Entertainment

“13 Reasons Why” Does Much More Than Glorify Suicide, Selena Gomez Explained

Selena Gomez / 13reasonswhy / Instagram

Selena Gomez, executive producer of “13 Reasons Why,” a show that covers the aftermath of a high school student’s suicide, is the latest to come out in defense of the show’s subject matter. While “13 Reasons Why” received generally positive reviews, the show has drawn sharp criticism for what some consider its “glorification” of suicide.

In a recent radio interview, Gomez defended the show’s uncompromising depiction of suicide.

#BadLiar 5.18

A post shared by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) on


While appearing on the Elvis Duran radio show, Gomez responded to criticism of the show’s subject matter, saying, “I think a lot of that stuff is uncomfortable for people to talk about, but it is happening. Hopefully [the show] will open the door for people to accept what’s happening and actually go and change it.” Gomez also added that in addition to suicide, “13 Reasons Why” covers several important subjects affecting teenagers — mental health, depression, bullying, sexual assault, and substance abuse — which is helping create a national conversation around these issues.

“13 Reasons Why” has been connected to several suicides and suicide attempts among teenagers since its premiere on Netflix.


While the show has achieved critical success, it hasn’t quite escaped controversy, as several suicides around the country have been blamed on the show. As the San Diego Tribune reported, many experts are concerned about how teenagers interpret the show’s message. “The show is out there. Everyone is talking about it,” clinical psychologist Azmaira Maker told the San Diego Tribune. She warned, however, “For one group of teenagers, it can be educational. But for others, it can be a high risk for triggering feelings, thoughts and ideas that may push them to more impulsive actions.”

Gomez also discussed what people can expect from season two of “13 Reasons Why.”


As Entertainment Weekly pointed out, Gomez dropped some hints about what’s in store for season 2 of “13 Reasons Why,” saying:

“In season 2 we’re going to answer a lot of questions, and a lot of resolution with the characters is going to come. We go into the resolution of where these characters are going. I was freaking out about where they were going because it was really encouraging and empowering. We’re going to take a little inspiration from the first, and bring it into the second.”

Check out Gomez’s thoughts on “13 Reasons Why,” starting at the 10:09 mark.

Elvis Duran Show / YouTube

As of now, no date has been given for the second season for “13 Reasons Why.”

(More: Entertainment Weekly)

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Cast Of Netflix’s ’13 Reasons Why’ Intervenes On New Cast Member’s Behalf After Online Trolls Get Out Of Control

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Cast Of Netflix’s ’13 Reasons Why’ Intervenes On New Cast Member’s Behalf After Online Trolls Get Out Of Control

13 Reasons Why: Season 3 Kiss Scene!!! Grace Saif and Clay Jensen

Grace Saif deleted her Instagram after “13 Reasons Why” fans bullied her relentlessly. Fans of the show didn’t like the new character Ani, who is played by Saif, and misplaced that hatred by harassing her on social media. Saif’s bullying comes in the wake of aggressive “stan culture,” particularly aimed at women and women of color. 

When misogyny and anti-blackness mixes, we call that misogynoir and many felt Saif has become victim to it. While there is a lot to say about fans who cannot separate the actress from her character, it is much easier for fans to characterize a black woman as unlikeable.

Why don’t “13 Reasons Why” fans like Grace Saif? [*Spoilers Ahead*]

Season 3 introduced viewers to Saif’s Ani Achola, who is a new student at Liberty High School and the omniscient narrator. Fans did not find Ani’s character convincing but this was largely due to plot holes. Viewers didn’t understand how a new girl at school knew so much about students at Liberty, and they weren’t sold on her storyline regarding Bryce’s death.

Rather than crediting the writers for a lackluster season, they targeted Saif on social media and accused her of ruining the show. 

Grace deletes Instagram and makes Twitter private.

The online abuse became so difficult she decided to cut off the source. While we won’t be sharing many of the harassing Tweets and comments on social media because why share that hatred, they so ubiquitous you’ve probably already seen a few in your feed.

There’s a long history of harassing women actresses on social media. 

Daisy Ridley who plays Rey in the latest Star Wars reboot deleted all her accounts and said she would never return to social media due to misogynist bullying in 2017. Meanwhile, her Star Wars co-star Kelly Marie Tran faced a similar fate after experiencing anti-Asian and misogynist bullying in 2018. 

Women who are a part of a series with a rabid fanbase tend to be larger targets of bullying and if they are women of color or queer it is so much worse. In July, Candice Patton who portrays Iris West on The Flash experienced so much racist bullying by fans who can’t deal with Barry Allen having a black wife, her co-star Grant Gustin had to step in to shut things down

But the rest of us aren’t putting up with bullying.

Saif’s co-star Timothy Granaderos Jr., who plays Monty de la Cruz, spoke out against the ongoing harassment and encouraged fans to chill out. 

“Hey Y’all, just a reminder. Whether or not you support, like, or love, a character in our fictional tv show—please remember that there is a talented and beautiful actor/actress bringing those scripted words to life,” Granaderos Jr. wrote on Instagram. “One of the underlining themes in our show is to take care of each other. I’ve seen some pretty nasty things being said online, concerning the introduction of a new character. Y’all are passionate & we love you for that, but PLEASE PLEASE try to be kind and respect the work of the talented actress/actor behind the character. Love y’all & keep taking care of each other.”

Anne Winters who plays Chloe Rice told People the backlash against Ani was unwarranted. “Ani is amazing, Grace who plays Ani is like the sweetest girl ever. I really loved her character this season,” she said. 

Fans on social media showed support for Grace Saif.

“I stand with grace saif. so now people’s reason for abusing another BW is for being so bomb at her job she convincingly plays a multi-layered, complex character? we cannot win. you haters can duck out. grace keep shining we got you boo,” tweeted @JazleeJones.

Oh, the irony…

“I wasn’t really rocking w Ani in #13ReasonsWhy but I find it cruel how y’all bullied this woman until she deleted all her accounts! It’s just a show guys. Hell yeah her character was annoying but y’all forget that this shit isn’t real @gracesaif I hope you’re doing fine,” one fan wrote.

And this whole thing is ironic because the series “13 Reasons Why” aims to address difficult issues including bullying. 

Many felt that fans missed the entire point of the series by harassing Saif.

“The irony here… it stinks. First you 13RW fans fight against bullying. Now you (not everyone) are bullying an actress who played someone you didn’t like. I’ve seen Ani and most of all Grace Saif receive more hate than Bryce and Justin Prentice. You guys are disgusting,” another fan pointed out.  

However, the Netflix show, whose main demographic is teens, has come under fire multiple times, for glamourizing behaviors on the show like suicide and sexual assault rather than examining or condemning them, by psychologists and mental health experts. 

Whether the show is good or not has nothing to do with Grace Saif. Stop the misogynoir! 

The New ’13 Reasons Why’ Season Trailer Is Out And It Looks Like They’re Killing Off A Pretty Major Character

Entertainment

The New ’13 Reasons Why’ Season Trailer Is Out And It Looks Like They’re Killing Off A Pretty Major Character

Get ready, everyone. The controversial, zeitgeist-defining show “13 Reasons Why” is back for season 3. And although we said a permanent goodbye to Hannah Baker last season, this season it looks like we’ll be saying goodbye to someone else. 

Bryce Walker. That’s right, the psychopathic rapist and Bully No.1 of the last two seasons appears to have been laid to rest in a new trailer that just dropped Thursday. 

And according to the same trailer, the cause of his death is nothing other than murder. 

That means that “13 Reasons Why,” a show that has become infamous for its graphic depictions of teen trauma, seems to have pivoted to murder-mystery format. 

So not only have the students of Liberty High been subject to dealing with the aftermath of a classmate’s suicide, multiple rapes, and an attempted school shooting, they can now add “murder” to the list of events they’ve had to deal with. We don’t know if any school counselor in the history of school counselors would be equipped to help with so much trauma. 

As a refresher for those of you who haven’t watched (or don’t remember) the ending of Season 2, we left off with us seeing Jessica feeling newly empowered after testifying about being sexually assaulted by Bryce, seeing Hannah’s parents deciding on divorce after losing their lawsuit against the school, and seeing Clay successfully thwart Tyler’s plans to carry out a school shooting. However, we were left hanging when it came to whether or not Clay would be blamed for Tyler’s school-shooting attempt.

The new one minute and thirty-six seconds-long trailer starts with an ominous voice-over that describes the unusual circumstances for the students at Liberty High. 

A mysterious British voice addresses a man named “Deputy Sandal” (presumably the man that will be investigating Bryce’s murder”). “Here’s the thing about the kids at Liberty High,” she says. “They’re connected by their secrets. Connected and forever changed. The truth is: given the right circumstances, the right motivation, anyone could have done this.”

The “this” in question is the murder of the aforementioned Bryce Walker. 

At the end of the trailer, Bryce’s mother pleads with Bryce’s classmates to reveal any information they may know of about the circumstances surrounding his death. “If any of you know anything. Please say something.” As usual, series protagonist Clay looks internally tortured and possibly ready to combust at any moment. 

A lot is riding on the upcoming season of “Thirteen Reasons Why” after their much-criticized previous seasons.

The show, which is considered one of Netflix’s most successful series, has long been a flashpoint for critics and parents alike who believed the show sensationalized serious subjects such as rape and suicide. 

Indeed, one recent study blamed “Thirteen Reasons Why” for a spike in suicide rates among teens after the show debuted. For its part, Netflix has responded to the accusations by calling the topic “critically important” and vowing to “ensure that [they] handle this sensitive issue responsibly”.

But regardless of the controversy surrounding the series, many viewers still can’t wait to see what happens with Clay and the rest of the gang from Liberty High.

The popularity of Netflix shows is unprecedented among Gen-Z’ers. Practically all of the internet is speculating about #WhoKilledBryceWalker and sharing their theories on Twitter.

This person makes a pretty convincing argument that the newest season is a set-up for a plot twist.

This is just further evidence that the show evolved from a Public Service Announcement to “Pretty Little Liars”.

This person sums up pretty accurately what most of us feel about the third season as well as Bryce’s death:

The creators knew what they were doing when they enticed us with the murder of the television most-hated character (second to King Joffrey, of course).

Some think Bryce Walker was a victim of suicide.

It would make sense that a young man who acted out so much hate on other people would secretly have the same amount of hate directed towards himself.

Others (like many of us) is confused as to why this show is still airing when it was based on a standalone novel.

Honestly, after the thirteenth tape was played on the last season, that really should’ve been it.

As for us, we can’t wait for the newest season simply in order to comb through Twitter for the inevitable new memes the season provides. Season 3 of “13 Reasons Why” is set to premiere on August 23rd on Netflix.