Sunday 17 December 2017

Glee star says sorry as storm grows over raunchy photos

ONE of the stars of hit TV show Glee who took part in a racy magazine photoshoot, has apologised if the images left fans "hurt" or "uncomfortable".

Dianna Agron said in an internet posting that the photos "do not represent who I am".

"They asked us to play very heightened versions of our school characters," she wrote. "At the time, it wasn't my favourite idea, but I did not walk away. If you are hurt or these photos make you uncomfortable, it was never our intention."

However, she added: "If your eight-year-old has a copy of GQ in their hand, I would have to ask, how on earth did it get there?"

So did the stars of Glee go too far?

That's what critics and fans of the show have been debating as the photo spread in GQ's November issue, featuring Lea Michele (the ambitious Rachel) and Agron (Quinn, the once-pregnant cheerleader), started circulating this week.

Oh yes, male co-star Cory Monteith (the quarterback Finn) is in there, too -- but he remains clothed.

"I just wasn't impressed at all," said a disapproving Emily Martin, a mum and a self-professed "huge Glee fan".

"I guess I just don't understand why they chose to even pose for these photos in the first place. I don't get what they hope to gain by putting themselves out there like that."

Her feelings were echoed by commentators in the US.


Katie Couric devoted an opinion segment on the CBS Evening News to the photo flap.

"I'm a Gleek," she began, saying how she and her 14-year-old daughter watch the show every week. But she decried the photos, particularly Michele's, as "raunchy" and "un-Glee-like," and concluded: "I'm disappointed."

"It borders on paedophilia," said Tim Winter, president of the Parents Television Council.

He called the spread a "near-pornographic display" -- especially the "full-frontal crotch shot".

As for GQ, which is enjoying a burst of publicity, it took issue with the paedophilia reference -- pointing out that Agron and Michele are 24, and Monteith is 28.

"I think they're old enough to do what they want," said GQ's editor in chief, Jim Nelson. "I think most people will take the pictures with the wink and spirit of fun in which they were made."

Nelson added: "What we wanted to celebrate in the shoot and the story is [the show's] playfulness, its wicked sense of fun, the clever way it plays with its self-awareness. And it doesn't hide from it sexual suggestiveness."

No question about that. Glee frequently deals with mature themes: Teen pregnancy, homosexuality, the loss of virginity.

It wasn't clear how Glee producers felt about the GQ photos, but Nelson, at GQ, said that Fox knew about the shoot, but didn't get involved.

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