The controversial Netflix series 13 Reasons Why will be returning to the network for a third season despite backlash from viewers that the show can be too graphic and upsetting to watch. Reed Hastings, the streaming service’s CEO, jumped to the series’ defense after Season 2 sparked outrage with a controversial rape scene that viewers called “horrifying,” according to The Independent.
“13 Reasons Why has been enormously popular and successful. It’s engaging content,” he said during the company’s annual shareholder meeting. “It is controversial. But nobody has to watch it.”
The show has been at the center of controversy since its first season as it depicted scenes of violence, rape, and suicide. The streaming channel made the announcement that it had renewed 13 Reasons Why for a third season on June 6. On the show’s official Twitter page, a video was posted that showed a school locker with the number three scrawled on the outside. The caption read, “What happens now? Season 3 of #13ReasonsWhy is coming.”
Fans of the show are wondering what issues and storylines Season 3 could explore after the show’s current season ended with one of the most disturbing and violent storylines ever seen on the network. A scene where Monty (Timothy Granderos) violated Tyler (Devid Druid) with a mop handle led many viewers to call for the show’s cancellation.
The horrifying incident led to Tyler’s attempted shooting, bringing an automatic rifle to a school dance. Clay Jensen (Dylan Minnette) was left holding the weapon after he calmed Tyler down and convinced him not to shoot anyone.
“We condemn Netflix for renewing its teen-targeted suicide drama 13 Reasons Why,” said Parents Television Council president Tim Winter in a statement, as published by The Independent. “The company already potentially has the blood of children on their hands from keeping this series – with its graphic suicide scene, its sodomisation of a teen boy and a potential school shooting, among other adult content – on its platform for children to view.”
The series showrunner Brian Yorkey said at a Netflix FYC panel of the series, as reported by The Independent, “It’s a question of, is there more story to tell, do we want to see these kids not only continue to recover but, how do they bring forward into their lives the thing they’ve learned about what they’ve been through? What happened to Hannah will always be the first clause of the story.”
“The rest of the story is about young people, as so many young people, maybe all young people today (learn) how to heal from the things that have hurt them…to make the world that they want it to be, not just the world they are inheriting… and above all, how to take care of each other,” he continued.
The third season of 13 Reasons Why will not debut on Netflix until 2019. The official start date for the new episodes will not be confirmed until spring of 2019.