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HBO’s ‘Euphoria’ markets fornication, homosexuality, drug abuse to preteens, critic warns

Martin M. Barillas Martin M. Barillas Follow Martin

HOLLYWOOD, California, June 13, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — HBO's new drama series “Euphoria” depicts graphic nudity and sex acts among teens as well as flagrant abuse of drugs.

In the second episode, a locker room scene includes full-frontal nudity of at least 17 teenage boys. According to HBO, viewers will follow “a group of high school students as they navigate love and friendships in a world of drugs, sex, trauma and social media … ”

The show also depicts drug overdoses, rape, sadism, and homosexuality.

Reportedly, executives at the entertainment giant had asked director Sam Levinson to reduce the number of nude males from the dozens planned. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Levinson said, “There are going to be parents who are going to be totally f***ing freaked out.” Levinson’s father, Barry, is an Academy Award-winning director of movies that include “Wag the Dog” and “Good Morning, Vietnam.”

In a press release, Parents Television Council president Tim Winter warned that “Euphoria” is “overtly, intentionally marketing extremely graphic adult content — sex, violence, profanity and drug use — to teens and preteens."

The show airs June 16.

Levinson told The Hollywood Reporter that he was disappointed HBO nixed his idea of a moving shot that would have focused on the genital area of a character's mother and into her vagina. Instead, Disney Channel veteran Zendaya Coleman does a voiceover for the character “Rue,” who is shown as a computer-generated unborn baby. The voiceover says, “I was repeatedly crushed over and over by the cruel cervix of my mother.” In the series, Rue is shown in the midst of a drug overdose.

According to HBO programming president Casey Bloys, the extent of the nudity and sex depicted was intentional but not meant to be sensational. Some of the scenes, he said, are based on Levinson’s own struggles with drug addiction as a teenager.

However, according to The Hollywood Reporter, young actor Brian “Astro” Bradley left the production due to the pornographic objectionable material. The report said Bradley was “uncomfortable shooting scenes that weren’t in the original pilot script.” Additionally, there was a possibility that the character Bradley would have played also would engage in homosexual behavior. He was replaced by another actor who agreed to participate in a reshoot that depicted sex between two males and one female actor.

“Euphoria” is based on an Israeli television show of the same name. Executive producers of the show are Drake and Future the Prince. The cast members include Zendaya, Maude Apatow, Angus Cloud, Eric Dane, Alexa Demie, Jacob Elordi, Barbie Ferreira, Nika King, Storm Reid, Hunter Schafer, Algee Smith, and Sydney Sweeney.

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