Dianna Agron Blogs About Those Racy ‘Glee’ Photos In ‘GQ’ Magazine

"If your eight-year-old has a copy of our GQ cover in hand ... I am sorry."

On Tuesday we got our first look at the new issue of GQ magazine which features Glee castmates Dianna Agron, Cory Monteith and Lea Michele on the cover and in the pages of the mag … all featured in a pretty racy photospread shot by photographer Terry Richardson (well not all of them were scantily clad, only the girls were stripped down … Cory was fully dressed, in layers). Since those photos came out, the Glee actors and GQ have come under fire for the heightened sexual tone of the photos. Dianna decided to speak out personally and blog about the photos so that she could have her say on the matter. Here is the full text of Dianna‘s blogpost regarding the controversial GQ photos:

I’d like to start by saying that these are solely my thoughts on the November issue of GQ and the controversy that has surrounded its release. I am not a representative of the three of us, the show, or Fox, only myself. In the land of Madonna, Britney, Miley, Gossip Girl, other public figures and shows that have pushed the envelope and challenged the levels of comfort in their viewers and fans…we are not the first. Now, in perpetuating the type of images that evoke these kind of emotions, I am sorry. If you are hurt or these photos make you uncomfortable, it was never our intention. And if your eight-year-old has a copy of our GQ cover in hand, again I am sorry. But I would have to ask, how on earth did it get there?

The full text of Dianna‘s blogpost continues behind the cut. It’s worth reading, particularly because she confesses that stripping down for the magazine was not her “favorite idea”. Read on …

I was a very sheltered child, and was not aware of anything provocative or risque in the media while I was navigating through my formative years. When I was finally allowed to watch a movie like Grease, I did not even understand what on earth Rizzo was talking about!? I understand that in today’s world of advanced technology, the internet, our kids can be subject to very adult material at the click of a button. But there are parental locks, and ways to get around this. I am twenty-four years old. I have been a pretty tame and easy-going girl my whole life. Nobody is perfect, and these photos do not represent who I am. I am also not the girl who rolls out of bed with flawless makeup and couture clothing. I am most comfortable with my hair thrown on top of my head, in sweats, laughing with my friends. Glee is a show that represents the underdogs, which is a feeling I have embraced much of my own life, and to those viewers, the photos in GQ don’t give them that same feeling. I understand completely.

For GQ, they asked us to play very heightened versions of our school characters. A ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’ version. At the time, it wasn’t my favorite idea, but I did not walk away. I must say, I am trying to live my life with a sharpie marker approach. You can’t erase the strokes you’ve made, but each step is much bolder and more deliberate. I’m moving forward from this one, and after today, putting it to rest. I am only myself, I can only be me. These aren’t photos I am going to frame and put on my desk, but hey, nor are any of the photos I take for magazines. Those are all characters we’ve played for this crazy job, one that I love and am so fortunate to have, each and every day. If you asked me for my dream photo shoot, I’d be in a treehouse, in a wild costume, war-paint and I’d be playing with my pet dragon. Until then…..

For the record, I don’t personally have any problem with the raciness of these photos. The thing that irks me is that the women in these photos were made to strip down to their bras and panties so that they could hang on the sole guy in the photos — who is not only fully dressed, but dressed in LAYERS of clothing. While I understand that GQ is a men’s magazine, it just seems skeevy (and sadly typical) that the women have to be stripped down and sexualized while the guy stands fully dressed in the middle with a big smile on his face. But, again, these are my personal opinions.

I find it interesting that Dianna says that these photos do not “represent” who she is and she understands that the tone of these photos do not represent the tone of Glee. She also confesses that she was not initially happy with the decision to pose in this way … all of this sounds like she was talked into posing in this “heightened version” of high school characters. She references the Britney Spears music video Baby One More Time and while I can see her point, Britney was never stripped down to her bra and panties in that music video. I’m really glad that Dianna felt strongly enough to blog her personal opinions on the photos … to me, it sounds like she’s not too happy with the way they turned out. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it sounds like she was forced to pose in this manner but her comments about the photos are very telling. “At the time, it wasn’t my favorite idea, but I did not walk away.” — sounds to me like, Either I had to pose in this way or I wouldn’t be featured in the magazine. HMMMM. Hearing these comments from Dianna only makes the photos seem worse in my eyes.

What do y’all think?

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  1. Seems to me you missed the point of her blog. She is saying that she is 24 and she can do what she wants. She is saying that parents should take responsibility for what their kids see. Britney Spears had her ass hanging out in Rolling Stone at 17, so these pics are pretty tame in comparison. NObody wants to see Corey’s flabby stomach anyway. Dianna is a grown woman making decisions that affect her career. These are her choices.

    • @wendell — Yes, she does say that she is 24 but … the subtext of the post seems to say more to me. I would argue that these photos are not “tame in comparison” to the Britney Rolling Stone photos, particularly the Lea Michele legs spread photo but that is beside the point. I’m certain Dianna is a grown woman making decisions that affect her career — usually — but saying she went with it on a hypersexualized photoshoot that wasn’t her “favorite idea” seems to belie that fact.

  2. What is she apologizing about? those pictures actually made me want to start watching glee

  3. jay

    this isnt a disney show, just because they play teenagers and sing does not mean its high school musical.
    i actually didnt watch the show until last night, these pictures and some of the interviews inside made me realize it isnt high school musical.
    i dont think kids should watch this show, the episode i watched last night a teacher was fired for allegedly touching a male student and then turned into a drug dealer.
    why would a child have a copy of ANY gq magazine, let along this one.

  4. Louigi

    Love the photos. Love Glee. The controversy is what they wanted, right? Sells more magazines and gets more guys watching the show. Great marketing all around.

  5. Mela

    When I first saw the photos I thought Diana looked out of place and out of her element. Reading her blog, it makes a lot of sense to me. I understand the sell here, I just don’t think the women of glee need to be hypersexualized to sell…it kind of makes me sick that every single show has to sell out in this way. I’m glad, looking back at my childhood that I never saw a picture of Laura Winslow in panties strattling Steve Urkel. i don’t think it hurt them back then and I don’t think it would hurt Glee now.

  6. Dianna looks beautiful here, and I’m glad she did not ‘walk away’. Smart girl, the way she writes. Cautious and self-aware, yet unafraid as a young person should be. Also, tell me if that image of a treehouse, and war paint, and a pet dragon isn’t the least bit endearing. :-)

  7. Sarah

    Seems like everyone’s making a big deal out of nothing. It’s one spread in one publication of a magazine, which will most likely be forgotten by the world next week. If the magazine had paparazzi photos where she was dressed like that in a REAL high school, there would be understandable concern. Anyone getting all hyped up should take three steps back and chill out! And she makes a good point- the show talks about sex, bodies, and plenty of other touchy subjects. Audience members who are too young for these photos are PROBABLY too young to actively watch the show. Just sayin’….

  8. Kells

    unless, someone was holding a gun to their heads, no one MADE them take their clothes off. Life is all about choices… take ‘em off, leave ‘em on….

  9. chris

    I am a fan of the show and happened to ask a friend the other day, “besides gay men and teenage girls, who watches this show?”- he responded ‘young kids”- hmmm- reviwiewing the last several episodes in my mind, that is a little troubling- the show is very adult, and as was said above, far from high school musical. I don’t think these photos are really out of place at all on a show that has frank discussions of sex, sexuality, masturbation, etc.A yound character lost his virginity last week, and another discussed how often and how many boys she sleeps with. Maybe these photos were taken to another level, but a clear extension of what the show is about. These are not the mouseketers, nor do they pretend to be. I don’t think there should be any pressure for these young people to be ‘appropriate role models” nor do I think my 7 year old niece should be paging through GQ.

  10. bob

    Raise your hand if you think the concept was Lea’s idea.
    :raises hand:

  11. Dianna’s photos aren’t bothersome, but Lea’s outfits, poses, and facial expression just seems slutty, not sexy, esp the “straddling a bench in my panties” pic. Maybe because I’m an adult and these pics seem to be a norm (due to overexposure on the Internet), but I need to sit back and think of how I would look at these photos as a high schooler… and although high schoolers might not be shocked, they will be badly influenced by Lea’s suggestive photos. (Sorry, I know this comment should go on the other post.)

  12. Jackelynn

    Love the comment she made about wondering why the child had access to GQ in the first place. Since when is it a 24 year old actresses responsibility to parent everyone else’s children?

    Lea Michelle is obnoxious, but Dianna comes off much better even with the photoshoot.

  13. Sara

    Trent, I love you for standing up for women being hypersexualized! Also I love DA for basically saying “I’m sorry… except not really” which is pretty much exactly what needed to be said :) In an article somewhere it was pointed out that the median age of Glee viewers is 38, which basically argues against all of these people who claim that it’s a show for kids. Fox doesn’t show kids shows during it’s prime time, ABC Family and Nick and other such channels do, but just because this happens to portray kids, people get the false impression that it’s targeted towards and only watched by high schoolers.

  14. Ann

    I’m glad Dianna addressed the issue of the photos inconsistency with the show. GQ is generally materialistic, often homophobic (don’t wear that sweater or you’ll look gay!) and regularly treats women as nothing more than sex objects. Glee became popular as a show about social outcasts who are never in GQ. RIP Glee, Hello True Blood high school.

  15. FK

    Trent, I totally agree with you. The problem isn’t with Dianna or Lea, the problem is that, as usual, young women are put into these positions where they are asked to objectify and expose themselves if they want to promote their project. Cory wasn’t asked to do that, obviously. It sucks. Boo, GQ. Especially given that Terry Richardson is known to pressure young women and girls into shots they aren’t comfortable with. It makes me think about the Vanity Fair cover, where the ladies showed up on set and found out it was going to be a nude photo. Rachel McAdams didn’t want to strip down, so she was cut from the shoot. It makes me mad that women are so often put into this situation. As you say, too, if Cory were all sexed up too, it would be a different story. I guess GQ is a little sleazier than I realized.

  16. CHASE

    Actually, I don’t think these photos are going to make people watch Glee, but quite the opposite. I mean, yes, it gets the show more noticed and what not, but it can also do the opposite and I think that these photos will do that. I don’t understand why they put the magazine out now… I mean, the Rocky Horror Picture show episode is coming soon and that is sure to gather a lot of ratings, so they should have done it somewhere in the middle of this season when things start to sizzle down. EH.

  17. timothyj

    BTW Parent Television Council is just a right wing wacko cover group like the bigot who hides behind Jesus James Dobson and Focus on Family. Isn’t it always strange even going back to slavery and the civil rights movement fundamentalist Christians have always been on the side proven evil by history. Beware of Christian fundamentalists they are our American Taliban. I went to Amazon and subscribed for a dollar an issue to support GQ.

  18. I’m not surprised that she felt nudged or needled into doing something she didn’t quite like or felt comfortable posing with Terry Richardson. There have been a couple of stories/complaints about women feeling pressured by him to do and be more sexualized things during his shoots.

    I don’t get why magazines hire him his photos are all the same highly sexual with a lot of light usually against a stark white wall, the woman is usually in some submissive position and someone always has a piece of clothing missing. There is no depth, beauty or art to his work.

  19. Kammie

    @Excess that was the point I was about to make. From the stories I’ve heard, if you’re female and posing for Terry Richardson, you’re going to end up doing things you’re not comfortable with. If GQ wanted racy, they made the right choice in hiring Terry for this shoot. Personally I think he’s a creep who likes to abuse his standing in the fashion photography world to make women do what he wants, and people should really stop blaming the models for the poses he has them in. Several magazines have already blacklisted him, saying they refuse to ever hire him again. And imho, he looks like the kind of creepy uncle you don’t leave your kids alone with, but that’s beside the point.

  20. Elsie

    Okay, next time GQ should get half/near naked men and drape them around one fully clothed woman, Dianna Agron, who is in charge.

    She’s classy but she shouldn’t feel bullied into doing something she’s not right with. Nuts to them if they send her packing, she’s a beautiful girl and any other mag would be glad to have her on the cover/inside. It’s time women stood up to what they are being asked to do. At least Dianna seems aware of that. Lea Michele as usual, seems clueless. She looked ridiculous.

  21. Shan

    Well… I WAS going to comment on how intelligent and well-spoken Dianna sounds in her blog and how well she handled this issue and that I totally agree that people are blowing this out of proportion, but then I saw @Mela’s comment about Laura Winslow straddling Steve Urkel and almost peed my pants lol. It’s so true though! Nothing racy going on w. the cast of Step by Step and Family Matters lol

  22. Mike

    I don’t see the big deal about these photos, and I don’t see the big hooo haa about glee. The PTC really annoy me, and I feel like they step across the line of what they deem their role to be. If the parents of the PTC or any parent for that fact is a good parent, then what they see on glee won’t be an issue. I always thought GQ was the more tame magazine for guys. it being called a “men’s magazine” makes me feel dirty reading it and Though I am not side stepping the issues of whether the photographer was in the right to force two girls to wear less clothing…but a photo shoot in a MENS magazine with guys wearing clothes and the females scantily clad…seems pretty normal to me..it’s not cosmo and not aimed at the ladies..so i am guessing the aim of the whole GQ spread was to entice straight red blooded men to watch Glee…we will have to wait to see if that happens

  23. @ Kammie ITA, glad to here some magazines are finally listening to the models they hire. Terry has been abusing his position for so long (and many models are still afraid to stand up to him) that I don’t even think he views what he does as wrong or manipulative.

    And he does look like that creepy guy in your neighborhood or office whose always staring at you and saying inappropriate crap to you.

  24. jessica

    Trent’s absolutely right. Flip through ANY magazine on a supermarket shelf and EVERY SINGLE AD will have the woman dominated by the man, wearing less. I’ve tried it, it’s pretty sick.

  25. Is it my age? Everything posted with entertainment must be over the top to sell merchandise, riskque and nude. this sounds like a sick culture to me or greedy to say the leat. I don’t figure Glee to equalize the underdog but rather shows we are all the same but different. there is no caste (cast) system here. the show would rather teach we all suffer the knocks and roll with the punches becoming the best we can be. The photos change everything of what I thought was heartwarming entertainment

  26. mimi

    dianna looked risque (esp. for her, she always looks demure in real life) but at least she wasnt prancing around in lingerie and spreading her legs like lea was (and loving it, from what i gather about lea). even though she was clothed she was probably uncomfortable for portraying a sexy look.
    .
    but like dianna said – she’s 24 years old, glee is not a children’s show and GQ is an magazine for adult males. anyone getting mad about this is ridiculous because (a) their children shouldn’t be watching glee or GQ, and (b) they need to appreciate that dianna is an adult and has the right to do the shoot. they are the stars of glee posing in a way that is a take on the show, but the shoot has nothing to do with the show at all.
    .
    everyone knows terry richardson is a massive creep with a predatorial vibe, but if you have people like anna wintour hiring him, and models too scared to report him (esp, when too many models support him) and “controversies” like this happening, he’ll keep getting hired and we’ll keep getting photoshoots like this. so if people just SHUTUP and didnt voice their disgust over these photoshoots, they’d be no hoopla and maybe TR would finally GO AWAY.

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