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September 20, 2009

One Million Moms Target Glee

Apparently the One Million Moms have squeezed all that they can out of their protest of Secret Life of the American Teenager, so they went looking for a new teen show to be horribly offended by, and they found Glee.

I have to admit that at this point we basically use OMM as a reverse recommendations system. If they're offended by something, we'll probably like it. So when I found out that they were describing Glee as "extremely inappropriate...obscene...vulgar...far from a family-friendly program", I immediately went to Hulu and watched the first two episodes. The show is really cute and fun and I've added it to my DVR. Thanks Moms!

Here's the action alert. The alert is based only on the second episode of the show - we received it the day before the third episode aired, and it's clear that they didn't watch the pilot, which is pretty harmless.

'GLEE' is not another 'High School Musical'

There is singing and dancing in FOX's new television program "GLEE," but this is no "High School Musical." It is far from a family-friendly program. "GLEE" is another show targeting children and teens.

From Ryan Murphy, the creator of "Nip/Tuck," comes "GLEE," a new series which follows an optimistic teacher attempting to save their high school's Glee Club. "GLEE" is not as graphic as "Nip/Tuck," but just as offensive.

The music chosen for this show is extremely inappropriate especially for school activities. The choreographed routines are obscene and contain vulgar dancing which they perform for the student body.

The writers mock Christianity when the principal tries to discipline the Glee Club by having them select their music from a list of songs with either "Jesus" or "balloons" in the title which they translate as punishment.

Similar to most teen shows today all the students can talk about is s*x. Male students discuss grinding, erupting, and how girl's skirts are so short they can almost see their ovaries.

Students show disrespect to their teacher and guidance counselor by telling them to "get a room."

This is only a few of the high points or should we say low points of one episode.

Let's review some of the high points or should we say low points of this action alert.

~Glee isn't High School Musical - Often the One Million Moms complain about "inappropriate" shows being on stations that are supposedly family-friendly. This is a big part of their issue with Secret Life, which is on ABC Family. But Glee is on Fox, not ABC Family or Disney. So while they may be targeting teens with Glee, I don't think it's accurate to say that they're targeting young children or claiming to be a more family-friendly show than they are. The show is rated TV-PG - that means "Parental Guidance Suggested", ladies - and I checked the most recent episode and the rating specifically indicates "some suggestive dialogue" and "some sexual situations" in addition to the TV-PG. So again, the show isn't pretending to be something that it's not, and parents are getting an honest assessment of the show up front to help them decide whether to let their kids watch it. So what's the problem?

~Glee is just as offensive as Nip/Tuck - Seriously? I'm not even going to bother with that one, because anyone who's ever watched even one episode of Nip/Tuck knows how ridiculous that comparison is.

~The writers mock Christianity - It seems like a real stretch to say that the scene where the principal gives out the list of approved songs for the Glee Club is "mocking Christianity" just because there's a silly joke involving Jesus. The point is that the songs aren't exactly rocking Glee Club material, not that Christian music is horrible or that Christianity is stupid. Personally, I like to think that Jesus has a sense of humor and, as Kathy Griffin says, bigger fish to fry.

~S*x strikes again - The alert mentions all of the "offensive" sex talk and the sexy dance routine in the episode, but I'm shocked that they didn't single out Rachel's speech to the 'celibacy club' about how it's stupid to encourage abstinence-only in teens because it's doesn't work, so they should be talking about contraception instead. (I imagine the cheerleader who reacts to this by saying "don't you dare mention the C-word!" as a future Million Mom in training.) When Rachel ends by saying "girls want sex just as much as guys do", I imagine heads exploding in the OMM viewing room. And I can't wait to hear their thoughts on the Acafellas' performance of "I Wanna Sex You Up" at the PTA meeting in the third episode.

~Students show disrespect to their teacher and guidance counselor by telling them to "get a room." - Only ONE student says this, and she's one of the obnoxious cheerleaders. In the scene it's presented as the bitchy girl making a rude and bitchy comment to her teacher, not as if it's a normal thing that any of the students might say.

This is such a thin list of "offenses". I think the Moms are really grasping at straws this time. And it's not like there's a shortage of shows that OMM could protest if they wanted to. Haven't they ever seen Gossip Girl? (Actually, our guess is that they just have the entire CW network on a black list and consider it a lost cause.)

It's also funny how they don't even really bother to flesh out some of these action alerts with a lot of details anymore. They say that "the music chosen for this show is extremely inappropriate" but don't bother to specify which songs they were offended by. (What, they got no love for Journey?) Then at the end they say "this is only a few of the high points or should we say low points of one episode". Well, if that's the case, why don't they list some more? (Don't tell me that gag reflex joke went over your heads, Moms.) It's like they're at the point now where they feel like they can say 'trust us, this is horribly offensive, you should protest it' without really justifying it.

I also have to say that I'm surprised they didn't really say anything about all of the gay content in the show - Rachel having two dads, the glee club having a gay member, etc. Maybe they wanted to save something for the next action alert, and if so you know that we'll be there to pick their arguments apart. In the meantime, check out the pilot episode of this inappropriate and offensive show that we love:


Veronica said...

Rachel sealed my love for her with her contraception rant. I know she's a diva & annoying, but I love her!

sexgenderbody said...


I love your analysis and thoroughness. I especially appreciate your targeting the (alleged)One Million Moms. Any self-appointed arbiters of 'taste' and 'morality' are not to be trusted. Squirting out a child does not confer some super powers of judgment, guidance and 'plain ol' American goodness'. If that were truly the case, I would've given my do the remote after her puppies were born.

Great as always. Keep it up.


Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

I won't watch it because some asinine Christian is outraged by it, I choose not to watch it because it's on Fox.

seitzk said...

I have heard critiques of the nasty racial stereotyping of the show. Not part of the Million Moms argument, so perhaps a legit reason to criticize it.

Anonymous said...

I would think all the conservatives like Secret Life since the stupid teen girl who gets pregnant has the baby and not an abortion. I had no idea I was boycotting something the connies were. I don't watch Glee, but all the complaints about it are stupid like everything that comes out of the mouths of the Christian right.

Jezebel said...

seitzk - I do think that legitimate criticisms can definitely be made about the racial stereotyping of some of the characters. It looks like the show just got picked up for a full season, so hopefully they can flesh out the characters better in the next few episodes.

Condo Blues said...

I saw the episode of Glee the OMM complained about. I think they totally missed the mark because some of the things that they were complaining about like the too sexy dance routine got the Glee kids in trouble with the principal. The song list joke wasn't making fun of Jesus or religion but that in their punishment the school was going to the extreme in other direction of being inappropriate by giving them a song list of religious songs for a public school group. I really think that OMM needs to watch more than one episode before they condemn something. Or better yet, maybe they should just stick to making those decisions for their families and let make them for mine.

Rebecca said...

Gleeeeeee! I love Glee.

ppinette said...

Jezebel - you're going about this all wrong. Glee is definitely inappropriate for children. And that's by design! It's meant to be raunchy and even distasteful, because it's a satire. It's black comedy. The songs, dance moves, and dialog are meant to be shocking. You should give this one to OMM, because frankly, they're right. It's not a kid's show, it's a show for adults who want to see somebody pee all over High School Musical.

Jezebel said...

ppinette - I agree that the show isn't for kids but I don't see how that makes the OMM right. Their action alert claims that the show 'targets children AND teens'. As I said in the post, I agree that teens are probably in the show's target audience, but I don't agree with the OMM that the show targets young children.

The OMM draws a comparison with High School Musical then complains that Glee isn't "family friendly" like HSM is. My point is that Glee never claimed to be just like HSM, and the fact that show is on Fox (not Disney) at 9pm with TV-PG ratings makes that pretty clear. Yes, I'm sure that some young kids saw commercials for a new show about a high school where kids sing and dance and wanted to watch it, but the Moms act as if they were misled somehow into thinking that the show was okay for their young children to watch, but that's not the case.

Evan said...

Jezebel...the irony of your name!