Selena Gomez Fires Back Over ’13 Reasons Why’ Controversy

From the very beginning, 13 Reasons Why has been an intensely compelling drama, but it now seems it has been a little too realistic and far too emotionally draining for television. Viewers and critics are blasting 13 Reasons Why, particularly for the way in which it deals with topics related to teen suicide, and audiences aren’t the only ones taking offense. Car Seat Headrest, a band which has contributed music for the show’s soundtrack, is condemning 13 Reasons Why, while another artist, Selena Gomez, defends the series.

Car Seat Headrest Fires Criticism at 13 Reasons Why

13 Reasons Why, Hannah Baker

As E! News shared, Car Seat Headrest, which is fronted by singer Will Toledo, took to Twitter on Sunday to call out 13 Reasons Why for its treatment of suicide. The band criticized the Netflix series for glorifying suicide, going so far as to suggest 13 Reasons Why may be increasing the suicide problem by outlining methods to complete the act.

“As someone who contributed to the soundtrack for 13 Reasons Why, I am obliged to tell you all that it’s kind of f**ked,” tweeted the band’s official Twitter account.

In a second tweet, an explanation of the first tweet was offered.

“Writers: please don’t tell kids how to turn their miserable and hopeless lives into a thrilling and cathartic suicide mission.”

Co-produced by Selena Gomez, 13 Reasons Why tells the story of Hannah Baker, a bullied high school student who commits suicide. The character leaves behind a collection of cassette tapes on which she recorded her reasons for killing herself and those she blamed for bullying her in school.

“Kids: this is not a narrative you need to subscribe to. Go watch Spring Breakers instead,” wrote Car Seat Headrest in a third tweet.

The reference to Spring Breakers was specific for the reason that Gomez starred in the film, drawing more criticism against the entertainer-turned-producer.

Selena Gomez Responds to Car Seat Headrest

Selena Gomez, 13 Reasons Why

Given the amount of criticism 13 Reasons Why has already received, Glamour reports that Selena took an opportunity to make a statement about the Netflix series. In speaking about the show, Gomez admits that the production crew went into the project knowing there would be some backlash in response to the subject matter of the drama.

“We wanted to do it justice and, yeah, [the backlash is] gonna come no matter what,” Ms. Gomez said. “It’s not an easy subject to talk about, but I’m very fortunate with how it’s doing.”

Selena is also proud of the way 13 Reasons Why has attracted so much attention, drawing in a wider viewership than she had ever expected. Ms. Gomez says the show helps to open up dialogue about suicide and the stigma attached to discussing it publicly.

“I’m a little overwhelmed and very surprised,” Gomez said of the success of 13 Reasons Why. “I mean, I believed in the project for so long, and I understood what the message was. 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…I’m overwhelmed that’s it’s doing as well as it’s doing.”

Netflix has also responded to public concern over the subject matter with which 13 Reasons Why deals, stating that they have been conscious of potential criticism early on in the project. The network further states that they have full confidence in the show’s producers to deal with suicide in a well-informed and sensitive manner, adding that Gomez and her writers have all consulted medical professionals.

“The series carries a TV-MA rating as well as graphic content warnings preceding specific episodes, along with an after-show and companion website with additional resources,” Netflix adds. “Our members tell us that 13 Reasons Why has helped spark important conversations in their families and communities around the world.”

[Featured Image by Jesse Grant/Getty Images]