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Daniel Radcliffe Stars in Harry Potter and the Sex-Crazed Media

July 9, 2009

By many accounts, including a recent Parade Magazine interview, Daniel Radcliffe is a thoughtful, level-headed fellow. Like any sensible human being whose name and image are known around the world, he’d probably rather keep certain things private while publicly talking more about the work that made him known in the first place.

As Radcliffe grows into adulthood, this combination of qualities seems to be making the media increasingly desperate to talk about his penis. And not just because of Equus.

Several media outlets are jumping on Radcliffe’s recent, brief statements on his dating preferences. In last month’s Parade interview, the 19-year-old actor argued that teenage girls “have to be entertained more than older girls do,” and so he prefers dating 20-somethings, although he says that most of the girls he dated like to look for men on a sugar daddy site. Then, on the red carpet at this week’s Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince premiere, the star indicated that he had reconsidered this stance and “widened the field,” saying that “girls his age are now mature.”

Unlike Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World, I haven’t hacked into any celebrity cell phones lately, so I can’t know what brought about this abrupt change of mind. Perhaps Radcliffe had just met a smokin’ 18-year-old at the premiere and wanted to get wizardly with her at the afterparty. If so, we’ll learn all about it in US Weekly, I’m sure, whereas The Atlantic already covers the beat on the Harry Potter franchise’s sexual content (or lack thereof).

The real point of fascination here is the gossip industry’s reliably Pavlovian response to the alarm bell of withheld information. At all costs will they get the story they are “due,” even if that story ends up being not at all salacious and, in fact, utterly boring. In this case, that story can be written succinctly as, “Daniel Radcliffe is interested in dating teenagers and girls in their 20s.”

Well done, o prurient little children of the media. I can’t help feeling a little bad for Daniel Radcliffe, having to interact with you petty, giggling invaders while trying to discuss and promote his artistic work.

Of course, if it’s like this for a young male actor, I can’t even imagine the experiences of female teenage stars, prematurely tarted up and sexualized for the benefit of cameras and the creepy men behind them. No wonder those girls almost uniformly become trainwrecks in their young adult and adult lives.

So says the guy who yesterday wrote about kids “getting into” Miley Cyrus’s new jeans. I almost feel bad about that.

  1. Anonymous permalink
    July 10, 2009 4:46 pm

    Well said and I certainly concur. And, I have to confess, your term, “get wizardly” is a new one on me which only proves you can teach an old dog new tricks. I do a trend, distinquished writer, however, in your entries. One day it is ass. The next day penis.

  2. Jeff permalink
    July 10, 2009 4:48 pm

    p.s. That Anonymous was me but I imagine you already guessed that by the old dog reference.

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