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Massive spoilers ahead for 13 Reasons Why's second season.
Netflix's 13 Reasons Why has had a colorful life on the streaming services. Based off the young adult novel of the same name, 13 Reasons got a ton of kickback during its premiere season. Critics worried it glamorized teen suicide, and that scenes involving sexual assault might be too intense for a young audience. But the show seems very popular, with Season 2 is turning out to be just as polarizing. The Season 2 finale showed bullied character Tyler brutally beaten and sodomized by a secondary antagonist, in a scene that rivaled Hannah's death in regards to horrifying imagery. 13 Reasons has been getting plenty of flack in regards to that scene and others, and now producer Mandy Teefey (aka Selena Gomez' mom) has clapped back at those naysayers.
I would just suggest that they Google the news. There's nothing that anybody ever has put or had the desire in our group to make anything gratuitous or shock value. It's shocking, it's horrific, but it's happening. There's videos that people post and that's online forever. It's [in] the culture, so just look it up and educate yourself that you need look out for this.
While Tyler's attack may be enough to turn Netflix subscriber's stomachs, Mandy Teefy seems to believe that it's appropriate because these shocking acts of sexual violence are in the real world. In particular, there have been plenty of news stories about student athletes attacking their peers in such a way.
Mandy Teefy's comments to ET show how steadfast everyone involved in 13 Reasons Why seems to be about the show's source material. It's an extremely dark melodrama, which puts its teenage characters into situations involving substance abuse, sexual violence, bullying, and the like. The show can be very hard to watch, but 13 Reasons does seem to be putting in extra care with its audience for the show's sophomore season.
The producers and writers of 13 Reasons Why continue to maintain that the show has the ability to open a dialogue between parents and their kids. Furthermore, there are explicit content warnings before the more graphic episodes, and each episode ends with listing resources for those who may be in crisis or having suicidal thoughts. It seems to be largely the sensitivity of the topics that is affecting Netflix subscribers, and why the show has been met with such massive backlash. Season 2 also makes the characters more likable and shows attentive parenting, making the new batch of episodes feel overall less cruel than the first season. That is, until Tyler is attacked, and ultimately tries to carry out a shooting at the school dance (another point of contention for Season 2).