Parents TV Council Tosses Slushie at Sexy Glee
Just like Coach Sue Sylvester, the Parents Television Council is handing out arbitrary condemnation from on high to the McKinley High Glee Club. They are slamming a recent cover shoot of the Glee cast in this month's GQ magazine.
The sexy photoshoot, featuring Glee stars Lea Michele, Dianna Agron and Cory Monteith, has the girls all tarted up in schoolgirl form with the requisite lollipops and pom poms. It is tasteless and an obvious attempt to sluttify the prim Lea Michele. But does it cross the line into child porn?
Umm, no. The actors playing the characters are all in their twenties so they are hardly children. Does GQ sexualize high school girls, as the Parents Television Council is saying? Yes. But the link that the PTC is implying is that the men reading GQ will suddenly picture school girls in a sexy light as if they had never thought of it before. (As if the sexy cheerleader outfit isn't hanging in my local Halloween store window.)
The PTC is concerned saying: "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."
Here's the thing: my kids love High School Musical but I do not allow them to watch Glee. Glee is for adults (or at least almost-adults) who can understand the satire involved. Sometimes, I think that these knee-jerk groups don't get satire which tends to exist in a world where things are grey, not black and white. As for GQ, we don't exactly have them hanging around the house next to our I Spy Super Challenger collection.
My guess is that Glee, a show about outsiders trying to find a place in a non-accepting world whether they are singers, Jewish, gay or nerds, is not a favourite of the evangelical crowd anyways. It is not appropriate viewing for my kids now, but I look forward to watching it in a few years when we will be able to talk about the issues it brings up, often in a complicated and smart way.
The Parents Television Council tends to get their knickers in a knot about all sorts of irrelevant things such as swearing and Janet Jackson's nipplegate. They organize write-in campaigns complaining about the use of the F-word and indecency on television and hope that the FCC will punish the TV networks and pressure them to make the airwaves more "family-friendly." Whenever the PTC jumps on an issue, I want to turn the other way, they are like the annoying the kid at school who tattles to the teacher when someone forgets their pencil.
I am very troubled about how girls are portrayed in pop culture but I don't want the PTC telling me what to wach. So now I am irritated that I am defending photos that I think are demeaning. Glee star Diane Agron seems to agree, she says on her blog, that she won't be putting framed ones on her desk anytime soon.
The PTC obviously has some power because their complaint against GQ is getting lots of attention today. I think it would be nice to use that power for actual good, instead of drumming up ridiculous accusations against an adult magazine portraying adults in stupidly sexy photos. The Parents TV Council doesn't speak for me or to me. When I am concerned about the media that my children are consuming I look elsewhere.
If people can not separate the show's characters who are in high school from a photo shoot in an entirely different medium then they deserve a slushie in the face and need to head back to school.
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Photo credit: Splash News