Last night's Glee episode titled "The First Time" may have been a hit with viewers, but the conservative watchdog organization Parents Television Council is more than a little upset about the subject matter. Surprisingly enough, the controversy hasn't been focused on the fact that Glee featured the show's first gay sex scene last night, since the PTC has made it clear their objections have nothing to do with homosexuality.
According to the PTC, it's not about the gay sex—it's about the teenage sex.
The episode, which featured two of the show’s most popular couples having sex for the first time, was widely approved by fans, with some calling it the best episode of the season thus far. Most agreed that the episode was intended to show that in young love and first sexual experiences, there's really no difference between a girl and a boy, and a boy and a boy.
The PTC interpreted the show as promoting teen sex, saying,
The fact that Glee intends to not only broadcast, but celebrate children having sex is reprehensible.
Another watchdog group, The Culture and Media Institute, specifically opposed the gay sex scene:
The show is now stepping up its campaign of homosexual promotion.
Glee star Chris Colfer recently discussed the episode and the early reactions to the subject matter:
I think it’s handled very sweetly and very emotionally. They’re expecting this big, raunchy, suggestive, brainwashing storyline when really it’s very sweet. (...) I think it’s promoting safe teen sex. I believe there’s lots of safe sex innuendos and mentions in the episode. And it goes back to what Burt said when he had that sex talk last year — don’t throw yourself around. Make it matter, make it meaningful. Make sure it’s with the right person and that you don’t regret it later.
I'm with Colfer on this issue. I mean, everyone has the right to their own personal values, and if the PTC/Culture & Media Institute wants to get bent out of shape about the topic, fine. But it's ridiculous to insinuate that the show is promoting anything—it's just telling a story. Anyone who watches an episode of Glee and thinks they need to run out and copy something that happened on the show probably shouldn't be allowed near a television.
To me, that's where the whole argument against certain subjects being shown on TV breaks down. I don't want some watchdog group deciding my values for me—as a parent, I want the right to choose what my children are allowed to watch. Glee is not a children's show, it's a show that often addresses the issues that high school students face. Decide for your family whether you want your kids watching it, but you shouldn't expect the show to completely avoid topics that are very real and very relevant to teenagers. Sex being one of them.
Besides, I have to wonder if these conservative groups have even seen the "sex scenes" in question. Hello, TAMEST TV SEX EVER.
What's your take on Glee's 'First Time' episode? Do you agree that the subject is inappropriate?
Image via Fox