Taylor Swift is one of the most popular pop stars in the world. And in recent times, the “You Belong To Me” singer has been reported to be in not so good terms with Selena Gomez. Once great pals, the two were earlier this year rumored to have ended their friendship, after Selena Gomez was reported to be working on shutting out “bad influences,” including Taylor. This was following a rehab stint.
Presently, Swift is taking a hiatus away from the limelight. However, Selena is not, and has been busy working on Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why series, amongst other projects. The film is about a female student who commits suicide after going through numerous demoralizing situations, caused by individuals around her.
The story follows her classmate, Clay Jensen, as he tries to find out what caused her death. Before committing suicide, she leaves 13 audio cassettes to classmates, she says prompted her decision. The victim’s role is played by Katherine Langford as Hannah Baker. The story is based on the 2007 novel Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher.
The show has caused major controversy, with critics pointing out that it seems to glamorize suicide, an aspect that Gomez, who is one of the executive producers has tried to counter. The following are some of her recent statements in response to the criticism.
“We stayed very true to the book…what Jay Asher created was a beautifully tragic, complicated yet suspenseful story and I think that’s what we wanted to do. 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’m overwhelmed, I’m very proud of it.”
Just about a month ago, Taylor Swift’s former pal expressed her surprise about the success of the project, stating the following on Instagram.
“Our show @13reasonswhy came out tonight and I couldn’t be more overwhelmed with pride and joy. After 7 years of holding onto this book, I couldn’t of picked a better time for this message to exist. Jay Asher wrote a beautifully tragic, compelling story and we were lucky to have brought it to life. Thank you to every single soul that put their heart into this passion project.”
Our show @13reasonswhy came out tonight and I couldn't be more overwhelmed with pride and joy. After 7 years of holding onto this book, I couldn't of picked a better time for this message to exist. Jay Asher wrote a beautifully tragic, compelling story and we were lucky to have brought it to life. Thank you to every single soul that put their heart into this passion project
That said, psychologists have issued a warning about the series, stating that it might be dangerous, especially for impressionable teens going through depression and related situations. According to Harold S. Koplewicz, the Child Mind Institute president, the film seems to offer suicide as an alternative to teenagers, when everything else fails. The following is his statement as reported by USA Today.
“It’s not only the content, but the message it gives, which is that there is no help and that suicide is glamorous and effective. It’s a false message, and it has a contagious effect.
“Koplewicz said decades of research has shown that when one teen commits suicide, there can be clusters, where more suicide follow.
“This program is coming into living rooms with attractive kids, who seem cool and with it, and are very witty, and they are giving the message of ‘once you are dead, you can get revenge on the people who were mean to you.”
This dangerous element about the film was echoed by Robert M. Avossa, Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent, who recently cited a rise in disturbing ‘risk taking’ behavior, particularly affecting elementary and middle-school students. Suicide threats and self-harm incidents were some of the incidents on the increase, following the release of the 13 Reasons Why film. This is as reported by The Washington Post.
Numerous school officials have advised parents about the film whose potential effects cannot be ignored, because of its dominant theme. However, as highlighted by Taylor Swift’s former chum, Gomez, suicide is a hard subject to talk about.
[Featured Image by Jason Merritt/Getty Images]