Dianna Agron and Lea Michele are pictured as saucy, scantily-clad cheerleaders in the latest issue of men's magazine GQ, and are also featured on the cover in a provocative pose in which their co-star Cory Monteith has his hand on Michele's butt.
The photos caused a storm of protest from the Parents Television Council, with a spokesman insisting the article is "sexualising the actresses" who are heroes to millions of teenage girls.
Agron spoke out this week (begs18Oct10) to underline that the photoshoot was for a magazine aimed at adult males - and now Salling has also defended the pictures, insisting Glee fans are well aware of the stars' real age.
He tells KIIS FM presenter JoJo Wright, "Personally, I think it's not a big deal. Lea is 23 years old and has every right to do that. I mean, come on! We're obviously not in high school. It's tongue-in-cheek that we're in high school. People are starving, (football team Dallas) Cowboys are losing - there's more important things to worry about in the world."
Bosses at GQ have also spoken out to defend the covershoot. A spokesman says, "The Parents Television Council must not be watching much TV these days and should learn to divide reality from fantasy. As often happens in Hollywood, these 'kids' are in their twenties. Cory Montieth's almost 30! I think they're old enough to do what they want."