The man who wrote the Netflix remake of the novel 13 Reasons Why was forced to come to the defense of the show’s choice to include graphic scenes from the main character’s suicide, which has recently received a lot of criticism as viewers claim it glorifies suicide.
The show and book follows the other main character, Clay Jensen, a 17 year old teen who has to deal with the aftermath of one of his friend, Hannah Baker, killing herself.
The show was produced by singer and actress Selena Gomez, and is considered by many to be eye-opening and gripping, although it has drawn criticism.
Response to Backlash
Now writer Nic Sheff, the person who adapter the novel by Jay Asher, said that he is surprised by the backlash, and argued to ‘depict the suicide with as much detail and accuracy as possible’.
‘It overwhelmingly seems to me that the most irresponsible thing we could’ve done would have been not to show the death at all.’ Sheff mentioned.
‘In AA, they call it playing the tape: encouraging alcoholics to really think through in detail the exact sequence of events that will occur after relapse. It’s the same thing with suicide.’
Nic also mentioned in his letter to Vanity Fair of how he heard a similar story of a woman’s attempt to kill herself, and that memory came back to him during the moments where he himself attempted to take his own life. Nic used to be a meth-user and was the subject in the memoir Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction.
‘The whole story came back to me in heightened detail. It was an instant reminder that suicide is never peaceful and painless, but instead an excruciating, violent end to all hopes and dreams and possibilities for the future. The memory came to me like a shock. It staggered me,’ Sheff wrote.
‘And it saved my life.’