Glee‘s Dianna Agron has taken to tumblr to pen a 500-word response to the controversy surrounding the racy photo shoot she and co-stars Lea Michele and Cory Monteith did for GQ. She writes:

“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 8-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?

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 24 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…..”

Earlier yesterday, GQ editor Editor-in-Chief Jim Nelson responded to an accusation from the Parents Television Council that the photo shoot “borders on pedophilia” by standing by the magazine’s creative decision. “The Parents Television Council must not be watching much TV these days and should learn to divide reality from fantasy,” Nelson told The Insider. “As often happens in Hollywood, these ‘kids’ are in their twenties,” he added. “Cory Monteith is almost 30! I think they’re old enough to do what they want.” Self-proclaimed Gleek Katie Couric has also come down hard on what she termed “raunchy photos” by arguing a point similar to the one EW’s Jennifer Armstrong blogged Tuesday: “These very adult photos of young women who perform in a family show just seem so un-Glee-like,” Couric said in her CBS News “Notebook” segment. “The program is already edgy in the right ways, these images don’t really — in my humble opinion — fit the Glee gestalt.”

What do you take away from the situation: For me, it’s a respect for Agron, whose explanation was both candid and fair to everyone involved. I hope she uses that strong voice as she continues to navigate her career and the media circus that will surround her. She’s got to be in a tough spot: At 24, on your first hit show, you don’t want to get a reputation for being difficult, but when that show does push the envelope — and the sexy schoolgirl shoot is an option (I guarantee you that GQ wasn’t the first or last publication to try to exercise it) — you’re going to have to speak up or that Sharpie marker will run out of ink.

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