The Star of '13 Reasons Why' Just Addressed the Show's Controversy Head-On

She's definitely not saying the people who are upset about the show are wrong.

katherine-langford
(Image credit: Archives)

Netflix's adaptation of 13 Reasons Why has been as controversial as it's been popular. While many young adults have embraced the series, which deals with difficult issues like bullying, sexual assault, and suicide, several mental health experts have expressed concerns that the series romanticizes suicide and self-harm.

The filmmakers and executive producer Selena Gomez have spoken out in defense (opens in new tab) of the series, and now Katherine Langford, who stars as Hannah Baker, a teen who dies by suicide and records tapes for the people she sees as responsible for the circumstances that led to her death, has done the same.

In an interview on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Langford got very candid about the backlash against 13 Reasons Why.

"Of course there's controversy," she said (opens in new tab). "I think things like these instigate discussion, which is the important part. And I think we cover so many important issues in the show that are going to affect people differently depending on their own personal context."

"And I'm like everyone's feelings are valid, so I'm not going to tell anyone to feel anything differently, but personally being directly involved in the show and seeing the thought and consideration that went into it...Also being a young adult, playing a young adult and covering issues that are relevant, I feel really proud of the way we covered it and the way we showed things," she explained.

She added that, since starring in the series, she's put links to 13reasonswhy.info (opens in new tab) and itsonus.org (opens in new tab) in her Instagram bio, in the hopes that fans who have more questions about the issues raised on the show will make use of those resources.

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Kayleigh Roberts
Weekend Editor

Kayleigh Roberts is a freelance writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional experience. Her byline has appeared in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, The Atlantic, Allure, Entertainment Weekly, MTV, Bustle, Refinery29, Girls’ Life Magazine, Just Jared, and Tiger Beat, among other publications. She's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.