The worst thing about 13 Reasons Why is its fanbase
Bullying people for not liking a show about bullying people…?
We live in an era of rabid fan culture. It's impossible to just enjoy something, be it an album, a TV show, or a celebrity. You can't just be a fan — you have to be a stan.
Some of the worst, most sensitive fans are those of the book-turned-TV series 13 Reasons Why. Viewers obsessed with the Selena Gomez-produced Netflix series have become deputized warriors in the fight against backlash.
To 13RW stans, it doesn't matter that professional, medical mental health groups — read: people who have spent their lives studying and practicing mental healthcare — have condemned it as a potential catalyst for copycat suicides and glamorization of self-harm. The professionals are immediately slammed as stupid, unaware "haters."
And it's not just mental health professionals. It's impossible to offer any criticism of the show without being hit with a wave of backlash and accusations of "not understanding" what the show was about. You're immediately dismissed as an "idiot" right after being told that the words-have-consequences trope is the point of the show. Makes sense.
Not even celebrities are immune to the vitriol. Singer Zara Larsson tweeted that she felt the show romanticized suicide, and was drowned in hateful, dismissive comments.
One of the most common tweets/comments/posts about the series centers around surprise that people who spent their school days bullying are now fierce advocates of the show and "watching what you say." A quick scroll through Twitter reveals that this is a common thread for tons of teenagers:
The biggest question about fans' blinding, all-consuming devotion to 13RW is just…why? As a viewer of every episode and a depressed person with (ding ding ding) suicidal ideation, aren't my thoughts and criticisms valid? Why try to shut down a dialogue rather than listening to affected people telling you what the show gets right and wrong?
As so many 13RW fans love to push, yes teen suicide should be discussed, but a discussion can't happen if only one side is permitted to speak.