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New York Times Article on Amount of Alcohol Use in Half-Blood Prince

HBP Film
Posted by: sue
July 29, 2009, 11:38 AM

A columnist for the New York Times has written a piece that asks "Does Hogwarts have a drinking problem?" in relation to what they seem to feel is rampant drinking that takes place in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The article starts out by claiming "parents may be surprised by the starring role given to alcohol. 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."
 

The author of the piece continues: "Previous Harry Potter movies have shown drinking, but this one takes it to a new level. In one scene, Harry, Ron and Hermione order butterbeers at the pub, and Hermione ends up with a frothy mustache. While it’s never been entirely clear whether butterbeer is alcoholic, it seems to have an effect on the normally uptight Hermione, who acts tipsy walking home as she throws her arms around the boys.

As the mother of a 10-year-old Harry Potter fan, I was taken aback by the reaction of the young people in the theater. They snickered at Hermione’s goofy grin and, later, guffawed when an inebriated Hagrid passed out. While I don’t think my daughter fully understood what was going on, I wondered how other parents, educators and addiction experts would react.

Liz Perle, a mother of two teenage boys and the editor in chief of Common Sense Media, which reviews books, movies and Web content aimed at children, said she was bothered by so many scenes showing alcohol as a coping mechanism. “Hermione is such a tightly wound young lady, but she’s liberated by some butterbeer,” she said. “The message is that it gives you liquid courage to put your arms around the guy you really like but are afraid to.”

..."Overseas audiences may respond differently to the drinking scenes. In England, the legal drinking age is 18, but 16-year-olds can order alcohol if they’re eating a meal. (Even by those standards, the teenagers in the movie were flouting the law: during the pub scene, no food was served.)

A response from Warner Bros "said the drinking scenes were “open to different interpretations. 'One of our main objectives in bringing the Harry Potter films to the screen has been to remain as faithful to their original source material as created by J. K Rowling,” the company wrote in an e-mail message, adding that the wizarding world “should not be held to the same standards as the real world.' "

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282 Comments

Avatar_moose_thumb
504 Points

This kind of article anoyes me as the author seems to have missed several important points firstly its fantasy, people in the HP world do lots of thinks we can’t. Secondly, I’m sure these children have seen people drink alcohol before including the whinging parent/author who wrote the piece. and thirdly is the author really expecting tv/movies and the media to do all the parenting for them? kids see things around them every day and ask questions,(except Harry Potter ;) who should have asked a few more) good parenting is part of how you answer these sometimes awkward question.

In conclusion, get a grip on life and spend some more time parenting properly and less time writing into newspapers whinging.

Rant over :)

Posted by pinkmoosely on July 31, 2009, 05:10 AM report to moderator
Noavatar-thumb
35 Points

People need to get a freaking life!!! That stupid lady from the magazine was only seeing what she wanted to see! If she cared to remember, they were drinking in their first year! And, drinking one butterbeer isn’t nearly enough to make someone tipsy. With all the suffering and other problems in the world, I can see how she is so upset with this insignificant part of a movie. Who cares if there are people around the world dying! Hermione is tipsy! She should put her cares and concerns into something that actually needs attention.

Posted by MadelineG on July 31, 2009, 11:12 AM report to moderator
Matt_thumb
71 Points

Oh jeeze! Hermione coming out tipsy from the Three Broomsticks?? Priceless! Get a grip.

Posted by Siriusly Devoted ((ROAR)) on July 31, 2009, 11:18 AM report to moderator
Rupes_maggie_thumb
24135 Points

that’s just ridiculous

Posted by hermyone*ROAR* on July 31, 2009, 01:44 PM report to moderator
Hp_avatar_thumb
51 Points

I agree with everyone else who has commented! No one is going to decide to go get drunk just from seeing this movie. Get a sense of humor!!!

Posted by CallawayMADness :) ROAR!!! on July 31, 2009, 07:27 PM report to moderator
Mms_picture_thumb
4556 Points

That’s ridiculous. Beyond ridiculous. I don’t know about the rest of you, but to me, this shows how low society has sunk.

Posted by Kaylie Marie [FTC!] on July 31, 2009, 10:45 PM report to moderator
Mms_picture_thumb
4556 Points

That’s ridiculous. Beyond ridiculous. I don’t know about the rest of you, but to me, this shows how low society has sunk.

Posted by Kaylie Marie [FTC!] on July 31, 2009, 10:48 PM report to moderator
Mms_picture_thumb
4556 Points

That’s ridiculous. Beyond ridiculous. I don’t know about the rest of you, but to me, this shows how low society has sunk.

Posted by Kaylie Marie [FTC!] on July 31, 2009, 10:50 PM report to moderator
Lexi_dumbledore_harry_wands_thumb
7662 Points

I just looked up Half-Blood Prince on fandango, and alcohol use isn’t even listed as a reason for PG rating. Does that mean alcohol can be seen in a G movie? I don’t think so. The rating wasn’t even mentioned in the article though. You’d think they would be complaining about how the MPAA rated this film. Also, did they realize that Draco was doing the wizarding equivalent to pointing a gun at his HeadMaster? That’s more important than than drinks, I’d say!

Posted by Lexi*the*Auror on July 31, 2009, 11:16 PM report to moderator
The_claw_normal_thumb
1455 Points

Lexi, I was going to say the exact same thing. With all the terror in the movie, she’s worried about butterbeer? (which I always thought of as similar to rootbeer, not alchololic beer.) And I bet the kids never associated Hermione’s actions with the butterbeer anyway. You have a student threatening to kill his headmaster/principal, and you are worried that you kids will find that as a way to deal with a teacher they don’t like? Sheesh.

Oh, and what point did you not hear that the books (and thus the movies) were getting more mature? So you take a ten-year old to this movie without checking it out first? Sounds rather irresponsible as a parent to me.

Posted by OrlandoDaddy [WBM] on August 01, 2009, 12:54 AM report to moderator
Avatar_hp_thumb
4024 Points

WOW!! I think that’s been put a bit out of context lol!

What about the deaths, torture etc….?!

Ronhermione_thumb
4452 Points

i hate overprotective parents!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! in kids shows in their ‘real-life stories’ they always show alcohol, drugs etc etc!!! its butterbeer!!!! it would be like a really mild beer, u EEJITS!!!!!!!!! hate people like that.

Darthhallows_thumb
12382 Points

I’ve always had mixed feelings about the alcohol use in Harry Potter. I understand that it’s differant in the US than in Europe, but here (the USA) it is considered compleatly inappropriate to had a teenager a glass of Mead, Wine or Whiskey yet alone let them order drinks with small amouts of alcohol. However the prohibition of drugs and a drinking age being 21 has lead to an epidemic of young people altering their consciousness in some way. It is better to teach people the truth than to ban something completely. After all that’s the one sure way to get someone to do somthing; by prohibiting it. The most important thing is honest comunication, tell your children the truth. It does them no good to say it’s wrong untill your twenty one as they watch you have a drink at dinner or during the game. That being said; I am a recovering alcoholic but I will not condem alcohol use even among teens, their is nothing good nor bad about alcohol it is like everything it’s how you use it that determines it worth. The teens in Harry Potter use alcohol in moderation; they are not bing drinking or using it as an escape from their problems, of which they have many. The key to steaming the tide of alcohol and drug addiction is PROPER education-not horror stories and lies- and setting a possitive examples for young people.

Posted by StarWarsHippie on August 01, 2009, 05:05 PM report to moderator
Profile_thumb
75 Points

Haha. Much of this is cultural. Americans are obsessed with alcohol as if it’s the most evil thing on the planet. As long as your parents teach you about it properly, it’s not a problem. I had my first bit of wine at the dinner table when I was 8. I’ve never drunk heavily, never had a hangover, never been sick and when I turned 18 I had one beer. We have a very different (and imo more healthy) attitude to alcohol in Europe traditionally.

Posted by David Wood on August 01, 2009, 05:16 PM report to moderator
Profile_thumb
75 Points

Haha. Much of this is cultural. Americans are obsessed with alcohol as if it’s the most evil thing on the planet. As long as your parents teach you about it properly, it’s not a problem. I had my first bit of wine at the dinner table when I was 8. I’ve never drunk heavily, never had a hangover, never been sick and when I turned 18 I had one beer. We have a very different (and imo more healthy) attitude to alcohol in Europe traditionally.

Posted by David Wood on August 01, 2009, 05:16 PM report to moderator
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