Selena Gomez is unfazed by the criticism surrounding her new TV series 13 Reasons Why, insisting the topic of suicide is “not an easy subject” to tackle.
The singer/actress helped to develop author Jay Asher’s 2007 bestseller of the same name, about a bullied high school student who takes her own life, for streaming service Netflix, and the show debuted online last month (Mar17).
However, producers have faced a backlash from suicide prevention activists and concerned parents in recent weeks, amid allegations suggesting the popular teen drama glamorizes suicide.
Netflix bosses previously defended 13 Reasons Why, claiming screenwriters were careful in their approach to the subject of mental health and consulted with medical professionals as they worked on the show, and now Selena has offered up her take on the controversy.
The pop star, an executive producer on the project, was asked about the criticism as she attended a WE Day event in California on Thursday (27Apr17), and Selena made it clear she was standing fully behind the series.
“We stayed very true to the book and that’s initially what Jay Asher created, a beautifully tragic, complicated, yet suspenseful story,” she explained, “and I think that’s what we wanted to do, we wanted to do it justice.
“It (criticism) is gonna come no matter what,” she continued. “It (suicide) is not an easy subject to talk about, but I’m very fortunate with how it’s doing and I’m overwhelmed, I’m very proud of it.”
Selena previously outlined her reasons for making the emotional show in an accompanying Netflix feature, titled Beyond the Reasons, in which she said, “We wanted to do it in a way where it was honest, and we wanted to make something that it (sic) can hopefully help people because suicide should never ever be an option.”