Last month, several mental health organisations and celebrities spoke out against Netflix’s original series, 13 Reasons Why.
The show follows the story of Hannah Baker, a teenage girl who commits suicide after leaving a series of voice recordings explaining why she did it.
The series, which is based on Jay Asher’s novel of the same name, was accused of romanticising suicide, with the likes of Zara Larsson and Paris Jackson urging their followers not to watch the show due to its “triggering” content.
Now the show’s executive producer, Selena Gomez, has spoken out in defence of the series – insisting that they were prepared for backlash when they started making it.
Speaking to AP, Selena explained: “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.
“We wanted to do it justice and, yeah, [the backlash is] going to come no matter what.
“It’s not an easy subject to talk about, but I’m very fortunate with how it’s doing and I’m overwhelmed, very proud of it.”
Selena previously revealed that she’d joined the show in a bid to offer her support to struggling teens, but many mental health charities have warned against watching it, claiming that it could be “damaging” as it includes “dangerous content”.
Headspace is just one of the organisations to lash out at the show, particularly blasting Hannah’s incredibly graphic suicide scene.
Traditionally, broadcasters are urged not to depict the method or location of any screened suicides in detail, with watchdogs fearful that graphic scenes could both trigger and inspire vulnerable people watching.
Meanwhile, the TV series of ’13 Reasons Why’ actually changed Hannah’s suicide method from the one used in the book, seemingly in a bid to add shock value and to make it more gory.
As well as the celebs, many shocked viewers have taken to their Twitter pages to slam the show and warn “vulnerable” people not to watch it, with one writing: “I genuinely think anyone who has mental health issues should NOT WATCH 13 reasons why.
“Not only is it triggering, but it glorifies suicide.”
We have contacted Netflix UK for comment.