HBO might think it’s revolutionary to show Zendaya snorting it up on camera, but one group is just saying no to TV drug use ... yep, you guessed it!
The good folks at D.A.R.E (yes, it’s still around, even in 2022) are speaking out on what they say is the glamorization of substance use -- and in many cases, abuse -- that’s depicted throughout the hit series "Euphoria," especially right now as Season 2 gets underway.
A rep for D.A.R.E tells TMZ ... "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."
Just to give you one example of how dark this show is, Zendaya’s character, Rue, actually almost OD's during an episode this season ... and, ironically, takes even more drugs to prevent it. And yes, it’s shown in graphic detail ... as is much of the sex and other taboo topics tackled in the series.
The EPs have said their approach to all this is “honest,” but D.A.R.E. says otherwise ... adding, “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.”
Now, D.A.R.E. isn’t just here to criticize ... they say they actually wanna collaborate to help send the right message to real-life kids, "We would welcome the opportunity for our team, including members of our high school-aged Youth Advocacy Board, to meet with individuals at HBO who are involved with producing Euphoria to present our concerns directly."
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If this attitude comes off as antiquated, well there’s a reason for that ... D.A.R.E. was super popular in the ‘80s and ‘90s, especially with Nancy Reagan behind the “Just Say No” campaign. But, while that slogan might be dated, D.A.R.E. says everything they stand for in talking about the dangers of drugs is not, insisting "Euphoria" is doing more bad than good.
And, big picture ... they say there's a better way to have a convo about this heavy subject matter.