Photos of ‘Glee’ Actress Ripped for Glamorizing Abuse

First the hair-salon ad, now this

I'm starting to feel a little battered by violent imagery. Last week, we had that hair-salon print ad that showed a woman with a black eye receiving a diamond necklace from her partner. Now, controversy is swirling around Glee actress Heather Morris, who sports a huge shiner and has her wrists bound by an iron's power cord in a photo series by celebrity photographer Tyler Shields. Parsing what such efforts might be trying to "say" is a waste of keystrokes. Intellectually and artistically, they say nothing. They're crass publicity ploys. The "cool-down" phase of the Morris affair has already begun with the announcement that the photos will be auctioned off to benefit an abuse charity. We'll throw money at the tragedy we've exploited! Let's all watch Glee! That tactic trivializes the deeper, darker issues briefly brought to the surface. Plus, the speed of the spin makes the broader debate—active at present over Morris, but waning; already vanished in the case of the salon—seem as transitory and insignificant as the manufactured controversies themselves. Like a pulled punch, there's no lasting impact.