By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood April 28, 2008 at 5:51AM
What were they thinking? Vanity Fair can shoot 15-year-old Disney pop star Miley Cyrus in a silk bedsheet if they want to. Clearly, mighty star photographer Annie Leibovitz was persuasive; Cyrus thought she was participating in something "artistic," she told People.com, adding that from now on she would "trust my support team."
But the reps behind the Hannah Montana family brand should be ashamed of themselves, not only for showcasing their teen star as a sex object, but misreading her fanbase. It's obvious and stupid. According to Vanity Fair's statement to E.T., Cyrus's parents were at the shoot. Here's the NYT and Reuters:
"For Vanity Fair, I was so honored and thrilled to work with Annie. 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," Cyrus said in a statement published on People magazine's Web site.
The Disney Channel backed up the rising star saying in a statement that "a situation was created to deliberately manipulate a 15-year-old in order to sell magazines."
No one from Vanity Fair was immediately available to comment.
But in a statement to the TV show "Entertainment Tonight," Vanity Fair defended itself.
"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," said the magazine's statement.
Regarding the photos on the Internet, Cyrus said these were "silly, inappropriate shots" and she was sorry if she had disappointed anyone.
"I appreciate all the support of my fans, and hope they understand that along the way I am going to make mistakes and I am not perfect," she said.
"Most of all, I have let myself down. I will learn from my mistakes and trust my support team. My family and my faith will guide me through my life's journey."
[Originally appeared on Variety.com]