Warning: spoilers ahead for season 2 of 13 Reasons Why.
Netflix dropped the second season of 13 Reasons Why this past Friday, and there were some familiar themes addressed in the season, regarding sexual assault and how our society punishes rapists.
Brandon Flynn, who portrays Justin Foley, told BuzzFeed News that the character Bryce Walker (Justin Prentice) is like Harvey Weinstein and President Donald Trump.
Flynn said to BuzzFeed, “Bryce is more of the Trump in our show. He’s the guy who clearly has all these fucking allegations against him, all these disgusting qualities, and no one’s saying a goddamn word about it.”
In the show, Bryce is the one the main reasons the Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford) kills herself. Another character, Jessica Davis (Alisha Boe), realises Bryce sexually assaulted her while she was unconscious.
In the show, Flynn’s character eventually testifies during Hannah’s family’s negligence lawsuit against their school and tells everyone that Bryce raped Jessica, while being arrested as an accessory to sexual assault and only serving a little over month in a juvenile detention facility.
Flynn hopes that by exploring these topics in the show, it will help raise awareness to the prevalence of sexual assault in our society and hopes to help people realise “that’s happening next door, that’s happening in our White House, it’s happening everywhere.”
There have now been over 80 women who have come forward and accused Weinstein of assault, though he only admits to inappropriate behaviour. Trump...well, we all know what Trump thinks about the accusations against him.
It’s astonishing how the show realistically portrays the real life responses our society gives sexual assault. According to RAINN, one out of every six American women and one out of every 33 American men has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime. Watching an issue like sexual assault be discussed in a show that is wildly popular among young adults is important, and hopefully empowering.