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GQ Accused of “Borderline Pedophilia” For Provocative “Glee” Photo Shoot

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Posted on October 21 2010 2:00 pm
Walter Hudson is a political commentator and co-founder of Minnesota's North Star Tea Party Patriots, a statewide educational organization. He runs a blog entitled Fightin Words. He also contributes to True North, a hub of Minnesotan conservative commentary. Follow his work via Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

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They say a picture is worth a thousand words. In the case of these GQ photos of three young stars from FOX’s popular “Glee,” it’s tough to conjure up more than a couple syllables. These shots are just the tip of a very provocative iceberg.

The Parents Television Council (PTC), “a non-partisan education organization advocating responsible entertainment,” thinks GQ’s spread “borders on pedophilia.” That may be a bit of hyperbole, but their concern is not without merit.

“It is disturbing that GQ, which is explicitly written for adult men, is sexualizing the actresses who play high school-aged characters on Glee in this way,” said PTC President Tim Winter. “It borders on pedophilia. Sadly, this is just the latest example of the overt sexualization of young girls in entertainment.”

The actresses are far from underage, however. In the pictures [above], Dianna Agron and Lea Michele are both 24 and Cory Monteith is 28.

Fox had no comment, but GQ released this statement: “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 Montieth’s almost 30! I think they’re old enough to do what they want.”

Both parties in this controversy have legitimate points. GQ is a magazine read by adult men, not children. The actors in the photos are adults. Parents have a responsibility to monitor and control the media which their children are exposed to, including magazines. This is neither child pornography nor an example of pedophilia.

However, it’s tough for GQ to play innocent while choosing as its setting for sexually provocative photos the corridors of a high school. Then there’s the tagline on their cover, “We show you what happens when the teachers aren’t around.” Clearly, GQ’s intention is to portray high school students sexually. There is no escaping that. The weak line about the actors being “old enough to do what they want” misses the point. It’s not a matter of whether they can, but whether they should.

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