Selena Gomez Addresses ’13 Reasons Why’ Backlash: Suicide Is ‘Not an Easy Subject’

Standing up for her work. Selena Gomez addressed the controversy surrounding her Netflix drama 13 Reasons Why amid claims that the show exploits and glamorizes teen suicide.

“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,” the singer, 24, told the Associated Press, referencing the author of the 2007 young adult novel that the show is based on. 

“We wanted to do it justice and, yeah, [the backlash is] going to come no matter what,” added Gomez, who is an executive producer of the series. “It’s not an easy subject to talk about, but I’m very fortunate with how it’s doing.”

The popular show has been a hot topic on social media since it premiered on Netflix on March 31. The series tells the story of a high school student named Hannah (played by Katherine Langford) who commits suicide and leaves behind 13 tapes for her classmates, each containing one reason why she decided to end her life. Some viewers spoke out against the show and its many graphic scenes, one of which shows Hannah committing suicide.

Paris Jackson, who revealed to Rolling Stone in January that she had attempted suicide “multiple times,” recently wrote on Instagram that 13 Reasons Why is “an extremely triggering thing to watch.” She warned viewers to “only watch this show with caution and keep in mind that it may put you in a dark place.”

Gomez, who has also battled mental health issues, is proud of her work on the 13-episode series. “Overwhelmed with the response and love @13reasonswhy is receiving,” she wrote on Instagram earlier this month. “Thank you to each beautiful person who has watched and talked about the message of our show.”

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