Keep Calm and Carry On - Broadcasting & Cable

Keep Calm and Carry On

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Maybe it’s the tattered economy. Maybe it’s because your rent is too damn high. Maybe it’s because you’re feeling inadequate because you never got a “special” text message of your own from Brett Favre. But for whatever reason, it just seems like everyone is a little sensitive these days. And that sensitivity is threatening to infringe on two of the most cherished things any typical meathead male like me covets: appreciating beautiful women and watching football. So this column is very serious.

Let’s start with this “controversy” over a suggestive photo shoot by GQ magazine of a couple of the cast members from Fox’s own high school musical, Glee. Many people are up in arms because of the shoot, which featured actresses Lea Michele and Dianna Agron in some positions that might make you feel a little, um, slushy.

So lean in real close to your magazine or screen, because I am going to tell you a little secret: THOSE LADIES ARE ACTRESSSES.

Get a clue, people. They are not in high school—Michele and Agron are both 24. One of them (Michele) has been on the warpath lately to separate herself from her goody-twoshoes character with a series of racy photo shoots.

They are not their characters (who are no angels themselves, by the way). They are actresses on one of the hottest shows on television (with a cast that is considered by some to be a bit of a pain as a whole; just ask anyone—even at Fox—who has tried to do things with them).

The show itself is great, and fantastic at taking on some very important topics, but you don’t need Charles Barkley to tell you its stars are not role models.

Now I know this will shock you, but the Parents Television Council went nuts about the shoot. It claimed the photo spread “borders on pedophilia.” Yikes. If ogling 24-year-old women constituted pedophilia, 97% of straight men would be in jail and the other 3% would be on the lam.

That the PTC weighed in is not surprising. They live to pounce on this stuff like I will on a Waldorf-Astoria steak at our Hall of Fame gala this week in New York (wow, look, product placement comes to print journalism). But talk shows debated the Glee girls, and even Katie Couric raised the issue in a video blog. The whole thing just left my head hurting a little.

And speaking of head trauma, I also love the NFL deciding after 8,000 years that you can no longer tackle hard. OK, that’s as much a stretch as thinking Mark Sanchez can actually lead the Jets to a championship, but the league is cracking down strongly on malicious hits.

I was going to weigh in on what a joke this is from a league which—along with its TV partners—revels in the sheer power and brutality of our beloved new national pastime, but then Miami Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder said this to the Palm Beach Post: “If they’re going to keep making us go more and more and more like a feminine sport, we’re going to wear pink every game, not just on the breast cancer months.” I can’t hit any harder than that myself.

So all I am saying is this: relax, everyone. Smile a little. It’s all going to be okay. This is America. The Bill of Rights specifically states that good-looking actresses can pose in skimpy clothes and that huge men making millions of dollars can hurl themselves into each other at high speeds for our enjoyment.

Be a patriot. Let freedom ring.

E-mail comments to bgrossman@nbmedia.com and follow him on Twitter: @BCBenGrossman

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