Glee’s GQ Photo Shoot

Many parents are concerned about their children being desensitized by programs airing on MTV or E! because of their reputation for risqué content. We expect to see scantily-clad clothing and explicit behavior when tuning in for “Keeping up with the Kardashians,” but the same conduct on Fox’s light-hearted musical focused around students at William McKinley High School raised some eyebrows last week.

When word got out about GQ’s November issue featuring a sexually-suggestive photo spread of three Glee cast members (Lea Michelle, Dianna Agron and Cory Monteith), the Parents Television Council spoke out, calling the shoot a “near-pornographic display.”

“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,” said PTC President Tim Winter. “It borders on pedophilia.”

Compared to shows such as “Family Guy,” “Married with Children” and “The O.C.” which have shared the same prime-time slot on the network, do “Glee” cast members and producers really deserve the backlash they’re receiving? Anyone who believes this is a kid’s show evidently has not been watching. If parents are already allowing their children to be exposed to mature issues such as homosexuality, marijuana use and teen pregnancy, then images featured in an adult men’s magazine should be the least of their worries.

“If you are hurt or these photos make you uncomfortable, it was never our intention,” said Glee actress Dianna Agron on her blog. “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?”

The show is no “High School Musical” and it has definitely gotten that point across with this tactic. As a “Gleek,” I applaud producers for pushing the envelope and allowing Michelle and Agron, 24, and Monteith, 28, to break away from the image portrayed by their teenage characters. Therefore, viewers now see that these stars can contend with entertainers like Miley Cyrus, Justin Timberlake and Rhianna.

We’ve seen stars born from shows such as “Lizzie McGuire” and “Even Stevens,” and “Glee” is no exception. The racy photo shoot may be the end of the show’s so-called “wholesome” image, but I have a strong indication it is just the beginning of these up-and-coming celebrity’s careers.

By Jessica West

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Glee’s GQ Photo Shoot

  1. ann

    I think they actors should be able to do any photo shoot they want, I mean they are adults not real teenagers.

  2. Amanda Coppock

    This is a very interesting blog post. Even though I am a “Gleek” myself, I did not realize that the actors had done this photoshoot until I read this blog. As with any industry, it would be easy for actors to become pigeonholed into a certain type of role, and I think this photoshoot is a small way for these actors to avoid such a fate. Interestingly, no one was concerned when Lea Michelle was cast for the role of Rachel on Glee. Michelle originated the role of Wendla in the Broadway musical Spring Awakening, which has very mature themes and even on-stage nudity.

    Certainly I could understand parents being upset if say Lindsey Lohan was the star of a Disney-channel show, because the show would be directly targeted at children. But like a point you make in this piece, Glee is not solely for children, and I think more adults understand and appreciate it than children do. Taking part in a photo shoot does not “ruin” these actors by any means. It was simply a choice they made. The actors are not their characters, and so they should have the freedom to break out of the constrains of being Rachel, Quinn and Finn every now and then.

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