Last night, while cruising the Intertubes, I came across a sexy photo of Glee actor, Darren Criss. It was a funny, slightly raunchy, and quite obviously a Photoshopped photo that appeared to show a scruffy looking Darren Criss in a serious state of undress and quite possibly doing something of a sexual nature. (Or, maybe he was just barbecuing in a low cut Speedo at 1 o’clock in the morning…it’s impossible to tell.) The photo was very ambiguous…no penis, no testicles, not even an ass crack. It tickled me. (Also it was sexy as hell.) I wrote up a funny little paragraph to go with the photo and posted it as a special Late Night Nooner. I figured it would give the local night owls something to chuckle at while web surfing in between visits to DaddyHunt.com and Squirt. (And, thoroughly titillate our many lovely European readers in Bosnia and Herzegovina.) It was a space filler, a bit of sexy fluff about a ridiculously fake photo…nothing more. There was some rather mild mannered snark about Mr. Criss’s recent devotion to the limelight and some of his weak fashion choices on the Red Carpet, but it’s understandable…he’s young and newly famous and overly excited about being young and newly famous and on a red hot television show. But, it was all meant with lusty affection.
Sadly and quite oddly, the appearance of the photo and my gentle snark about Mr. Criss was not well received by some of his most rabid admirers. Overnight, some keen eyed Crissophiles discovered our post and weren’t pleased by the photo, the tone of my writing, or the fact I didn’t explicitly mention that the photo was manipulated. A VERY devoted Gleekster named “Cat” took major umbrage of this perceived slight of her favorite actor and posted a call to arms on her Tumblr page imploring the trillions of Glee fans across the galaxy to demand that SGS remove the photo of Mr. Criss and even included a template they could use to send to us:
“The photo you released of Darren Criss is in fact a manipulated photo. It circulated Tumblr, a blogging site, a few months ago. It is, in fact, not real. It has been photoshopped from this photo:
I, and many other fans of Darren’s, would appreciate if you took it down before we contact those who work for Darren to force you to take down such a career damaging FAKE photo.”
Well, despite the fact the photo in question couldn’t damage the career of a Catholic priest, let alone a Hollywood actor, (all publicity is good publicity: the first rule of Show Business Marketing 101) the Angry Mob of Female Criss Fans stormed the barricades of Seattle Gay Scene Sunday morning with hundreds of attempts to post inflammatory comments on the post in question as well as hundreds of emails all demanding the removal of the photo and (probably) the public castration of the person responsible, (ie, Me.) Which wouldn’t have been that huge of a problem except for the fact we’re not the New York Times or even The Stranger and we don’t have the bandwidth to support a thousand angry females (like 99.9% of them) all trying to access the site at the same time, with the result that the site kept crashing. Over and over again.
Now, a site you can’t access isn’t much of a site so the fastest solution to stabilize the situation was to remove the post, which, we did. In hind sight, I’m not sure if it was the best solution; maybe we should have let it play out, but my final responsibility is to the LGBTQ community of metropolitan Seattle and their need to be able to get to Seattle Gay Scene to see what the hell there is to do that involves booze, drag queens, hipsters, leather daddies and muscle bears on a Sunday afternoon. I wouldn’t want to be responsible for hordes of aimless homosexuals wandering the streets of Capitol Hill unsure of what they should do, or where they could go to get a Bombay Sapphire Dry Martini. It’s my burden to bear.
But, under NO circumstances did we take down the post because we were ashamed of it, or felt that it was inappropriate or disrespectful to Mr. Criss or “damaging” to his career. Far nastier/more explicit images than the Criss photo have emerged, real and enhanced, and I don’t see Paris Hilton or the Kardashian sisters or Jamie Fox or Jeff Probst begging for a job. We’re sorry that NON-readers of Seattle Gay Scene didn’t care for the photo or the tone of the writing, but you know what…tough cookies. Move on. Darren Criss could give a rat’s ass about that photo. His management team is probably delighted that the photo is out there circulating…it means that Mr. Criss is a hot commodity and highly valuable in terms of positioning for bigger and better offers in the entertainment industry. It’s not a photo that actually involves “naughty” parts of the body. It’s not a photo of Mr. Criss clubbing baby seals, or wearing a Nazi uniform, or inappropriately fondling a 15 year old Girl Scout, or robbing a liquor store in the San Fernando Valley with a traffic cone shoved up his ass. It’s a dumb Photoshopped photo of a cute young actor on a hit TV show. Nothing more.