Lea Michele, Dianna Agron, and Cory Monteith — all stars of the hit Fox television show Glee — posed for some sexy photos for GQ Magazine’s November issue — and stepped right into a decency controversy. It appears that the Parents Teaching Council, the very same group that ripped into Miley Cyrus for her latest music video, have a problem with the photos, especially since the girls depicted are dressed skimpily and posed provocatively in a high school setting. Michelle, Agron, and Monteith play teenagers on Glee and apparently are meant to convey a sexy teenage look in the GleeGQ photo spread, but the PTC, according to Access Hollywood, believe they have gone too far.
“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. It borders on pedophilia,” Tim Winter claimed, the organization’s president, said. “Sadly, this is just the latest example of the overt sexualization of young girls in entertainment.”
Although it might be argued that Michele and Agron are both 24 years old (Cory Monteith is 28), they may not be perceived as such. According to the PTC, “Many children who flocked to ‘High School Musical’ have grown into ‘Glee’ fans. 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.”
The PTC calls the Glee GQ photos “near pornographic” but Lea Michele and Dianna Agron are wearing far more clothes than one would see on the nearest female on any given beach. Cory Monteith is fully clothed in every picture he is in. Michele and Agron are provocatively posed in several of the Glee GQ photos, however, which, in addition to their lack of clothing, has led to the PTC’s protest.
Winters advised, “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 family show and is far from appropriate for young viewers.”
But Ryan Murphy, Glee‘s creator, told GQ in an earlier segment that the show had taken fire for racy scenes and such. But, he said, “I didn’t want to do a family show. I wanted to do my version of a family show.”
His “version of a family show” drew criticism from the Parents Television Council over their “Britney/Brittany” episode, which was devoted to featuring songs by pop icon Britney Spears. The PTC called the episode the “Worst Show of the Week” and said in a statement: “‘Glee’ earned its highest ratings ever with this Britney Spears tribute, drawing 13.3 million viewers. A scary thought considering that the mostly young teen/tween audience basically witnessed an endorsement of narcotics abuse, public masturbation and school-sanctioned burlesque.”
Athough Fox has had no comment on the growing photos controversy, GQ issued this statement: “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 Montieth’s almost 30! I think they’re old enough to do what they want.”
Is it a perception problem, an inability to discern between reality and fantasy? And if so, whose perception is faulty? Whose reality is less valid? GQ‘s? Ryan Murphy’s? Lea Michele’s? The Parents Teaching Council’s? All of them, to varying degrees? What about the target audience, those teenagers the PTC say they are trying to protect? How do they perceive the Glee GQ photos and the controversy?
Or is it all much ado about nothing and a way for the PTC to gain name recognition by condemning one of television’s hottest shows?