'Glee' Features Famous Pedophile -- So What?

Gwyneth Paltrow Glee Gary GlitterThis week's sex-ified Glee is still causing quite a stir, especially in the U.K. The problem, apparently, is that Gwyneth Paltrow as Holly Holliday and the Glee Club covered "Do You Wanna Touch Me?" by British glam rock singer and convicted sex offender, Gary Glitter.

Glitter was jailed in Vietnam for three years after sexually assaulting two pre-teen (10- and 11-year-old) girls. He also served a prison sentence for possessing thousands of pornographic images of children. Ever since, his music has been shunned by broadcasters in the U.K. Critics say what's worse than the mere use of the song is that Glee fans may take to the track -- which you have to admit is pretty darn catchy -- and head straight to iTunes, wracking up tons of royalties for the convicted pedophile.

The response from Channel 4, which airs Glee across the pond: "The scene is editorially justified within the program and we do not seek to censor material in the proper context."


Although it may seem kinda skeezy if you think about it for more than a minute or two, Glee's cover of Glitter's track really shouldn't be that big a deal.

No one says "boo" when everyone covers Michael Jackson. Okay, sure, he was twice accused of child molestation and was never once convicted. But that doesn't change the fact that a lot of people harbor icky feelings about his personal life. Was it because Glitter was actually convicted that makes him that much more of a pop culture pariah vs. Jackson? 

This brouhaha also begs the question ... Do you shun Woody Allen's movies because he ended up with partner Mia Farrow's adopted daughter, Soon-Yi, who is 35 years his junior? What about Roman Polanski -- do you think references to his films or screenings of them should be stopped because he was indicted on six counts of criminal behavior, including rape? How about the fact that there are beloved celebs who've probably had tons of transgressions that have yet to come to light?

I say when a celebrity turns out to be a criminal, or does something that goes against what society deems acceptable, or is even suspected of behaving in a way that's morally reprehensible, it's an individual's prerogative if they want to turn their back on that celeb's work.

I personally reserve the right to pick and choose my battles on this ...

For instance, I'd be a bit disgusted if Glee covered Chris Brown at this point. (Yeah, that's where I stand on that issue. I have no love for men who beat women bloody.) But, at the same time, I think -- whatever, sometimes it's just too damn hard to separate art from certain artists' missteps. I love Michael Jackson's music; he was an amazing entertainer. I don't really care about Woody Allen -- we all know he's wackadoo, and that's played a big part in how he's made such a mark on culture. Britney -- not a criminal, but also a wackadoo -- could flash paparazzi her nude ladyparts from now until she's 62, and I would get my groove on to "Till the World Ends."

Simply put, I don't think Glee made a mistake by covering Glitter's track. For those of you who think it's repulsive to enjoy a sex offender's song, well, Glitter's career has suffered as a result of his sickness. I'm thinkin' a Holly Holliday cover isn't going to end up doing that much to change that.

Do you think Glee was wrong to cover a Gary Glitter song?


Image via FOX

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