Glee stars Lea Michele and Dianna Agron appear alongside co-star Cory Monteith in a sexy photo spread for the upcoming November issue of GQ magazine. The provocative shoot, titled "Glee Gone Wild," features Michele and Agron in various states of undress, straddling benches and seductively licking lollipops. Considering Glee is a show about high schoolers, the actresses are being called poor role models for starring in the racy pictures. But the Glee sexy photo scandal shouldn't actually be a scandal at all. It's simply a case of two actresses seizing the career-climbing opportunity to appear on the cover of a popular men's magazine. It's also an illustration of the tension that arises when adult actors are cast as teenagers, and shows about teenagers are created for adults.
The Washington Post argues: "The show has a young fan base. Seeing the stars of Glee in trashy mode clearly doesn't set a great example for them." Yet the median age of Glee viewers is actually 38 years old. The show—which in past episodes has used the term "scissoring" in a scene with two cheerleaders making out, choreographed a number in which three couples attempt to lose their virginities, and featured a running storyline in which a male character prematurely ejaculates—is actually rated "red" by the Parents Television Council, its most severe warning that content is unsuitable for children. The series may take place in a high school, but its subject matter is clearly intended for—and consumed by—older, more mature viewers.
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PTC also released this statement in response to the spread: "It is disturbing that GQ, which is explicitly written for adult men, is sexualizing the actresses [Michele and Agron, both 24] who play high school-aged characters on Glee in this way. It borders on pedophilia."