Actor Daniel Radcliffe is facing a firestorm of controversy for smoking on stage in his current stage production of Equus, on the grounds that his Harry Potter character is so ubiquitous that it will indirectly encourage children to smoke. Radcliffe, 17, is being targeted specifically by ASH, an anti-smoking organization. ASH spokesperson Amanda Sandford has said "It is regrettable that he is smoking, whatever the circumstances. He is a role model for young people and if he decided to take up smoking in real life that would be of great concern." Sandford also seems to be against the whole idea of smoking in plays in general, adding "Even though it is an act, nicotine is highly addictive and he could find himself hooked."
Radcliffe also recently sat down with the British Telegraph to talk about Equus and defended his right to be naked on stage if he wants, which is also apparently a problem to some people. "I didn't look at the nudity and go, oh great. But it's the same as doing a role with an accent or a particular affectation. Lots of the actors that I've admired at one stage or another have taken their kit off. It's a rite of passage. The iconic scene is the physical and emotional climax of the play. So if I do that with pants on, it would be crap."