Spoiler alert! Also, trigger warning!
The second season of the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, which premiered earlier this week, is once again courting controversy. This time it’s over an incredibly graphic male rape scene in the season finale.
The show’s creator, Brian Yorkey, has defended the scene, telling Vulture: “We are committed on this show to telling truthful stories about things that young people go through in as unflinching a way as we can.”
He added that the storyline was approved by both Netflix and Paramount, which produces the show, after “extensive discussions” and copious amounts of research into real-life cases of male-on-male sexual violence in high school.
The two minute scene is disturbing and difficult to watch. It begins school photographer Tyler Down (played by Devin Druid) having his head bashed into the sink before being dragged to a stall where he has his head dunked in the toilet while being called a “f*ggot.”
As Tyler begs for mercy, two attackers hold him down while the third pulls down his pants and begins violently sodomizing him with a mop handle. Tyler screams out in pain. When the mop is finally removed, it’s covered with blood.
Tyler’s attacker then drops the bloody mop on the ground and the three men exit, leaving him sobbing on the floor, his head resting on the wall of the bathroom stall.
But despite Yorkey’s claim that the show is only trying to tell “truthful stories” about the experiences of young people today, many feel the scene goes too far:
TRIGGER WARNING 13 REASONS WHY RELATED.
???? DO NOT WATCH THE SCENE THAT STARTS AT AROUND 38:00 MINUTES S2E13. IT IS EXTREMELY TRIGGERING AND GRAPHIC, IT IS SHOWING A RAPE SCENE ????
— LlamaForPresident ? (@real_llama88) May 20, 2018
AFTER THAT BRUTAL SCENE WITH THE MOP AND TYLER, THIS SHOW NEEDS TO BE CANCELLED. Obviously the people behind this show only gives a fuck about shock value and not about rape or suicide. #13ReasonsWhySeason2 #13reasonswhy
— Callie ? (@CallieCalburn) May 19, 2018
okay. literally holy fucking shit. the rape scene in the last episode of #13ReasonsWhy was absolutely unfuckingnecessary. i never get triggered over ANY rape scenes but that was torture porn. worse than the cutting scene in the first season. i wanna puke.
— jill ?? (@bluedotbirb) May 19, 2018
Others support the show’s decision to include it:
Rape scenes are not supposed to be comfortable. I’m glad they made sure the audience wasn’t comfortable. Rape is torture and it’s violent. You have no business being “comfortable” during a rape scene. #13ReasonsWhy2 #13ReasonsWhy
— IFHY (@Xevsymeedrome) May 20, 2018
I appreciated 13 reasons why bc it showed rape in the way that it is. Seeing Hannah frozen in shock, hatred, and guilt made me realize that my response to rape was normal. The disbelief of what's really happening and disgust of the truth makes most victims die inside…
— ? (@giftedlook) May 18, 2018
Y’all don’t like “13 Reasons Why” because it makes you talk and think about uncomfortable topics such as Rape, Suicide and Sexual Assualt. All these topics that people try their best to ignore and you see what happens when you ignore it? All these things continue to happen.
— Sam (@samoffficial) May 22, 2018
Watch the 13 Reasons Why season 2 trailer below.