Zendaya is defending her hit HBO series Euphoria after the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) organization accused the series of glorifying drug use among teens. For unversed, D.A.R.E. released a statement in late January where they called out Euphoria for choosing to, “misguidedly glorify and erroneously depict high school student drug use, addiction, anonymous s*x, violence, and other destructive behaviors as common and widespread in today’s world.”
And recently, the Spider-Man actress responded to D.A.R.E.’s statement with one of her own in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, revealing their show is not a ‘moral tale.’ “Our show is in no way a moral tale to teach people how to live their life or what they should be doing,” the actress began.
Zendaya further said to the outlet, “If anything, the feeling behind Euphoria, or whatever we have always been trying to do with it, is to hopefully help people feel a little bit less alone in their experience and their pain.” “And maybe feel like they’re not the only one going through or dealing with what they’re dealing with,” she continued.
Meanwhile, D.A.R.E.’s statement added, “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.”
They also added that the organization would, ‘welcome the opportunity’ for their team, including their, ‘high school-aged Youth Advocacy Board, to meet with individuals at HBO who are involved with producing Euphoria to present our concerns directly.’
However, Sunday night’s episode, Stand Still Like a Hummingbird, featured Zendaya’s character Rue Bennett perhaps at her lowest, running away from her family after they tried to get her help as she continues to talk about suicide. While Rue may have hit rock bottom, Zendaya, who also serves as an executive producer on the series, made it clear her character may not be there for long.