The debate of our time

They're the all-singing, all-dancing sensational hit of modern-day US television sets, taking adult and teen fans alike through the all too familiar scenes and rites of passage undertaken by teenagers the world over but with enough sardonic wit to make us stand up, take notice and belt out a number of two ourselves (well, at least on Wii's Glee Karaoke game...)

But how far does the audience of 'Glee' become influenced by the way that the show's characters deal with the issue of homosexuality and bisexuality? Are teenagers discovering feelings they simply do not have, purely through visual association?

This is the case that has been put forward over the airwaves by network FOX TV, with the help of several unrecognisable pundits, Salon informs us. Their opinions about the pre-watershed airing of Glee led one of them to equate the negative influence of gay characters on Glee as akin to injecting drugs.

Salon comments: 'You can't unring the stupid bell, and both [commentators'] ignorant remarks have already been given the undeserved legitimacy of a platform. But as 'Glee' and its ilk continue – not always successfully or convincingly, but at least always with sensitivity and consistency – to explore the issues facing gay and questioning youth and their communities, it remains crucial to keep sending the message to broadcasters to stop booking bigots.

As 'Glee' 'moves forward and its characters explore their loves, their longings, and their individual journeys out of the closet, the punditsphere has got to step up and try a little harder, to say that crackpots don't deserve airtime. Because idiocy and intolerance are neither fair nor balanced.'

Maybe the debate will continue to rage, with some voices from actual teenagers in America being heard. Or maybe the siren song of show-tunes will keep audiences fixed in their seats and in their pre-conceived opinions.

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