Pop Quiz: What’s Wrong With This Promotional Still For Glee?

The hiatus for Glee is almost over, and buzz is starting to build again. What better a way to build excitement than to release some promotional stills, right?

A promotional photo of the cast of Glee, photographed against a white cinderblock wall. Moving from left to right, the image has a sign reading 'Join Glee Club' attached to the wall, and then the characters Quinn, Puck, Mercedes, Tina, Finn, Rachel, Kurt, and Artie. Sue Sylvester is holding a can of red spray paint which she has just used to x out the sign and draw across the members of the Glee club. The line is at chest level on everyone but Artie, who is seated. The line goes across his eyes. Off to the side, Will, Terri, and Emma are standing with horrified expressions.

Found via kaninchenzero’s Tumblr.

ETA: Shortly after this post went live, I learned via access_fandom that Glee is being recognised with a ‘Television with a Conscience‘ award for its depiction of disability.

About s.e. smith

s.e. smith is a recalcitrant, grumpy person with disabilities who enjoys riling people up, talking about language, tearing apart poor science reporting, and chasing cats around the house with squeaky mice in hand. Ou personal website can be found at this ain't livin'.

9 thoughts on “Pop Quiz: What’s Wrong With This Promotional Still For Glee?

  1. CLEARLY, there is no other way they could have set that up! Also, on second glance, I noticed HIS LEGS ARE CROSSED. [rage]

  2. I think that’s what Kevin McHale thinks Artie’s legs are supposed to look like. He always sort of has them bent to one side.

  3. My first thought was, “Oh no they didn’t! ” followed quickly by ***head-desk*** “Oh crap! They did.They really did.”


    I don’t even know where to begin but this still makes me sick to my stomach.

    It’s actually quite a disturbing image when you deconstruct it. From the violence of being sprayed in the face with a chemical to the position of Artie’s hands and feet making it look like his hands and feet have been bound, there is just so much that is horribly wrong about this picture.

    The next time I hear anyone defend “Glee” as progressive towards the portrayal of PWD, I’m going to show them this picture.



  4. The award makes me sick – they stick an able-bodied actor in a chair, make him a main character (in an ensemble) show et voila, awards!

    I tried watching an episode on hulu… just no.

  5. oooh oooh! call on me! Is it perhaps because, though the other characters are given the indignity of having an outfit ruined by spray paint, ummmm the kid in the wheelchair apparently is fucking ASSAULTED by the spray paint wielder? Could that be it!?!

    You know what could of been interesting, if they had the paint aimed higher and therefore he had come out unscathed. It might actually do that whole “edgy” and “progressive” thing they keep pretending they are aiming for, by turning on its head the idea that being in a wheelchair is just the worst possible thing in the world.
    Just a thought.

  6. Non-watcher question – if it’s called Glee and it’s a musical (they used a Beatles song in an ad – arghgrrfragglerock!) – why the promotional still which shows an adult attacking the Glee club?

    Is it because she’s in charge of cheerleading and, like most schools, extra-curriculars are fighting for money and/or recognition? (My school had cheerleaders, but no “Glee club”. We had a choir. Now get off my lawn!)

  7. Sort of, Kaitlyn. The Glee Club is getting recognition and this is apparently threatening to Sue, so she goes at them pretty strongly. And I think (I’m just reading this into it, from the fan-stuff I’ve read) Sue is a very popular character, because of her “over-the-top” reactions to the Glee Club, so they may be highlighting her.

    Her grief is basically with Will, who is the director of Glee, but she uses the students and their lives in order to ruin Will’s

  8. Thanks, Anna.

    You know what bothered me on a second look? The “chest high” hit 3 of the 4 girls … in the chest. Excuse me, even on a shirt, I don’t want spray paint across my boobs.

    But how does this bring new viewers in?

    Oh, seems wacky, she blinded a kid with spray paint and assaulted the others! Or is it just in-joke-y, we’ve got enough viewers, who cares what happen?

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