'13 Reasons Why's' Devin Druid Has Addressed That Controversial Rape Scene

7 June 2018, 13:41

Devin Druid as Tyler Down in 13 Reasons Why
Picture: Greg Doherty/Getty Images/Netflix
Katie Louise-Smith

By Katie Louise-Smith

The actor who plays Tyler on the show had a pretty strong reaction to the scene - and has defended the decision to show it in such a graphic way.

Over the past few weeks, the internet has made it pretty clear how they feel about the graphic and brutal rape scene in the final episode of 13 Reasons Why season two. While some have praised the show for airing a real and unflinching depiction of male-on-male sexual abuse to the forefront of the discussion, others have slammed the teen show for depicting it in such a graphic and "unnecessary" way.

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In case you aren't aware of what happens in the episode, here's a brief explanation: student Tyler Down is beaten, smashed head first into a mirror and then raped by classmate Monty de la Cruz with the end of a mop handle and left bleeding on the floor of the bathroom stall. The scene itself is just over 2 minutes long and is very hard to watch. Some fans have even said it left them feeling sick and shaken.

Despite the huge backlash that followed, showrunner Brian Yorkey recently defended the rape scene. And now, Devin Druid, the actor who plays Tyler, has opened up to ET to explain what he really thinks about the controversial scene.

Tyler Down and Monty de la Cruz, 13 Reasons Why season 2
Picture: Netflix

“You know, I think people are always gonna have opinions on the show and what we do, but I think it's staying true to what the show has been about and that has been taking on these tough issues and trying to show them in these truthful lights,” Druid told ET Online.

“We can't sugarcoat it or censor it at all because that's not how these events happen. And I think it is this trying to portray and make people understand what happens in these unfortunate and tragic circumstances.”

Druid says he didn’t take the responsibility of such a heavy scene lightly. He also did a lot of extensive research to ensure he depicted the scene accurately. 

“As an actor I felt a lot of responsibility to accurately portray the pain and humiliation that one can go through when they're assaulted in this way, especially with the stigma around sexual assault with men.”

“Especially this age of kind of toxic and fragile masculinity, I think that plays a big part in this idea of men being raped, it's not something that people think about a lot. And then as a male character, what does that feel like for you in a society where you're told this shouldn't happen to you, and not that it should happen to anybody, but that this can’t happen to you, but it does, what does that do to you on a mental level as well as physically obviously an enormous amount of pain.”

Now that a third season of the show is on the cards, here's hoping we are actually able to see Tyler work through what happened to him by means of a therapist or a support group. If the show owes it's audience one thing, it's a healthy (albeit no doubt difficult) depiction of recovery instead of leaving them with yet another sense of hopelessness.

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