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Selena Gomez Addresses 13 Reasons Why Controversy

For each of Hannah Baker's (Katherine Langford) explanations presented in Netflix's 13 Reasons Why, critics have a matching number of reasons why the show is dangerous, excessively graphic, and downright bad. Selena Gomez, executive producer of 13 Reasons Why, recently spoke out against the criticism, tackling head-on the controversy surrounding the series. 

Speaking in an interview on Elvis Duran and the Morning Show, Gomez defended the show. She stated that the topics explored in 13 Reasons Why are actually happening in real life, and that young viewers nowadays are more mature, and thus more capable to handle darker television content. 

"This is happening every day. Whether or not you wanted to see it, that's what's happening," Gomez said. "The content is complicated. It's dark and it has moments that are honestly very hard to swallow, and I understood that we were doing something that is difficult. But these kids today are so exposed to things that I would never even comprehend when I was eight [years old]. My cousin teaches third grade and they're doing things and saying things that I couldn't even fathom."

Gomez continued, explaining that though she understands the adverse reactions some have had, she believes 13 Reasons Why sparked a necessary conversation. "I feel like if this is what we're going to talk about, we might as well as do it in a way that's honest, is real, and stays true to the book," said Gomez. "So all the questions that came up, and all the talk about it is valid and I understand it. That stuff is uncomfortable for people to talk about, but it is happening and hopefully, it opened the door for people to actually accept what's happening and actually go and change it, talk about it."

In the past, 13 Reasons Why came under fire for its insufficient content warnings, its alleged romanticization of mental illness, and its explicit depictions of sexual violence, self harm, and suicide. And by the sounds of Gomez's comments, she and the 13 Reasons Why team are somewhat reluctant to truly listen to audience feedback and viewers' concerns—stubbornness that could spell trouble for the show's forthcoming second season. But perhaps the creatives truly are trying to learn from their past missteps, working behind the scenes to create a more sensitive show moving forward. 

13 Reasons Why is slated for another season with Netflix, but no release date has been announced. Until we catch wind of when the show will return, find out what really happened at the end of season one