The Glee photo shoot buzz just won't die down, will it? I'm pretty sure the only way this GQ spread could be more controversial right now is if they had also managed to be accused of gay bullying. Or maybe included a clubbed seal on the cover. Wearing a G-string.
GQ editor in chief Jim Nelson is clearly defensive about the Parents Television Council's statement that the photo shoot "borders on pedophilia." He didn't exactly mince words when he responded,
The Parents Television Council must not be watching much TV these days and should learn to divide reality from fantasy. As often happens in Hollywood, these "kids" are in their twenties. Cory Monteith is almost 30! I think they're old enough to do what they want.
Well, I agree. Not to burst anyone's Glee bubble, but these stars aren't actually high school students.
However, I don't think it's surprising people were offended by the images. The actresses may be of age, but playing overly sexualized versions of their young characters was bound to ruffle some feathers.
The thing that's more than a little icky about the whole thing, though, is the fact that the photos—sprawled-open legs and lollipops and underwear and all—were done by fashion photographer Terry Richardson. Richardson's received some very bad press lately, having faced several allegations that he routinely sexually abused models he worked with.
Rie Rasmussen, Danish model-turned-filmmaker, said of Richardson,
He takes girls who are young, manipulates them to take their clothes off, and takes pictures of them they will be ashamed of. They are too afraid to say no because their agency booked them on the job and are too young to stand up for themselves.
That sort of sounds in line with Glee star Dianna Agron's semi-apology about the shoot, doesn't it? As she wrote on her blog,
For GQ, they asked us to play very heightened versions of our school characters. A "Hit Me Baby One More Time" version. At the time, it wasn’t my favorite idea, but I did not walk away.
For his part, Richardson himself has made some fairly incriminating comments in interviews:
At first, I'd just want to do a few nude shots, so I'd take off my clothes, too … I'd even give the camera to the model and get her to shoot me for a while. It's about creating a vibe, getting people relaxed and excited. When that happens you can do anything. I don't think I'm a sex addict, but I do have issues. Maybe it's the psychological thing that I was a shy kid, and now I'm this powerful guy with his boner, dominating all these girls.
BLEAH. If you ask me, Richardson sounds like a total perv who gets off on using young women to make up for his lack of high school sexual exploits.
I don't agree with the PTC that the Glee shot was pedophiliac, but I can't see how these images were a smart move for the actresses involved. If nothing else, it's got to be gross to know the guy who took the pictures is totally using them as whack material.
Image via GQ