Updated: May 3, 2017 3:04 pm
Netflix's show 13 Reasons Why has been met with a lot of criticism and some backlash regarding the heavy topics the series covers, including sexual assault and suicide for characters like Hannah Baker and Jessica Davis. So much so that the streaming service has issued a statement to Buzzfeed saying it will be adding additional trigger warnings to the series, aside from the ones already in place during some of the most brutal episodes.
The show is rated TV-MA for mature audiences, which means it might not be suitable for anyone 17 years or under but a lot of teenagers and young people have been gravitating toward the show, also making it the most successful one for the website.
"While many of our members find the show to be a valuable driver for starting an important conversation with their families, we have also heard concern from those who feel the series should carry additional advisories. Currently, the episodes that carry graphic content are identified as such and the series overall carries a TV-MA rating. "
"Moving forward, we will add an additional viewer warning card before the first episode as an extra precaution for those about to start the series and have also strengthened the messaging and resource language in the existing cards for episodes that contain graphic subject matter, including the URL 13ReasonsWhy.info — a global resource center that provides information about professional organizations that support help around the serious matters addressed in the show."
Despite the criticism, the actors and creators of the show have been standing behind the graphic scenes and content, saying it is important to start having these conversations with young people so that we can stop situations like these from happening as a society.
Click through the gallery to see how the stars have defended the show and why they think '13 Reasons Why' is important.
"We stayed very true to the book and that's initially what Jay Asher created was a beautifully tragic, complicated yet suspenseful story and I think that's what we wanted to do," she said.
"We wanted to do it justice and, yeah, (the backlash is) gonna come no matter what. It's not an easy subject to talk about, but I'm very fortunate with how it's doing. I just wanted it to come across in a way that kids would be frightened, but confused, in a way that they would talk about it because it's something that's happening all the time. "
“It doesn’t glorify it whatsoever. It’s necessary to show the brutal reality of things. I don’t think anyone watched Hannah’s suicide scene and was thrilled by it. It’s a very realistic depiction and shows what a horrifying experience that is. That’s not something anyone would want to go through or have anyone go through. After watching it, I was screaming crying. I was so upset by it. Showing it in that way makes it into a reality as opposed to a glorification. She’s not dying peacefully in a bathtub, it’s painful and brutal."
He added, “A lot of people shy away from the reality of what that looks like and what people go through when that happens. When you see it, it opens your eyes to make sure it doesn’t happen to anyone. It makes you want to help people and make a difference.”
"I think we did it the way it needed to be done — in the past, there have been other shows and movies about suicide, and I think that this, in order to be something unique and new and fresh, needed to be real," he told Cosmopolitan.
"When they were shopping the show around the networks, a lot of the networks didn’t want to show the things that we showed. Mandy Teefey [Selena Gomez’s mother, who co-produced the series with her daughter] stood up and said, 'No — if we’re going to do this show, everything has to be seen.' I feel very strongly that we did it the right way."