Miley Cyrus, the 15-year-old star of Disney’s cash cow Hanna Montana, is in big trouble after some overly sexual photos of her where published in the June issue of Vanity Fair magazine. The photos were taken by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz and the photo causing controversy shows Miley posed topless, with her chest covered. Miley is quoted in the magazine as saying “I think it’s really artsy. It wasn’t in a skanky way”. This is true. The photo is incredibly lame, especially when compared to the recent photos of Lindsay Lohan for New York Magazine.
The problem is it comes hot on the heels of other photos that sully the wholesome image that Miley has cultivated and it puts at risk a television show that appeals to tweeners and generates over a billion dollars for Disney.
Since the controversy erupted Miley has released a statement apologizing for the photos. She told People Magazine:
I took part in a photo shoot that was supposed to be 'artistic' and now, seeing the photographs and reading the story, I feel so embarrassed, I never intended for any of this to happen and I apologize to my fans who I care so deeply about.
Annie Leibovitz has also joined the fray:
I'm sorry that my portrait of Miley has been misinterpreted, Miley and I looked at fashion photographs together, and we discussed the picture in that context before we shot.
The controversy has been fueled by the tabloids thirst for fallen starlets, something that Vanity Fair reporter Bruce Handy touched on in his accompanying article. He writes that “all the celebrity weeklies have been ratcheting up their focus on her (Miley Cyrus). With Lindsay Lohan rehabbed and Britney Spears under psychiatric care, the tabs are looking to Cyrus to flame out, or at least do something mildly outrageous.”
It seems that Vanity Fair has done just that.