New York City, NY — by Sunny Sequeira
This story was originally published on New York University’s Washington Square News.
Content warning: This article contains descriptions of pedophilia and child pornography.
After premiering over two years ago, “Euphoria” returned early last month with a highly anticipated second season. While the series has garnered significant attention and a loyal fanbase, its explicit sexual content warrants substantial criticism.
There are numerous examples of characters who are minors being exploited in season one of “Euphoria.”
One student, Kat Hernandez (Barbie Ferreira), is filmed engaging in sexual acts, and the video is posted online. While efforts are made to condemn this moment by the show’s writer — such as Kat acknowledging the video as child pornography and the school principal vowing to find out who published it — the show ultimately depicts her embracing it by having her become a camgirl.
Kat engaging in underage sex work is participation in her own sexual exploitation — not a reclaiming of her sexuality — as she is a minor and cannot understand the full scope of sexual activity. This is not directly addressed in the series, nor is the trauma and grooming that come with camgirling. Consequently, the show implies that camgirling is simply profitable and sexy instead of informing its audience of the repercussions. This glamorization of underage sex work is detrimental to young viewers as it could lead them down a similarly dangerous path.
Season two of “Euphoria” continues to display gratuitous sexual content. This exposure can cause discomfort and panic for viewers, incite similar high-risk activity or influence a child’s expectations about sex. Considering minors are impressionable, presenting characters in unsafe circumstances favorably could create a positive association, when these experiences should really serve to caution viewers.
Read the rest of the story at Washington Square News.