Singer’s award sparks controversy

The children’s commissioner for Wales, Peter
Clarke, has been asked to investigate the decision to name
16-year-old singer Charlotte Church as “Rear of the Year”.

award has sparked controversy in Wales, and the Welsh assembly
deputy education minister Alun Pugh is urging the commissioner to
intervene over what he sees as sexual exploitation of young

told the Welsh assembly that he was appalled to see the young
singer’s record company engaged in such exploitation and he urged
the show business industry to “look at the way that it conducts
itself on that dividing line between childhood and

“School-age children need
protecting from marketing executives who think it is clever to
trade in sexual images,” he added.

Church, who was 16 in February,
is the youngest-ever winner of the award.

spokesperson for the commissioner said no decision had yet been
taken on whether to investigate the matter, but that there was a
serious issue surrounding the sexual exploitation of young

is an underlying issue in the way that children and young people
are seen by the media. Church is famous because of her singing
voice and making judgements about her appearance could have the
effect of making other young people unnecessarily concerned about
their body image,” she said.

said that she was flattered by the award but added that she thought
it was very silly.

spokesperson for Church’s record company, Sony Music, denied that
she had been exploited.

“Church is a uniquely talented
singer and has one of the finest voices of her generation. It is on
these qualities that Sony Music has marketed her. We totally agree
that the exploitation of minors is wrong and we do not accept that
Church has been exploited in any way,” she said.


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