13 Reasons Why star Anne Winters has admitted that she “could barely watch” the graphic rape scene in season two.
The second season of Netflix’s flagship teen drama included a controversial scene depicting sexual assault involving character Tyler Down (Devin Druid).
Looking back on the scene, Winters, who plays cheerleader and assault survivor Chloe, said that she understood why it had caused such a strong response among viewers.
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“It was very graphic. I could barely watch it honestly,” Winters told RadioTimes.com. “It was very disturbing. I could see how that provoked a lot of controversy to be honest.”
However, she added that while she would not watch the scene again, she was proud to be part of the series and exploring such issues.
“At the same time I love being on a show that has so much controversy because it’s in everyone’s line of conversation, and everyone’s talking about it. I think that’s great,” she said.
“But that was crazy: that scene is definitely one that I will not watch again,” Winters added.
In the show, Tyler’s rape appears to catalyse his decision to carry out a school shooting, which is only prevented in the final moments of season two after Clay Jensen (Dylan Minnette) intervenes.
Explaining his decision to include the scene, 13 Reasons Why creator Brian Yorkey told Vulture in 2018, “We’re committed on this show to telling truthful stories about things that young people go through in as unflinching a way as we can. We fully understand that that means some of the scenes in the show will be difficult to watch. I think Netflix has helped provide viewers with lots of resources for understanding that this may not be the show for everybody, and also resources for people who do watch it and are troubled and need help.”
Winters will return for the third season of the Netflix teen drama, and says that while some of the subjects explored may be difficult to watch, 13 Reasons Why has treated the issues responsibly.
“Netflix really talks about this: we do a public service announcement before every episode: we know that it’s sensitive material, and there are some things that maybe people aren’t ready to watch,” she said.
“I think it’s a big deal with the show, a lot of the content that we show, but I think it’s a good thing. It’s opened people’s eyes and opened conversations.”
If you would like to discuss any of the issues raised in 13 Reasons Why, the Samaritans are available 24 hours a day online or by phone, offering helpful and confidential support