7 Harry Potter Film Moments That Feel Unbearably Cringe in 2023
Not every film ages like good wine.
Harry Potter is indeed a cinematic classic. Debuting in 2001, the film series developed into one of the most successful franchises ever made, grossing almost $8 billion at the box office. However, as much as it was loved, some scenes from the films haven't aged well.
Here are eight things about the Harry Potter films that will likely make modern audiences cringe.
Overlooked Child Abuse
As the story begins, we learn that Harry's parents are dead, and he's being raised by his aunt and uncle, who put him up in a small windowless room under the stairs or the attic. They generally treat him like a servant, abusing him verbally and physically, and this issue is never addressed properly in the films.
Now, when it comes to slavery, the Harry Potter movies never go into much exposition about the enslavement of house elves. It's just seen as normal, even by the story's protagonists. Maybe it has to do with the fact that the slaves, in this case, are not human, but the main characters' indifference to the issue is extremely disturbing.
The entire notion of Slytherin is problematic. Any child who displays a tendency towards the unusual or stands out from the norm is simply cast into this house, turning it into a convenient holding area for potential villains while they're growing up.
Instead, Hogwarts could have tried to make these students feel welcome and appreciated by their peers – perhaps, this approach could have prevented the rise of future Voldemorts.
Although Umbridge arguably deserves every derogatory nickname, the scene where she's taken away by a herd of centaurs into the forest is incredibly unsettling, as it stirs fear regarding what those notoriously lustful creatures might do to her.
No means no, and if your affection isn't reciprocated, it doesn't mean you should resort to a love potion to manipulate someone's feelings and make them fall in love with you. It is as revolting and demeaning to you as it is to your victim. Unfortunately, Harry Potter embraces love potions.
Lack of Diversity
In Harry Potter's defence, it is set in the 1990s-2000s Britain, which was predominantly white outside major cities like London. Moreover, the franchise did attempt to incorporate some cultural representation – take Dean Thomas, for instance. But this is still not enough by today's standards.
While half-giant Hagrid is extremely likeable and one of the most beloved characters in Harry Potter, other plus-size characters weren't as fortunate in the films. Harry's uncle and cousin, for example, were often ridiculed for their size, which is nothing short of cringe in 2023.