It's been just a few weeks since season 2 of "13 Reasons Why" was released on Netflix, and as of today, the show has officially been renewed for a season 3 to be released in 2019. Just like when the first season was released, the show received some serious backlash for its contents. It features Hannah's suicide, several different sexual assault cases, and mental health
Here's the thing, these are all real problems...problems that the world is afraid to talk about. That's why the show gets protested.
Hannah, Jessica, Chloe and Tyler are each sexually assaulted on separate occasions. There are so many other characters, that are not recurring (such as Nina), who are also victims of sexual assault. Each of the characters struggle to live their lives after the traumatic events they experienced because of an attack.
According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, "Rape is the most under-reported crime; 63% of sexual assaults are not reported to police (o). Only 12% of child sexual abuse is reported to the authorities (g)." Additionally, "One in five women and one in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives (a)." What the characters in this show endured is something very real that men and women deal with every day.
Hannah's suicide is another big issue mentioned in protests of the show. Suicide is something that many people struggle with, no matter their age. About 44,965 Americans die each year due to suicide, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. There are so many others just like Hannah. It recently broke the news that designer Kate Spade also committed suicide. Suicidal thoughts and actions can loom over anyone, no matter who you are.
Another big part of this show's storyline is the concept of mental illness. "Approximately 1 in 5 youth aged 13–18 (21.4%) experiences a severe mental disorder at some point during their life. For children aged 8–15, the estimate is 13%, [and] approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.—43.8 million, or 18.5%—experiences mental illness in a given year," according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
At a panel for the show, one of the executive producers, Selena Gomez, told CNN that she related to this show, and she wanted to help others who relate as well. "They have to see something that's going to shake them. They have to see something that's frightening. ... I want them to understand it. ... I would do anything to have a good influence on this generation," says Gomez.
Yeah, some parts of the show are hard to watch. The things these kids go through is crazy, but it's things that so many people have to live through. The show starts a conversation about the things we're too afraid to talk about. The producers have opened up about the research they have put into making sure they portray mental illness, suicide and sexual assault as accurate as possible.
We are so uncomfortable with the events of the show because it's stuff we are too afraid to talk about and teach younger generations about.
If you have something negative to say about this show, make sure you have watched it before saying awful things about it. Yes, some parts of the show are hard to watch, but it's bringing awareness to the issues that need attention. There are so many other Hannah Bakers in the world that need to know they aren't alone. There's always someone who is willing to help you make it through whatever you're dealing with.
The topics touched on in '13 Reasons Why' are real things that real people deal with. You can be a victim to any of these things, no matter your age, gender, or race. This show started a very important conversation in our world.