Warning: The following article contains discussion of suicide that some readers may find triggering.
13 Reasons Why has been heavily discussed in the past month or so since it dropped on Netflix.
The show has largely sparked controversy over its subject matter, which includes hard-hitting topics such as sexual assault and teen suicide.
In fact, it has caused so much distress among some viewers that an Australian mental health foundation has seen a spark in calls from people saying the show has been triggering for them.
However, the show’s star Katherine Langford – who plays the central character Hannah Baker – has addressed the controversy, arguing that it has resonated with people in different ways for different reasons.
“Of course there’s controversy,” she told The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon. “I think things like these instigate discussion, which is the important part.
“And I think we cover so many important issues in the show that are going to affect people differently depending on their own personal context.”
She continued: “And I’m like everyone’s feelings are valid, so I’m not going to tell anyone to feel anything differently, but personally being directly involved in the show and seeing the thought and consideration that went into it…
“Also being a young adult, playing a young adult and covering issues that are relevant, I feel really proud of the way we covered it and the way we showed things.
“The other cool thing is, when Netflix says, ‘Yes we made this piece of entertainment’, and there was a focus on trying to show it in a way that served justice to message in the book.”
“But then what they also did is I feel like they’ve taken responsibility in the aftercare,” Katherine continued. “So we have a 30-minute Beyond the Reasons, which plays straight after 13, there are trigger warnings on nine, 12 and 13. And for me personally, I kind of take that upon myself.
“My Instagram following has just grown exponentially, and I pretty much put the links to 13reasonswhy.info and the organisation itsonus.org – I put their links in my bio. Because I figure if one in 10 girls watch that out of five million, you’re going to hopefully help a lot of people.”
Meanwhile, 13 Reasons Why has been renewed for a second season, and it has been confirmed that we will see Hannah again in season two too.
13 Reasons Why is available to stream on Netflix now.
Suicide is preventable. Readers who are affected by the issues raised in this story are encouraged to contact Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org), or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). Readers in the US are encouraged to contact the National Suicide Prevention Line on 1-800-273-8255.
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