'13 Reasons Why's Justin Prentice Broke Down Reading A Letter From A Sexual Assault Survivor
22 May 2018, 11:00
"I'm proud of all the people like this who are stronger than their circumstances"
13 Reasons Why received a lot of backlash for its graphic depictions of sexual assault and suicide in season one. It was also heavily criticised for not initially containing any trigger warnings on episodes containing those scenes.
The makers of the show have since tried to reconcile those criticisms by introducing trigger warnings, creating a website with links to resources for those who are struggling with their mental health, as well as creating a one-off videos which urges anyone that is affected by the show's themes to seek help. Netflix also created Beyond The Reasons, a follow up show with the cast, to delve a little deeper into the themes on the show.
One of the one-off clips, which was released a few weeks before season two dropped, is getting shared round the internet again because of the emotional response from actor Justin Prentice, who plays Bryce, who reads out a letter from a sexual assault survivor.
Justin's character Bryce is responsible for raping two characters - Hannah and Jessica - in season one and we learn in season two that they aren't the only ones that Bryce has attacked.
"I'm a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, rape at 19...and a survivor of suicide attempts," Prentice reads out from the letter. "Watching this show has tested my strength as a survivor and it has brought out the side of me that wants to advocate for survivors of traumatic assaults."
Prentice claps when the victim says that they're eight months free of self-harm but it's the final line, "thanks to you guys for saving my life" when Prentice break down. "I'm just proud of this person. I'm proud of all the people like this who are stronger than their circumstances" he says through tears. "These are heroes...these are people you should look up to and aspire to be like," he said.
Watch the video above. If you're affected by any of the issues discussed in 13 Reasons Why, head to 13reasonswhy.info.