Glee is at it again…sexualizing its young stars.  This time, in a spread for GQ magazine, two of its 20-something stars, Lea Michele and Dianna Agron, pose in some pretty suggestive positions–including a classy crotch shot, one pathetically obvious shot with a lollipop, and one where Michele is tearing away her clothing like she’s on fire.  Cute.

The Parents Television Council issued a statement yesterday saying the spread reeks of pedophilia.

Of course, GQ’s Editor in Chief Jim Nelson responded in a predictable snide fashion saying “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.”

Oh spare me! 

The entire spread was shot in a Los Angeles High School with the girls standing among the lockers wearing what can only be called tiny reproductions of school uniforms and cheerleading outfits.  GQ didn’t simply photograph these actresses as themselves; rather GQ wanted these girls in character.  In other words, it was the Glee girls-their younger high-school aged characters-who really posed for this racy spread.

Meanwhile, the only male in the photos, actor Cory Monteith, remained fully clothed, accessorized only by his enormous, cheesy grin as both barely dressed women embrace him (his hands strategically placed on their butts-nice touch).

And as for Nelson’s claim that they’re old enough to do what they want, well, yes, they are indeed old enough to make stupid decisions.  But the PTC isn’t aiming its criticism at the individuals photographed in GQ; they’re expressing their outrage at GQ magazine.  PTC’s statement is clear: “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.”

But someone else is to blame here, the producers of Glee who at the very least have some control over the PR stunts pulled by its stars and could at least advise against such actions. 

Glee storylines and the musicians they “honor” have been getting much more sexualized lately. The most recent episodes have included hyper sexualized recreations of music videos by the poster child for sexualized youth, Britney Spears.  In fact, the “Britney” episode included a remake of her music video for Toxic complete with one of the young stars wearing a nude body suit.  Yeah, her sparkly, nude body wiggling all over the floor just screams “family-friendly” viewing.

The sexualization of young girls is an important subject and it’s something IWF has covered before.  However, ultimately, the responsibility lies with the actors themselves.  And while the Glee producers might like to act like this is just another erotic photo spread of young Hollywood starlets and that the PTC is made up of a bunch of uptight prudes, the reality is that Glee should check itself.  The show originally targeted young fans of the High School Musical movie franchise.  They shouldn’t forget their roots and that their fans are young and impressionable. The Glee actors also hold much of the responsibility and should make better decisions.

As many parents would say to their own kids…hey Glee cast, enjoy your childhood-don’t grow up so fast!