As if the Netflix original series, 13 Reasons Why, didn’t already have enough controversy surrounding it, the author of the original book, which the show was created from, is now in the hot seat due to sexual harassment allegations.
Ever since the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke, it seems as though we can’t go a day without hearing about a new sexual assault or harassment charge, and Jay Asher is next on the list. These allegations, however, have been sitting especially unwell with people considering the fact that a major plot point within 13 Reasons Why is about not just one, but two main characters getting raped.
It’s been reported that Asher was kicked out of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators group due to harassment allegations, which he has (of course) denied. Instead, a spokesperson for Asher claims that he voluntarily left the group due to harassment that he received from a group of authors he’d had “consensual relationships” with, which resulted in “hurt feelings” because they found out about each other.
Okay, so that all still sounds wicked suspect to us, but unfortunately, as of now, details are still fuzzy and coming in from different sources. Originally, it was said that Asher’s name was brought up multiple times in the comment section of a School Library Journal article that talked about sexual assault, where multiple women called him out for his sexual harassment, specifically mentioning their disgust at his supposed support of the #MeToo movement.
People have been quick to link back these allegations to Asher’s own defense of featuring the graphic rape scenes shown in the 13 Reasons Why series, which he said he felt were uncomfortable, but “OK” because it needed to be uncomfortable. As far as whether or not any of this will affect the second season of the show, fans are being told to not worry about it because apparently Asher isn’t even involved in it, and as of now, season two is on track to continue as previously planned.
Whether or not this will affect ratings and viewership though? That’s still up for debate.
Kasara Antonelli Donnelly