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TV

Katherine Langford defends that controversial 13 Reasons Why scene…

The Aussie actress addresses the backlash.

By Zoe Burrell
If you’ve surfed the internet in the past six months then you’ve probably seen something about the Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why.
In fact, very few TV shows have ignited controversy quite like this.
13 Reasons Why tells the story of a teen girl, Hannah Baker, who committed suicide and left behind 13 tapes revealing why she chose to take her own life.
After the show aired, there was major backlash over the way producers chose to depict Hannah’s suicide in such graphic detail.
But Australian actress Katherine Langford, who plays Hannah, has no regrets.
Hannah Baker and Clay Jensen
In an interview with Deadline she says that they approached the topic in the right way.
“When we did the table reads, it felt like the right choice,” Katherine explained.
“I don't think there was ever a moment where we didn't want to show Hannah's suicide, because that wouldn't have been staying true to the vision of the show.”
Instead of cameras panning away from Hannah as she carries out her tragic suicide, the camera stays on her throughout the shockingly emotional and explicit scene.
“It's not pretty, it's not romanticised, it's not a beautiful tragedy – it's agonising, and it's physically painful to watch,” Katherine mused.
They was a huge public outcry surrounding the scene.
The Perth-born star worked with a psychiatrist in the lead up to filming in order to understand her character and create a more authentic depiction of suicide.
What’s more, Katherine is grateful to have been a part of a show that tackles such difficult topics head-on.
“I think one of the best things that the show has done, from what I’ve heard and what I’ve seen, is it’s started a discussion in a really big way,” she said.
Katherine Langford as Hannah
Co-executive producer Selena Gomez has also previously spoke out about the show’s sensitive suicide subject.
“We wanted to do it justice and, yeah, [the backlash is] gonna come no matter what," Selena said.
"It’s not an easy subject to talk about, but I’m very fortunate with how it’s doing."
Love it or hate it, there’s no denying that 13 Reasons Why has started an important discussion.
If you’re struggling and need someone to talk to, contact Lifeline (lifeline.org.au) on 1311 14 or visit Headspace at (headspace.org.au). Visit Beyond Blue at (beyondblue.org.au) or call 1300 22 4636. You can also contact the Kids Help Line on 1800 55 1800.

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