Agron and Cory Monteith appear in a series of provocative photos in the magazine. The Parents Television Council claims the sexy photo spread “borders on pedophilia”. GQ countered with a statement that the actors are adults free to do as they please.
“Glee” certainly is not a family show — the sex riot episode comes to mind — but these provocative photos far exceed the mildly suggestive and complex nature of the program. Indeed, the actors are adults in their 20s, which negates the Parents Television Council’s claim, but they do have a responsibility to the show, cast members and fans. The photos are a slap in the face to loyal fans of the TV show.
GQ is Not a Free Catalog
The GQ “Glee” photos lack creativity and pander to the lowest common denominator. The rich, theatrical characters of “Glee” are perfect for a variety of themes, but GQ chose to play up a tired, tacky high school scenario with nearly nude women posing in the locker room and classroom.
Despite the provocative nature of the “Glee” GQ pics, Monteith is fully dressed, possibly overdressed, with a jacket and tie. A shopping guide appears near each photo. All of it seems like an elaborate catalog for designer clothing and undergarments.
Dianna Agron Apologizes Over GQ Pics
The network and other stars remain silent, but Agron expressed her feelings in a lengthy blog post on October 1.
“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.”
She further commented:
“For GQ, they asked us to play very heightened versions of our school characters. A ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’ version. At the time, it wasn’t my favorite idea, but I did not walk away. I must say, I am trying to live my life with a sharpie marker approach. You can’t erase the strokes you’ve made, but each step is much bolder and more deliberate. I’m 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. If you asked me for my dream photo shoot, I’d be in a treehouse, in a wild costume, war-paint and I’d be playing with my pet dragon. Until then…..”
Agron is right that female celebrities often go the risqué route, but that path is usually the go-to choice for those trying to distract audiences from their lack of talent, revive a dead career or desperately seeking a moment of fame. With a hit show on Fox, the talented, recognizable “Glee” stars certainly do not need the GQ photo shoot to boost their fame.
Her contradictory sentiments make it difficult to view this as an apology. (Perhaps silence was a wiser choice.) Obviously, neither “Glee” nor GQ is appropriate for an eight year old. It is clear that Agron regrets something, but is it her participation in the photo shoot or the ugly backlash?
“Glee” GQ Pics Jeopardize TV Show
The GQ photos do not reflect the scope of the show and readers are not likely to watch a result of the photos. However, it is possible that loyal viewers will ditch the show over the controversy. Will “Glee”, which is rated TV-14, see a drop in ratings as a reaction?
The only winners in this debacle are GQ and the PTC, who both received tons of free press. By appearing together, Michele, Agron and Monteith represent “Glee” more so than actors appearing in a magazine alone. They owe it to fans and their castmates to maintain the show’s offbeat, but careful tone. In the land of Madonna, Britney, Miley, “Gossip Girl”, viewers deserve as much.
“‘Glee’ Gone Wild”, GQ.com
“PTC: Sexualized GQ Photo Shoot of ‘Glee’ Cast Crosses the Line”, ParentsTV.org
“Steamy ‘Glee’ Pics Have Many, Well, Steaming”, TheInsider.com
Dianna Agron blog, FellDownTheRabbitHole.tumblr.com