Is Harry Potter a lush?

New movie promotes teen drinking, critics say


In the latest Harry Potter film, Neville serves drinks, Hermione gets tipsy and Hagrid passes out after one too many. It’s got critics saying the movie promotes alcohol to teens. Studies suggest that teens are influenced by drinking in films: a 2007 study of about 5,600 German teens found that, even accounting for variables like friends’ drinking habits, those with high exposure to alcohol in American movies were almost three times more likely to binge drink. “In scene after scene, the young wizards and their adult professors are seen sipping, gulping and pouring various forms of alcohol to calm their nerves, fortify their courage or comfort their sorrows,” Tara Parker-Pope writes on her New York Times blog. In one scene, for example. Hermione gets a frothy moustache after drinking butterbeer, then throws her arms around her male companions. “Hermione is such a tightly wound young lady, but she’s liberated by some butterbeer,” mother Liz Perle, the editor in chief of Common Sense Media, told Parker-Pope. “The message is that it gives you liquid courage to put your arms around the guy you really like but are afraid to.” Warner Bros., which released the movie, said the scenes are open to “different interpretations,” and said the Harry Potter universe “should not be held to the same standards as the real world.”

The New York Times

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Is Harry Potter a lush?

  1. Big whoop, teenagers drink. Get over it.

  2. Perhaps Tara Parker-Pope should actually read the books and find out what butterbeer actually is before she condemns the movie.
    Give me a break, Get a life lady.

  3. It shouldn't be overlooked that citizens and lawmakers in the UK (where the book's author and characters are based) have very different views on consumption of alcohol by minors than we do here in North America. Technically, in Britain it is perfectly legal for a minor over the age of five to drink (beer, wine, or cider – but not spirits) in their own homes. Beer, wine, or cider may be consumed by teens over the age of 16 in restaurants or pubs, provided they are accompanied by an adult.

    These attitudes may seem lax to us – and apparently upsetting to tightly wound folks like Ms. Parker-Pope – but it's hardly a promotion of underage binge drinking. Perhaps Ms. Parker-Pope and friends would benefit from a nice cold one, might help them enjoy a fictional movie rather than picking it apart for non-existent subliminal messaging.

  4. When are adults going to learn that teens who want to drink are going to drink regardless of movies, music, or laws that encourage or try and stop them.