After criticism from anti-drug program DARE, which accused Euphoria of glorifying drug addiction, Zendaya decided to respond to the controversy and defend the series.
Despite its growing success with the public and the press, Euphoria did not escape criticism. Latest controversy to date: the speech of DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education), an American education program founded in 1983 which aims to prevent the use of controlled drugs, gang membership and violent behavior.
Representatives have accused the HBO series worn by Zendaya of glorifying drug use and glamorizing addiction. Their comments were reported exclusively by TMZ :
“Rather than pursuing every parent’s desire to protect their children from the potentially horrific consequences of substance abuse and other high-risk behaviors, HBO’s drama series Euphoria chooses to falsely glorify and misrepresent drug use. drug abuse, addiction, high school sexual activity, violence, and other destructive behaviors as common and prevalent in today’s world.
It is unfortunate that HBO, social media, TV critics and paid advertising have chosen to call the series ‘groundbreaking’, rather than acknowledging the potential negative consequences for school children who today face unprecedented risks and mental health problems.”
Representatives from the DARE program went a step further by offering their help to the programmers at HBO and the show’s crew: “We would welcome the opportunity for our team, including members of our School Youth Advocacy Council, to meet with individuals at HBO involved in the production of Euphoria to present our concerns directly to them.”
Zendaya’s response to criticism
Will HBO accept this proposal for season 3 of Euphoria, officially announced a few days ago? This clearly does not seem to be on the agenda. Faced with these criticisms and this controversy, Zendaya, who plays the heroine Rue suffering from addiction, responded by defending the series from any glamorization of drug addiction to Entertainment Weekly :
“Our series is by no means a moral tale to teach people how to live their lives or what they should do. Rather, the sentiment behind Euphoria, or everything we have and what I’ve always tried to do is to help people feel a little less alone about their experience and their pain, and maybe they don’t feel like they’re the only ones going through or manage what they live.”
After the broadcast of episode 5 of season 2 of Euphoria, by far the craziest and most distressing for Rue and his drug addiction, Zendaya wanted to recall the importance that such a character can have in the lives of the people affected and hopes that the public will be able to understand the reality of the life of a person suffering from addiction:
“My greatest hope is that people can relate to this episode and that those who need to heal and grow with Rue hopefully by the end of this season feel that hope and feel this change in her.
Many people have contacted me and found so many parallels of all ages, from all walks of life. So many parallels to Rue and her story that mean a lot to them in ways that I can understand, but also maybe in ways that I could never understand. Which is very important to all of us.”
Season 2 of Euphoria is currently being broadcast in US+24 on OCS.