Warning: The following post touches on issues of sexual assault. It also contains spoilers about the season 2 finale of 13 Reasons Why.
The season 2 finale of 13 Reasons Why is brutal, and fans are warning each other about it on social media. In it, the troubled teen Tyler (Devin Druid) is sodomized by a fellow student (Timothy Granaderos) in the bathroom. Following this traumatic incident, Tyler loads up a bag of guns and heads to the Spring Fling, where he tries to enact a school shooting. (This scene is the reason why the show cancelled the premiere on Friday in the wake of another real-life school shooting, this one at the Santa Fe school in Texas .) The show is already pushing the envelope on teen trauma; the sodomy scene in particular is upsetting to watch, and viewers are encouraging each other not to watch it.
the sexual assault scene with tyler in 13 reasons why (Season 2, Episode 13) was the most fucking unnecessary thing and i recommend that everyone skips it cause it’s fucking traumatising and a horrific scene. starts at around 38:00 and goes until 40:00 #13ReasonsWhySeason2— Aditya Gopiyani (@AuthenticEddy) May 20, 2018
I love 13 Reasons Why. I have defended it against friends, because I believe in the message. I still do, but Season 2 Episode 13 was the worst episode. They went too far in one of the scenes, and the ended portrayed a terrible message, the ending was terrible #13ReasonsWhySeason2— chase disotell (@disotc1) May 21, 2018
The first season of 13 Reasons Why faced similar criticism for its brutal depiction of Hannah Baker's (Katherine Langford) suicide. The second season only delves deeper into the issues surrounding modern teens. There are multiple scenes of questionable sexual consent, and there's gun violence throughout, as Tyler starts handling shotguns to cope with stress.
Creator Brian Yorkey has already stepped forward to defend Tyler's rape scene. Speaking to Vulture Monday, Yorkey said, "We’re committed on this show to telling truthful stories about things that young people go through in as unflinching a way as we can. We fully understand that that means some of the scenes in the show will be difficult to watch."
Yorkey added that, often, when audiences criticize something graphic, they are indirectly shaming what happened. "The fact is that, as intense as that scene is, and as strong as are or reactions to it may be, it doesn’t even come close to the pain experienced by the people who actually go through these things," Yorkey explained. "When we talk about something being “disgusting” or hard to watch, often that means we are attaching shame to the experience."
He added, "This is why victims have a hard time seeking help. We believe that talking about it is so much better than silence."
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 are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the Suicide Crisis Line at 1-800-784-2433.