Selena Gomez’s Mom Shares Video of the Singer as a Sassy 5-Year-Old: ‘Why Do They Grow Up?’

Selena Gomez‘s mother, Mandy Teefey, just shared a major throwback from the “Wolves” singer’s childhood.

Teefey, 42, shared an adorable video of the pop star, 25, from 1997 when the singer was just 5 years old. In the video, Gomez, wearing two pigtails, is seen showing off her sass as she talked to her mother on the phone and complained about homework.

@selenagomez talking to me on the phone when I was at work asking about her day at school,” Teefey wrote in the caption. “My sassy, independent, boss lady, adorable gigantic piece of my heart, first born love.”

“Gracie is exactly like this. Diabolical. XO,” the mother of two continued, referring to her second daughter, 5-year-old Gracie Elliot. “My girls are born leaders. Why do they grow up? Her sweet little eyes and massive eyelashes.”

In the footage, Gomez tells her mother about a homework assignment she had to do again at her teacher’s request.

“My teacher said I gotta do all this stuff again. I gotta do it by myself,” the tot said in the video. “I’m going crazy, you gotta help me over here! You better girl.”

Gomez’s father is Ricardo Joel Gomez. Teefey and Ricardo are divorced and Teffey married Brian Teefey in 2006 and shares Gracie Elliot with him.

In December, a source close to the family told PEOPLE the two had become estranged and not just because of Gomez’s then-reunion with Justin Bieber.

“It’s more complicated than just fighting over a guy,” the source said. “Mandy and Selena have had their ups and downs before. This isn’t the first time.”

While the two weren’t speaking, the insider said Gomez “also wants to give her mom some space.”

“When they fight, they fight hard,” the source said. “But when they love, they also love hard.”

Gomez reunited with Bieber last year and spent New Year’s with the “Sorry” singer in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico after she split with The Weeknd (née Abel Tesfaye) in October.

RELATED VIDEO: Selena Gomez Isn’t Currently Speaking to Mom Mandy Teefey and Wants to ‘Give Her Space’: Source

A source told PEOPLE at the time that the two were “doing great.”

Weeks later, Teefey admitted she was “not happy” about her daughter’s rekindled romance with Bieber during an interview with Gossip Cop.

She also revealed she had not spoken to Bieber in “years,” although she said she knew Gomez was old enough to “make her own choices.”

“Selena can live her life however she wants as long a she is happy, safe and healthy,” Teefey said. “She is 25-years-old and knows what is at stake with her health.”

But it seems mom knows best, as Gomez and Beiber’s relationship did not last. And now, not only has the Baby singer reunited with former-ex Hailey Baldwin, this week he proposed to her.


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EXCLUSIVE: ‘13 Reasons Why’ Actor Defends Season 2’s Most Controversial Scene

SPOILER WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Season 2 of 13 Reasons Why. Proceed at your own risk.

When 13 Reasons Why exploded with Season 1, it wasn’t just because fans loved it. Which they did. It was also because of the controversy it stirred.

In Season 1, the show tackled toxic high school culture, rape and teen suicide – with some scenes pretty graphic and hard-hitting, particularly for a teen show. Some of the series’ critics felt that the way in which the topics were handled wasn’t all that responsible. But if anything, in Season 2 the shock value is upped. This time, the creative forces behind the show have been especially careful to issue clear and frequent warnings about its content, coupled with advice on where to seek help should the show’s subject matter affect you. Some Twitter users have issued trigger warnings for sexual assault victims and urged people not to watch.

‘Don’t watch it if it offends you’ seems to be the motto of Netflix, the service which airs the show. CEO Reed Hastings said: “It is controversial. But nobody has to watch it. We’re an on-demand service, and we feel great about the possibility of season 3 and look forward to supporting the team’s work in that.”

It will come as no surprise, perhaps, that Season 3 has since been greenlit. And that’s despite a particularly graphic and harrowing scene in the season finale which sees school baseball star and bully Montgomery de la Cruz brutally assault outsider Tyler Down. You can read a description of what happens in that scene here.

FANDOM caught up with Timothy Granaderos, who plays Montgomery in 13 Reasons Why, and asked him why it was important to include the scene in the season finale.

Deliberately Provocative


13 Reasons Why
Timothy Granaderos' Monty confronts Devin Druid's Tyler.

“It was part of the inciting incident for Devon’s character Tyler to carry out his plan at the end. So, for the story it makes sense. But also, it’s a subject matter that we don’t really talk about. Male-on-male sexual assault happens more than we realise and it’s an issue that I think needs to be addressed and talked about,” says Granaderos.

Season 2 ends with Tyler planning and almost carrying out a horrifying school shooting. He’s talked down by Dylan Minette’s Clay Jensen outside the doors to the school.

Granaderos believes that the show is deliberately provocative.

“Obviously there’s some controversy around our show but all the issues that we deal with are tough subject matters to speak on, so if we can get a conversation started about those things then that’s what we intend to do. In a real and honest way too,” he says.

He says that being a part of the show has “opened my eyes to the idea that as actors, we’re more than just entertainers.”

One of the criticisms directed at the series is that the attack seems to come from nowhere, which makes it doubly shocking. Granaderos offers his thoughts on why his character carried out the horrific attack.

“In preparation, I did research and I tried to figure out why he did it. I found that the root of his actions was pain,” he says. “He had all this pain and displaced anger from the baseball team’s season being cancelled and, you know, his ‘brother’ Bryce basically breaking up with him, and he didn’t know where to go or who to turn to. So he dealt with it in the only way he knew how — and that was physically abusing someone who he felt was weaker and [who] he blamed for part of his pain.”

Sweaty Palms

Grenaderos admits that he wasn’t surprised at the reaction to the savage attack they depicted on screen. And, in fact, he had a very telling physical reaction to the scene after reading it in the script.

“I didn’t know about [the scene] until later on in the season,” he says. “Our showrunner approached me a couple of episodes out and asked me if it was something I’d be comfortable doing. And at that point in time, that scene was just a pitch, it wasn’t even confirmed that it was going to be in the script. He just wanted to make sure I was comfortable doing it. So, I knew it was coming and it was shocking when I read it. I remember just turning the pages and my palms were sweating.”

At some point, he says, everyone was “all on the same page” and the scene was shot, and included.

“Going into it we felt very prepared,” he says. “We had a safety meeting where Devin [Druid, who plays Tyler] and I spoke with the producers and our director as well as the stunt coordinator how everything was going to play out. They showed us storyboards of the space and the shot so all the technicalities were clear in our mind before we went into the scene. They also allowed us to ask any questions we had.”

If their plan with Season 3 is to up the ante once again, it’s going to be a tough call to include anything more shocking than Montgomery’s horrendous sexual assault on Tyler. But if 13 Reasons Why is indeed a show that sets out to provoke, you can bet they’ll try.

13 Reasons Why Season 2 is available to stream now on Netflix.

5 Times ’13 Reasons Why’ Season 2 Left Us Lost For Words

The post EXCLUSIVE: ‘13 Reasons Why’ Actor Defends Season 2’s Most Controversial Scene appeared first on FANDOM.

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Did ‘13 Reasons Why’ Season 2 Finale Go Too Far?

Warning: This story contains spoilers from the second season of 13 Reasons Why.

In the first season of 13 Reasons Why, nothing was held back. In the finale, Hannah’s (Katherine Langford) suicide scene was very graphic, causing a great deal of outrage from fans and parents who felt that it wasn’t necessary to show. On Friday, May 18, the second season was released on Netflix and fans are saying the same thing – this time about an assault scene.

After going away to receive help for his anger, Tyler (Devin Druid) returned to school with a new outlook. However, Monty (Timothy Granaderos) wasn’t over everything Tyler had done – basically, doing everything he could to get Bryce (Justin Prentice) to pay for assaulting women. Bryce told Monty to get over it, but he wouldn’t listen. Instead, he and his friends jumped Tyler in the bathroom, slamming his head against the mirror and the sink and pushing his face into the toilet multiple times. Monty then sexually assaulted him using a wooden broomstick, leaving Tyler bleeding out.

'13 Reasons Why' finale
’13 Reasons Why’ finale Beth Dubber/Netflix

To say the scene was graphic would be an understatement. But was it necessary? After binging, some fans took to Twitter to share their feelings, claiming it was more about “shock value” than anything else.

“There was absolutely no need for that scene with Tyler in the last episode. Why did that need to be written in. 13 Reasons Why is problematic and that’s that,” one viewer wrote.

Another added, “AFTER THAT BRUTAL SCENE WITH THE MOP AND TYLER, THIS SHOW NEEDS TO BE CANCELLED. Obviously the people behind this show only gives a f—k about shock value and not about rape or suicide.”

Others felt it was important. “I agree that the Tyler’s moment in episode 13 was hard to watch.. but what happened is true and some people go through that s—t, so if you think that was too much to watch, take a second and think what others have felt and no one talks about it,” one fan wrote.

Another added: “All of y’all are pissed because Tyler got sodimized in with a broom #13ReasonsWhy2 .. but this happened at my former school to a kid I know. Multiple football players raped a 15-year-old boy with a broomstick. I heard about it I almost threw up. #13ReasonsWhy needed to show this.”

Selena Gomez, who is a producer on the show, spoke out following the first season of the show, responding to the fans who thought the suicide scene was too intense. “We wanted to do it justice and, yeah, [the backlash is] going to come no matter what,” she told the Associated Press last year. “It’s not an easy subject to talk about, but I’m very fortunate with how it’s doing.” None of the writers have spoken out about the season 2 finale.

In the beginning of season 2, the cast members take turn reading a warning message. “13 Reasons Why is a fictional series that tackles tough, real-world issues, taking a look at sexual assault, substance abuse, suicide, and more,” the warning says. “By shedding a light on these difficult topics, we hope our show can help viewers start a conversation. But if you are struggling with these issues yourself, this series may not be right for you or you may want to watch it with a trusted adult. And if you ever feel you need someone to talk with, reach out to a parent, a friend, a school counselor, or an adult you trust, call a local helpline, or go to 13ReasonsWhy.info. Because the minute you start talking about it, it gets easier.”

Specific episodes, including the finale, had an additional warning before the opening credits about sexual assault and drug use.

13 Reasons Why season 2 is currently streaming on Netflix.

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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How ’13 Reasons Why’ Addresses Controversial Topics in Season 2

13 Reasons Why is a hard show to watch for a number of reasons. Both the Netflix drama and the book on which it is based deal with the issues of substance abuse, bullying, sexual assault, and suicide in detail — including showing Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford) killing herself.

The first season faced a backlash from some mental health professionals and viewers for choosing to show Hannah’s suicide in such detail. Many thought the scene was gratuitous and glorified suicide. The show was also criticized for not doing enough to warn viewers of the graphic nature of the content or offering enough resources for those needing to seek help of their own.

For Season 2, Netflix has taken steps to address these concerns. They have added new videos and resources on how to find help and guides for parents on how to start conversations about the subjects the show tackles.

Starting the Conversation

Before fans can even start the new season of 13 Reasons Why, they are greeted by a video warning about the show’s content. In the video, the cast encourages teens to watch with an adult if they are worried about the issues depicted in the series. The actors also remind viewers that it is okay to ask for help and where they can find the help they need.

This is not the only new video for the season. Netflix also released a video titled “Tell Them” featuring the ways in which the show impacted two viewers, one who shared her own story of sexual assault and the other who was encouraged to start a program to stop bullying at her own high school. There will also be an after show called “Beyond the Reasons” that will include discussions with mental health professionals as well as the actors and producers going into more detail about the episodes. Netflix is using these videos to start conversations that will hopefully lead to more open discussions about mental health, sexual assault, suicide, and bullying.

Continuing the Dialogue


Hannah and her mother 13 Reasons Why

The main place fans are directed to find resources is the show’s website 13ReasonsWhy.info. It links to several organizations including the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the Trevor Project, and RAINN for further support and services. The website is listed at the end of each episode.

Also on the website is a downloadable discussion guide. It features questions and discussion topics for parents and educators to continue the dialogue started by the series. The guide will be updated for Season 2. It serves as good starting place for those who don’t know how to begin talking about some of these tough subjects.

It is important that Netflix is taking these steps to ensure viewers are safe and well informed about the programing they are watching. Hopefully 13 Reasons Why will continue to help people start conversations about real issues affecting teens today.

13 Reasons Why Season 2 premieres on May 18th.

The post How ’13 Reasons Why’ Addresses Controversial Topics in Season 2 appeared first on FANDOM.

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The New Characters in ’13 Reasons Why’ Season 2 and the Impact They Could Make

Here’s the lowdown on the new characters you can expect to see in the new season of 13 Reasons Why, and how they could affect the show as it looks back at Hannah’s story.

Chloe

Chloe enters the show associated with rapist Bryce Walker. The latest trailer suggests she could be his girlfriend. She’s head cheerleader and tries to befriend Jessica, one of Bryce’s victims in Season 1, recruiting her into the cheerleading squad.

Actress Anne Winters, who plays Chloe, told Pop Sugar that her character will cause “a bit of drama” and that she fits a “mean girl” stereotype.

She also said: “It’s funny because I always forget that all the episodes that we filmed are going to come out at the same time. So, in my head I’ve been thinking throughout the season people might have a different opinion of me, but if people binge-watch it then I feel like people will see the entirety of my character throughout the whole season in a day or two.”

This suggests that our attitude to Chloe will change as the season progresses. Could something happen to make us change our minds about her?

Nina


Samantha Logan-13 Reasons Why
Samantha Logan, seen here in Teen Wolf, joins the cast as track star Nina Jones.

New addition Nina is played by Samantha Logan who previously appeared in Teen Wolf. She’s on the school athletics team but there’s more to her than meets the eye. Will she reveal her secret and could it affect proceedings? A track star, she could well cross paths with cheerleaders Chloe and Jess.

Cyrus


13-Reasons-Why-Cyrus
Bryce Cass as Cyrus in 13 Reasons Why.

Cyrus is a punk-loving outsider at Liberty High who befriends fellow outcast, amateur photographer Tyler Down. Played by Bryce Cass, Cyrus is out to make mischief at the same time as acting as an advocate for the downtrodden. Will Cyrus help or hinder a new Tyler who seems to have developed a penchant for guns, as seen at the end of Season 1?

Mackenzie


13-Reasons-Why-Mackenzie
Chelsea Alden plays Mackenzie, sister to fellow newcomer Cyrus, in the new season.

Cyrus’s sister, Mackenzie is a young woman who plays by her own rules. Confident and forthright, she’s sharp and funny. She’s played by Chelsea Alden who you might know from American Horror Story: Roanoke. Her story will most likely tie in with her brother Cyrus and his new pal Tyler.

Barry and Nora Walker


13 Reasons-Walkers
Jake Weber and Brenda Strong play Bryce’s parents.

Season 2 introduces us to Bryce’s parents. There’s something off about this pair – who could give us an insight into why Bryce is the way he is. Barry, played by Jake Weber, earns a lot of money as a hedge fund manager, but his ethics seem questionable. Nora, meanwhile, played by Brenda Strong, is a woman who seems — on the surface anyway – pretty ruthless and intent on keeping up appearances. But how might she feel if she learns the truth about her rapist son? If Bryce ends up facing the consequences of his actions, plenty should be revealed about these two characters.

Justin Prentice, who plays Bryce, told Refinery 29: “I think [entitlement] is a part of who Bryce is, who Bryce’s father is and the background that he comes from. When you’re a part of a power family, in their eyes anyway, you’ve gotta do what you need to do to reach the top and stay on top.”

Caleb


RJ Brown
RJ Brown plays Caleb.

Played by RJ Brown, Caleb is Tony’s boxing trainer, and is a fiercely competitive but also gentle and understanding. He helps Tony process his anger issues. Could the two become confidantes, or closer?

Sonya


Allison Miller
Terra Nova's Allison Miller plays lawyer Sonya.

Joining Wilson Cruz’s Dennis in the courtroom is Allison Miller’s Sonya. She’s an ambitious lawyer who is wily and clever – and could bring Bryce to justice.

Rick


Ben-on-Designated-Survivor-ABC-620x375
Designated Survivor's Ben Lawson plays sports coach Rick.

Played by Ben Lawson, Rick is the school baseball coach. He’s a sports teacher dedicated to supporting and protecting his rising baseball stars. The Australian actor, who had a long-running role in Aussie soap Neighbours, has appeared in a number of high-profile TV series including Billions, Grimm, Modern Family and Designated Survivor.

Carolyn


Meredith Monroe
Alex's mum makes an appearance this season.

Following what happens to Alex at the end of Season 1, it was perhaps inevitable we’d meet his mother in Season 2. She’s played by Dawson’s Creek actress Meredith Monroe. She’ll presumably help in his rehabilitation — as well as his mum, she’s also a nurse.

Jackie


13-Reasons-Why
Jackie provides support for Hannah's mum.

An advocate for victims of bullying, Jackie, played by Kelli O’Hara, becomes involved in the Bakers’ legal case against the school, lending her support and counsel to Hannah’s mother.

13 Reasons Why Season 2 hits Netflix on May 18.

The post The New Characters in ’13 Reasons Why’ Season 2 and the Impact They Could Make appeared first on FANDOM.

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Why ’13 Reasons Why’ Changed Hannah’s Suicide

The Netflix drama 13 Reasons Why takes an unflinching look at the issues facing teenagers today. It depicts rape, assault, stalking, and bullying in ways that are at times hard to watch. The story of the show revolves around the suicide of Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford), itself a tough subject. The fact that she killed herself is discussed throughout the series, but made into a brutal reality in the show’s final episode when the act is finally shown.

The show faced backlash for the way in which they chose to depict Hannah’s death. The YA novel the series is based on, written by Jay Asher, handled the character taking her own life in a very different way. The creators of 13 Reasons Why were very deliberate in the choices they made and the reasons why the way Hannah killed herself was changed.

Hannah’s Suicide in the Book


13 Reasons Why Book Collection

When it comes to 13 Reasons Why, there are several differences between the book and Netflix series. The biggest difference that we’ll be addressing here is the way in which Hannah commits suicide. In the book, Clay mentions that Hannah died by taking a handful of pills. There are very few details other than that rumor and the act is never shown.

In the first version of Asher’s novel, Hannah actually survives her suicide attempt. In that first ending, her parents arrive home in time to find her and rush her to the hospital. The author ultimately decided that he wanted the message to be stronger, so he changed the ending to Hannah actually committing suicide.

Hannah’s Suicide on the Show


Katherine Langford 13 Reasons Why season 1 finale

In the Netflix version of 13 Reasons Why, Hannah kills herself by slitting her wrists. The scene is shown in incredible detail, down to her buying the blades and getting in the bathtub. It is a very hard scene to watch. There is nothing glamorous about the act, no music or cutting away from the screen to cause a distraction.

All of these choices were made by the show’s director and producers to send a message. In the “Beyond the Reasons” video, where the cast and crew spoke about the show, executive producer and writer Brian Yorkey explained why they made the drastic change. “We worked very hard not to be gratuitous, but we did want it to be painful to watch because we wanted to be very clear that there is nothing, in any way, worthwhile about suicide,” he said. Kyle Patrick Alvarez, who directed the episode, told Vanity Fair, “If you don’t show the horror of it, then you’re inviting people to conjecture that maybe the act itself isn’t so bad.”

The powerful scene was met with mixed results. Some praised it for its honesty, while others felt it went too far. One of the show’s writers, Nic Sheff, even wrote an op-ed about his own experience with attempting suicide and the importance of showing the action on screen. These are difficult conversations to have, but necessary ones when it comes to the way mental health is represented in the media.

Season 1 of 13 Reasons Why is currently available to stream on Netflix. Season 2 premieres on May 18th.

The post Why ’13 Reasons Why’ Changed Hannah’s Suicide appeared first on FANDOM.

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’13 Reasons Why’ announces Season 2 premiere date with a new trailer

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13 Reasons Why is back and, by the looks of the latest trailer, you better be prepared for even more teenage hardships.

The trailer juxtaposes all of the characters lives both before and after the suicide that connects them all. It’s an interesting stylistic choice, and perhaps indicative of the shifts we’ve heard about in terms of the popular but controversial Netflix show’s approach to mature topics in the new season.

You’ll be able to start binge-watching Season 2 on May 18. Read more…

More about Streaming Services, Netflix Original, 13 Reasons Why, 13 Reasons Why Season 2, and Entertainment


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’13 Reasons Why’ Star Tommy Dorfman Demonstrates How To Nonchalantly Wear A Fendi Jacket | PeopleTV

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’13 Reasons Why’ tied to rise in suicide searches online

When it comes to the hit Netflix series “13 Reasons Why,” many viewers find themselves on either side of a controversial debate.


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O.J. Simpson’s Sister: ‘There’s No Reason Why’ He Should’t Be Paroled This Year

O.J. Simpson’s sister Shirley Baker is optimistic that her notorious sibling will be released from prison sometime this year, as he comes up for parole nearly 10 years after being found guilty in an armed robbery.

A parole hearing date is set for July 20 and Simpson could be released as early as October.

“There’s no reason why not,” Baker said in an interview with Inside Edition that aired Tuesday.

“He’s there, he’s doing his time, he abided by the rules,” she said. “And I just hope and pray that they will give him parole.”

Simpson — who was acquitted in the 1994 double slayings of his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman (for which he was later found civilly responsible) — was convicted in 2008 for his role in the armed robbery and kidnapping of two sports-memorabilia dealers in a Las Vegas hotel room.

• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

The 69-year-old former football star claimed he was trying to get back keepsakes that had been stolen from him and that he had no idea his accomplices were carrying weapons.

But the jury found differently, and he was sentenced to up to 33 years in prison in Nevada.

During the Inside Edition interview, Baker said she talks to Simpson every week by phone and visits him in prison four times a year. She said that guards even have a nickname for him: “Nordberg,” after his role in the Naked Gun film series.

The family of Ronald Goldman has also spoken out this year about the possibility of Simpson’s early release. His sister told Good Morning America in February, “He did a horrible, heinous crime and I have no feeling except rot in hell.”


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What ’13 Reasons Why’ Gets Right And Wrong About Rape

This post contains some spoilers for Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why.”

Last week, the author of the YA-tear jerker 13 Reasons Why addressed one of the most controversial aspects of his book and the new Netflix show that it inspired: the raw depictions of rape and sexual assault. 

Published in 2007, Jay Asher’s 13 Reasons Why tells the story of Hannah Baker, a teenaged girl who commits suicide, leaving behind 13 cassette tapes which explain the motives behind her death. The TV adaptation, which debuted on Netflix on March 31, recreates rape and suicide scenes from the book in disturbing, graphic detail.

This choice once again begs the question that comes up whenever we talk about rape on TV: Is it necessary? Or is it simply gratuitous? 

“It’s uncomfortable, but that’s OK. It needs to be,” Asher told Buzzfeed News on April 7.

Asher acknowledged that some people have said that scenes are “too graphic,” but argued that rape shouldn’t be something that the viewer “can look away from.”

“You have to be uncomfortable when you’re watching it; otherwise you’re not in her mind,” the author explained. “In a way, it’s disrespectful if we say, ‘We know this stuff is happening, but we don’t want to be made uncomfortable by it.’”

The two episodes (9 and 12) where scenes of rape are shown come with trigger warnings, a rarity in the world of movies and television, where sexual violence is so often filmed through the male gaze. From movies like “Psycho” to shows like “Game of Thrones,” scenes of sexual violence are often shot from the offender’s point of view, with tantalizing and lingering shots of a woman’s body as it is violated.

To its credit, “13 Reasons Why” avoids this trope. In the scenes, the victims are mostly clothed, and the atmosphere is anything but tantalizing ― though that doesn’t make the scenes any less disturbing. In some ways, it makes them more so.

The show must also be commended for depicting the blurry gray area of “consent” ― in one of the rape scenes, the victim does not say “no,” and yet the horror of what happens to her is in no way ambiguous. Later, a high school counselor questions whether she protested the assault, once again emphasizing our shoddy definition of what does and doesn’t constitute consent. 

And yet, there’s a trend of men defending graphic rape scenes for the sake of “authenticity” that Asher is most definitely following. We’ve seen it most recently with shows like “Game of Thrones” and “Westworld” and “Poldark.” So often, the defense of these depictions is that what we’re seeing as viewers technically isn’t really rape (as in the case of Cersei Lannister’s assault in season 4 of “GoT”), or that the writers and showrunners are trying to force the audience to confront rape, to manufacture empathy by placing the viewer viscerally in the victim’s shoes.  

But awareness and empathy ― especially empathy for female characters ―shouldn’t require the audience to see a woman being assaulted. And often, these types of plotlines are little more than lazy storytelling. After all, there are ways to bring awareness to rape and sexual assault, and to call out the ills of rape culture and victim-blaming, without normalizing depictions of sexual violence against women. 

This isn’t to entirely denounce “13 Reasons Why” or other shows that depict rape and abuse. There are similar themes of rape and violence in “Big Little Lies.” But where that show differs from “13 Reasons Why” is that it is focused entirely on the perspective of the women who are abused. Yes, “13 Reasons Why” features Hannah telling her story posthumously, but it also spends a great deal of time dealing with the guilt and man-pain of the Gary Stu-like main character Clay (who ― spoiler! ― contributed to her suicide by being too good for her).

“13 Reasons Why” shouldn’t be discounted because of its more graphic scenes. But, in light of Asher’s defense and the defense of so many other men who tell stories about women who are assaulted, we still need to ask some hard questions: What does it mean if we can only connect with the pain of rape victims by watching that pain played out so? What do these scenes achieve that couldn’t be achieved with their absence? And why are men so often the gatekeepers of these stories? 

Need help? Visit RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.

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