Oh, to be 15, to be the powerhouse behind a $1 billion franchise, and to have your "artistic" portrait--taken by Annie Leibovitz--be criticized! Teen star Miley Cyrus's photographs for the June issue of Vanity Fair have prompted a war of the words between the teen star, Disney (which produces her wildly popular "Hannah Montana" show) and the magazine.
The photograph shows Cyrus, seemingly topless, covered by a sheet, and when Entertainment Tonight promo'd it over the weekend, one parent and blogger suggested that people burn their children's Hannah Montana items in a bonfire. Cyrus issued a statement to People magazine, saying:
"My goal in my music and my acting is always to make people happy. For Vanity Fair, I was so honored and thrilled to work with Annie [Leibovitz]. 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."
Disney added, "Unfortunately, as the article suggests, a situation was created to deliberately manipulate a 15-year-old in order to sell magazines."
Vanity Fair claims Cyrus's parents were on set the entire time: "Miley's parents and/or minders were on the set all day. Since the photo was taken digitally, they saw it on the shoot and everyone thought it was a beautiful and natural portrait of Miley." However, according to a source, her parents left before the final shoot, and Cyrus was asked to take off her "flesh-colored tank top."
Last year, Leibovitz's portrait of Queen Elizabeth was revealed to mixed reactions. Still, not since Suri Cruise have Leibovitz's photos of a minor been so scrutinized.