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Children In Film President Toni Casala Discusses the Miley Cyrus Photo Controversy with USA Today.

May 05, 2008

As a 20-year veteran of the entertainment industry, Toni Casala can understand why many parents were discouraged by the photos taken by Vanity Fair's Annie Leibovitz.  "This type of photograph came two years too soon," says Toni Casala, president of Children In Film, a social networking site for parents of Hollywood talent.  "I'm shocked no one at the shoot thought those poses were inappropriate for someone her age."

On one hand: Before the pictures pinged around the globe, Cyrus expressed regret and embarrassment, and Disney insisted that the 15-year-old Hannah Montana star had been manipulated.  On the other: Widely viewed video of the shoot shows a cooperative Cyrus posing at length with her father, Billy Ray Cyrus.

But embracing a risque' image to propel a career isn't a strategy that works in all cases, says Robert Pafundi, a talent manager with MGA Talent, (Children In FIlm Board of Advisor) which years back launched Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.

Miley "should be aiming for TV and movie roles that really stay true to who she is and the image she has created, " Pafundi says.  "She will grow up fast enough, and there's just no need to accelerate that process."

Indeed, Cyrus' age is what proves the biggest stumbling block for industry experts who otherwise admire her career choices. Read More