HBO’s critically acclaimed teenage drama, Euphoria, has been heralded for its cutting-edge approach to cinematography and the rawness of its character development.
Executive produced by Drake, the show has even featured cameo appearances from rappers like Lil Meech. But nevertheless, it’s the way in which the storytelling often highlights substance usage that has the drug resistance program D.A.R.E. up in arms. In a statement made to TMZ, the Los Angeles-based organization condemned the show, which stars Zendaya, for misguiding the very demographic that they have been trying to discourage from using drugs for the past forty years.
“Rather than further each parent’s desire to keep their children safe from the potentially horrific consequences of drug abuse and other high-risk behavior, HBO’s television drama, Euphoria, chooses to misguidedly glorify and erroneously depict high school student drug use, addiction, anonymous sex, violence, and other destructive behaviors as common and widespread in today’s world,” the organization said. “It is unfortunate that HBO, social media, television program reviewers, and paid advertising have chosen to refer to the show as ‘groundbreaking,’ rather than recognizing the potential negative consequences on school-age children who today face unparalleled risks and mental health challenges.”
While the showrunners for Euphoria have defended their artistic viewpoint in the past, sighting real-life premise, they have yet to respond to D.A.R.E. directly.