Hey Glee: Is that YOU in GQ?

Three Glee favorites* have shown up in GQ (Nov.) in completely sexualized poses, and caused a real ruckus.  (If you don’t know, Glee is a show about a group of semi-geeky teens in a high school glee club.) In addition to the general issues surrounding such bad judgement, the event has produced something heretofore unthinkable: sympathy from a First Ammendment junkie like me for the position of the Parent’s Television Council  It’s really giving me a headache.  They’re the home of Brent Bozell and William Bennett, Pat Boone and Sam Brownback.  But here’s what they said, and it’s pretty tough to argue with:

 “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. Sadly, this is just the latest example of the overt sexualization of young girls in entertainment,” said PTC President Tim Winter.

Half-naked teenagers and young adult women adorn advertisements and entertainment on TV, the web and in print.  Victoria’s Secret, provider of the lingerie in the photos, sells lovely, reasonably priced undergarments, but with waaaay sexualized campaigns.  They’re not alone of course, and those sorts of ads have always been disturbing but this week, on the eve of the SPARK Summit on the sexualization of young women (where Care2 has two correspondents – watch this space) we hit a new milestone

So here’s the question: when something this inappropriate erupts into the media and, obviously, affects an enormous under-age audience, what DO we do?  Censorship, to me, is out of the question.  And in this age of commerce-uber-alles, asking for restraint on the part of commercial outlets is naive.  Once the story hits the MSM there’s no way to keep the photos out of young lives.  Of course that’s also true of Victoria’s Secret commercials and fashion magazine layouts but because Glee is such a part of youth culture and generally has such good messages, it’s a kick in the teeth.  I’ve included an excerpt below in case you’ve never seen the show – but please – what do you think? 

Here’s the clip:


Diana Agron, one of the three, which also included Lea Michele and Cory Monteith, apologized on her blog Thursday morning.



Alicia N.
Alicia N.5 years ago

Read but not interested in any comment, thanks .....

Dominic C.
Dominic C.6 years ago

First Amendment means free speech. And to censor something like this is insane as long as its not porn in the public. These are actors and therefore their lifestyles speak volumes and you cannot condone the fact that they are like that because then there are numerous personalities who even behaves worst than these.The only thing to tell young people about the actions of the actors are that these are actors they are them and we are people with respectable values. And if we want to behave like these people then women are only asking for trouble, that is, the Sarah Tobias syndrome will return.

Kay L.
KayL NOFORWARDS6 years ago

I just wish Cory had shown a little more skin to match the girls'.... We women appreciate a nice male physique as well as men appreciate women's.

And hey, just looking at these actors, it's pretty obvious that they are really adults and NOT high school kids, whatever they might portray on TV. Still, I'll admit that the photos are a bit tasteless.

Tori W.
Past Member 6 years ago

Sorry, I find the photos offensive and unnecessary. Why is it only women shown as sexual objects in these types of photos, and sometimes, like this one, with men dominating the women? Let's see some young men as sexual objects and then we'll talk.

Emily P.
Emily M.6 years ago

Borderline pedophilia? Lea Michele and Diana Agron are 24 years old! Infantilizing them and seeing them as children, rather than grown women with careers, is totally sexist. I wouldn't even call Glee a kids show, but I guess some would. I don't think anyone would say that GQ is a kids magazine. So kids shouldn't get their hands on this magazine. If they do, it's the parents' problems. Glee nor any other television show should be raising your kids. Why do so-called concerned parents continue to skirt their responsibility and put it on people they don't even know?

PJ Granieri
.6 years ago


Manuela C.
Manuela C.6 years ago

I don't see the problem here, they may interpret high school characters, but in the magazine, they're just adult actors posing... People get offended at anything!

Catherine Turley
Catherine Turley6 years ago

i wish that, just once, a pretty girl would turn down a photo shoot. whether it's soft porn, lingerie modeling, or fashion modeling, the whole industry is ridiculous. selling your appearance should not be a profession. and why can't actors take normal publicity photos. no silly poses, just a sincere smile.

Jose M. C.
JOSE M. C.6 years ago

When a reader looks at that cover, does he see Dianna Agron and Lea Michele, or the schoolgirls they portray, Quinn and Rachel, in classic jailbait attire? I'm a loyal fan of the show, but some of the numbers make me feel downright creepy. It's sad when a show with so much artistic quality feels the need to oversexualize teens, regardless of whether the actors portraying them are adults.

The real problem is that the corporations that influence our media simply want our money, and one way is by urging kids to rush into adulthood with all its costly accessories. Unfortunately, many young people end up missing out on their adolescence and waste much of the next 10-20 years trying to reclaim it.

Laurel C.
Laurel B.6 years ago

I think there is no issue. They are adults doing a magazine photo because they want to. Actors/Actresses are not their characters in real life, and shouldn't be forced to act like them. I almost bought a copy of it because I liked the photo so much.