Euphoria accused of promoting drugs: Zendaya responds

euphoria season 2
HBO

“What we’ve always tried to do is help people feel a little less alone in their experience and their pain.”

The broadcast this Sunday evening of the fifth episode of season 2 ofEuphoria made a lot of noise. Showing his main character, Rue (played by Zendaya), in the midst of a crisis after his family discovered his supply of drugs, the character is unleashed very violently on all his relatives during a very emotional episode. This is part of an even more intense season than the first, depicting a little more the reality (and behind the scenes) of drug addiction. An addiction deemed poorly represented by the DARE program (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) which is mobilizing in the United States to prevent the use of controlled drugs, gang membership and violent behavior. According to one of its representatives, Euphoria is guilty of promoting drugs. A charge to which Zendayabut also the director Sam Levinsonwanted to answer.

Euphoria: Rue and Zendaya back in the first trailer for season 2

For DARE, Euphoria at “unfortunately and erroneously” depicted high school students using drugs, leading to “addiction, anonymous sex, violence, and other destructive behaviors as common and prevalent in the world today”. A statement made to TMZwhich continues with: “It is unfortunate that HBO, social media, TV critics and paid advertising have chosen to call the show ‘groundbreaking’, rather than acknowledging the potential negative consequences for school-aged children who are today. face unparalleled mental health risks and challenges.”

For its part, the production ofEuphoria assured not to want to glorify the drug, but rather to focus on the journeys of those who are subjected to it, like Rue. “Our series is by no means a moral tale to teach people how to live their lives or what they should do. The sentiment behind Euphoriaor what we’ve always tried to do with it, is to help people feel a little less alone in their experience and their pain.”said Zendaya, actress and producer of the series, to Entertainment Weekly. “And maybe feel like they’re not the only ones going through or dealing with what they’re dealing with.” Zendaya added that he ist “really important that there is light at the end of the tunnel” for his character. “I think if we can still care about her after that, then hopefully other people can expand that to non-fictional characters, real people, or just be a little bit more understanding and empathetic to the experience of addiction and what it does to people, what it does to their families”Zendaya continued to EW.

“I think that [l’épisode 5] allowed me to release all that. And I’m very grateful to be in a space where I feel comfortable and safe, and with actors and actresses that I’m obviously very close to. After every take, we hug, we talk about it, we kiss, we check in, because obviously it’s like a war zone.” The actress also testifies to a very difficult shoot for this episode, having left the set with bruises, and still having scars. An experience that highlights one of his Instagram posts, published before the launch of season 2 and reminding us that this season was very intense and could shock its audience.

Malcolm & Marie – Sam Levinson: “Zendaya’s talent has no limits”

However, Zendaya believes that this episode and this series in general are necessary, that they allow to put a lived experience on experiences often too far from oneself: “My biggest hope is that people can connect with it and that those who need to heal and grow with Rue can, at the end of this season, feel that hope and change in her. A lot of people tell me have contacted and found many parallels, of all ages and walks of life (…) Rue means a lot to them in a way that I can understand, but also maybe in a way that I could never understand , and that’s what means the most to all of us.”

Regarding Sam Levinson, creator and director of the American series (adapting it from the series of the same name broadcast in Israel and created by Ron Leshem), Euphoria does not represent an idealized view of drugs, in that it is based on real events. The filmmaker has indeed drawn on his own youth to write the series, reflecting his own story. “I spent the majority of my teenage years in and out of hospitals, rehab centers and halfway houses. I was a drug addict, and I took anything and everything until I couldn’t anymore. hear, breathe or smell” he says at the 2019 premiere, as reported variety. “It really scared me in a way that if I were to die today, who would I be? I’m a thief. I’m a drug addict. I’ve been shitty to almost everyone I love in my life (…) There was this voice which was crystal clear and which said: ‘stop taking drugs.’ I’ve been clean for 14 years” he concludes.

As a reminder, Euphoria is a series adapted by Sam Levinson (Malcolm & Marie). It began broadcasting its first season in 2018, with eight episodes and two specials, before starting its second season on January 10. Its trailer:

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