13 Reasons Why has received its share of controversies because of its realistic and graphic depiction of suicide. Most recently, the show has been blamed for the suicide of a man in Peru. But despite the controversies, the show will not censor anything in Season 2 and will stay as real as the first season.
13 Reasons Why inspired a copycat’s suicide
Franco Alonso Lazo Medrano, 23 years old, took his own life in Peru after yelling “I can’t stand a heartbreak.” His action was allegedly inspired by the hit Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why. According to Yahoo! News, local news outlet Diario Clarin reported that Medrano left two suicide notes—one is addressed to a woman named Claudia, while the other one contains a list of people that he left recorded tapes for.
Medrano said that the people in the list contributed to why he decided to commit suicide. No direct reference was made to the Netflix show in his suicide notes, but 13 Reasons Why Season 1 revolved around the death of Hannah Baker who left recorded tapes for people whose actions led to her taking her own life. It was based on the book written by Jay Asher and published in 2007.
Mental health groups, as well as parents and schools, have expressed their concerns that 13 Reasons Why puts those already at risk in great danger of committing suicide. The show, however, believes that it is an important issue to talk about.
Season 2 to remain real and authentic
Despite the criticism, the executive producer and the stars of the show maintained that 13 Reasons Why Season 2 will not sugarcoat anything. “It’s going to be just as important and dark,” Dylan Minnette (who plays Clay Jensen) told The Hollywood Reporter.
“I would be shocked if anything is censored. The whole goal of the show is to be real and tell the story in a true way. And if they weren’t going to do that in more scenes, I don’t think they’d keep going with the show. They aren’t going to sugarcoat anything. We haven’t done it from day one, and I don’t think we’re ever going to do it.”
“Censored? No,” executive producer Tom McCarthy confirmed. “As artists, our job is to present, and other people can have opinions about it and react. That’s our job. I’m very proud of the show.”
— 13 Reasons Why (@13ReasonsWhy) June 7, 2017
Selena Gomez, who is also an executive producer for 13 Reasons Why, defended the show from controversies. She said that the show reflects the realities for many teens, most of which are grim, as reported by Rolling Stone. In an interview with Elvis Duran on Z100’s The Morning Show, the singer said, “I understood that we were going into something that is difficult, but these kids today are so exposed to things that I would never even have comprehended when I was eight.”
“I feel like if this is what we are going to talk about, we might as well do it in a way that’s going to be honest, it’s going to be real.”
Gomez further explained that it may be uncomfortable for people to talk about, but the truth is, this issue is happening. She hopes that 13 Reasons Why would help people to accept what’s happening and do something to change it.
Selena Gomez opens up about '13 Reasons Why' controversy and mental health https://t.co/lTSkb7iMTc
— TIME (@TIME) June 8, 2017
In response to the growing concerns from mental health experts and educators, Netflix said it would strengthen its advisory warnings for the series, add a viewer warning card before the show, and emphasize “the messaging and resource language in the existing cards for episodes that contain graphic subject matter.”
13 Reasons Why Season 2 picks up a couple of months after the end of Season 1. It will be released on Netflix in 2018.
[Featured image by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]