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The Cricket
Sean P. Means
Sean is the movie critic and columnist for The Salt Lake Tribune. Follow him on Twitter @moviecricket.

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Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, Emma Watson as Hermione Granger and Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows - Part 1," the seventh film in the series.
The fake uproar over Harry Potter's 'nude' scene

It apparently doesn't take much to get people hot and bothered -- just mention the words "nude scene" and "Harry Potter" in the same sentence.

News reporters were abuzz last week with the story that co-stars Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson would be in some state of nakedness in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1" -- and reporters (like KSL's Cleon Wall) dutifully got up in arms on behalf of panicky parents.

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The rumors were totally fact-free, of course, as the parents being interviewed and the reporters stoking the "outrage" had not actually seen the movie.

The Cricket has seen the movie (wait until Friday, when the movie opens nationwide, for the review), and can now bring some facts to the table. (The obligatory SPOILER ALERT warnings should be heeded now.)

Radcliffe is indeed shirtless, while Watson told MTV News that she was wearing a strapless bra. Both were also wearing silver paint to create a nightmare effect for poor Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) -- whose worst fear is that Hermione (Watson) would reject the poor-but-valiant Ron for the illustrious Harry Potter (Radcliffe). They are seen in this state for about 3 seconds.They are seen with enough mist, smoke and special-effects additions that any flashes of skin are obscured.The movie is rated PG-13, "for some sequences of intense action violence, frightening images and brief sensuality." This is not the first movie in the series to earn a PG-13; "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" and "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" did, too. Those films, though, earned their ratings only for violence and frightening images.Parents need to remember something about the "Harry Potter" series, both as books and movies: Harry Potter grows up, so what's appropriate behavior in the first installment (when the character was 11) and what's appropriate in the final chapter (in which he comes of age) are different.

The fans have grown up right along side Harry. Preteens who read "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" when it first came out are adults now, and don't expect to see their beloved hero remain a kid forever.

And why would parents be upset now over a 3-second bit of sensuality (which, in context, is integral to the story and to the development of Ron's character) when they weren't upset about the PG-13 bloodshed and violence that has already been seen in two of the previous six movies? Particularly when the MPAA is notorious for being much harsher in its ratings regarding sexual content than regarding violence?

Two words to the parents, and to the reporters who want to gin up a controversy where there is none: Chill out.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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