• Newsfeed
  • celebrities

Selena Gomez Discusses Criticism of ’13 Reasons Why’: ‘The Content Is Complicated.’

2 minute read

Since 13 Reasons Why debuted on Netflix, it’s been no stranger to controversy due to its graphic depiction of teenage suicide, depression, sexism, and rape. The show is produced by Selena Gomez and is based on a 2007 novel of the same name by Jay Asher and tells the tale of Hannah, a high school student who takes her own life and leaves 13 tapes for different people that explain why she committed suicide.

While the show was renewed for second season, there’s still been a debate about the serious matters it depicts. Gomez took to Elvis and Duran and the Morning Show on Monday to talk about the ways she feels the series addresses many of the struggles facing young people today.

“This is happening every day,” she said. “Whether or not you wanted to see it, that’s what’s happening. The content is complicated. It’s dark and it has moments that are honestly very hard to swallow, and I understood that we were doing something that is difficult. But these kids today are so exposed to things that I would never even comprehend when I was 8. My cousin teaches third grade and they’re doing things and saying things that I couldn’t even fathom.”

Gomez later went on to defend the show’s dark themes and content, citing that the show has started dialogue about mental health.

“I feel like if this is what we’re going to talk about, we might as well as do it in a way that’s honest, is real, and stays true to the book,” she said. “So all the questions that came up, and all the talk about it is valid and I understand it. That stuff is uncomfortable for people to talk about, but it is happening and hopefully, it opened the door for people to actually accept what’s happening and actually go and change it, talk about it.”

Watch the full interview below.


More Must-Reads From TIME

Write to Cady Lang at cady.lang@timemagazine.com