I just wanted to share my thoughts on the controversy that is surrounding the "Glee" photo shoot with GQ magazine - since it doesn't seem to be going away any time soon.
1. The blame: Let me start off by saying who is to blame for this disaster...and it is not the actors involved. The GQ photo shoot was a vehicle to promote Glee – the accompanying article is about being “inside the Glee phenomenon”. Glee is a hit show – but it’s not a number 1 show due to the fact that it is consistently missing a huge demographic -“the straight male”. This was an intentional photo shoot to entice “the straight male” to watch the show. Someone who works for FOX set up this "Glee Gone Wild" shoot. The actors are obligated (by a contract) to promote the show however the network deems necessary. The intent was controversy (hello- the photographer alone is controversial enough) and they succeeded. The backlash of these photos should be taken out on the appropriate person because the actors were just doing their job. I think that the actual person responsible should take ownership instead of letting the actors take the blame – poor Dianna Agron sort of apologized on her blog writing that the photos “weren’t my favorite idea…but I did not walk away”. Dianna seems visibly uncomfortable in these pictures - which aren't nearly as suggestive as her co-star Lea's - so her admission seems honest and likely. However, the fact is that if she did walk away she would be in serious hot water and of course none of the actors can claim that the network forced them to do it because again…hot water. So for the people creating petitions to get Lea fired – you are being ridiculous. Judging her morals based on some raunchy pictures is even more ridiculous.
The pictures: Dianna’s explanation of the pictures is that they were asked to play heightened (i.e sexier) versions of their characters. I get it. The cover photo is exactly that. Finn (Cory Monteith) caught in between the 2 girls that he loves – and being Finn if he had the chance he would totally grab both of their asses and grin from ear to ear. Quinn (Dianna Agron) continues to exude a natural sexiness in a totally angelic way, while Rachel (Lea Michele) if asked to be sexy would go completely overboard by opening her mouth awkwardly (because she doesn’t know how to be sexy). The photographs inside continue this theme – Finn playing the drums, Quinn with her cheerleader pompoms and Rachel overacting with a lollipop (which is a sexual way of showing her “innocence”). In case you’re not familiar with the show - Rachel is the girl who dressed like Sandy from Grease because she thought it was sexy – to which Finn told her she looked like “a sad clown…hooker”. Sadly, this is what she looks like in these photos as well – but something about them screams “Rachel” to me. She wouldn’t know the difference between “raunchy” sexy and “classy” sexy. Overall, the photos are exactly what they were going for and they aren’t that bad – they just aren’t very creative either. The only picture that I would call “controversial” is the one with “Rachel” spread eagle on a locker room bench – and not because she has the expression of a blow up doll but because when you first glimpse at the picture it looks like the bench is practically penetrating her (something that the photographer obviously could see but she probably didn’t realize when posing).
The controversy: I am still in shock that these photos are still being discussed, because I have seen so much worse. There are a few different reasons why people seem to be up in arms about these photos – the biggest one is from the PTC who claim that the photos “border on pedophilia” which is the most absurd claim they have ever had. The actors are beyond old enough to pose for such pictures. I understand that they are portraying high school students and that the photo shoot takes place in a high school – but this is certainly not the first time the sexy school girl idea has been used (nor the last) and the girls are not even nude – they look like they are wearing the Victoria’s Secret “pink” line (which is geared for teenagers). For the record, your teens have seen worse than these photo’s – go online and type Lea Michele in to Google and I guarantee you a dozen or so websites will give you pictures of a topless Lea from her Broadway appearance in Spring Awakening. Now type Heather Morris (who plays Brittany on the show) – again topless photos. When are parents going to learn that it is not up to the media to teach children how to behave? The media is full of violence, pornographic images, drugs etc – this is not going to go away, it will only inevitably get worse. It is called PARENTING. Another “controversy” is represented by Katie Couric who claims the pictures to be inappropriate because “they are very adult photos of young women who perform on a family show”. Since when is Glee a family show? It is rated for teenagers over the age of 14 – It is certainly no Full House. Yes, I think it is aimed at teenagers but I am sure these teenagers aren’t watching the show with the family gathered around. Another controversial claim is that Cory, Lea and Dianna are supposed to be role models for our youth – a claim which I agree with (it comes with the job of being in the public eye), but again this isn’t their doing. It is not like Lea went out on her own and posed for Playboy (although she has every right too – but it would also give us the right to judge her for it- negatively and/or positively). The only interesting take on the whole controversy was from an article on NPR.com which dismissed the pedophilia claims but instead judged the photos on it's portrayal of young women. The article discussed how the pictures show the women “pawing” at the man making them submissive (and dumb?), which I can sort of get behind that claim (only because Cory is layered in clothing – which is severely disappointing in my opinion…). However, if the photos were flipped and the 2 girls were dominating the male in the photograph it would be seen as controversial as well…no?