13 Reasons Why has been controversial since the day it began streaming on Netflix. The TV series, which is based on the young adult novel by Jay Asher, has been criticized for glamorizing suicide and sending irresponsible messages about mental health. Others have defended the series' graphic depictions of rape and suicide for casting light on topics that are considered taboo.
But regardless of how we feel about 13 Reasons Why, it's nearly impossible to deny that a recent Twitter post from the show's official account is deeply problematic and irresponsible.
As a refresher, when Jessica was raped by Justin's best friend, Bryce, he made no effort to protect his girlfriend. She was incapacitated by alcohol at the time of the assault and initially had no recollection of her own rape. As she began to recover memories, Justin blatantly lied to Jessica and told her that he was the person who had sex with her that night. And, for good measure, he threatened to beat up Clay if he revealed the truth.
It's deeply disturbing that 13 Reasons Why's official Twitter account is romanticizing this relationship, especially given the massive number of impressionable teens who are major fans of the show.
Although, unfortunately, a number of users commented that they 'ship Jessica and Justin, many fans have expressed their disappointment and anger that the account is promoting such an unhealthy relationship.
When she learned the full truth about her rape, Jessica broke up with Justin in the Season 1 finale. The filming of Season 2 is officially underway and we sincerely hope this tweet isn't a hint that they'll get back together.
It's one thing to forgive a person who has betrayed and wronged you, but it's another to resume a romantic relationship with someone who was complicit in your rape. Jessica (and every person out there) deserves better, and presenting this relationship as romantic sends a terrible message.
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If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call 911, or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.