Selena Gomez responds to '13 Reasons Why' backlash: 'It's not an easy subject to talk about'

The star was a producer for the controversial series about suicide.

ByABC News
May 1, 2017, 10:40 AM

— -- The Netflix original series "13 Reasons Why" has been a hit among many viewers, though some have criticized it as "triggering" for young people and something that could encourage suicidal thoughts in teens.

Selena Gomez, who has been open about her own mental health struggles and who is a producer on the show, is speaking out about the backlash.

"We stayed very true to the book and that's initially what [author] Jay Asher created, was a beautifully tragic, complicated yet suspenseful story. And I think that's what we wanted to do," Gomez, 24, told The Associated Press of the show, which is based on the 2007 novel of the same name.

"We wanted to do it justice and, yeah, [the backlash is] going to come no matter what. It's not an easy subject to talk about, but I'm very fortunate with how it's doing and I’m overwhelmed, very proud of it."

"13 Reasons Why" depicts the story of a teenager who commits suicide and subsequently has messages delivered to those who she says contributed to her death, explaining how they wronged her. Some viewers -- and even entire school districts -- have expressed concern about the portrayal of suicide in the show, namely the apparent lack of resources available to the character in question, as well as the show's potential to glorify or romanticize suicide.

Despite the controversy, Gomez maintains that the project is important to her.

"'13 Reasons Why' was a really big moment for me, just because we had the book for seven years and we worked so hard on it," she told ET last week. "I'm in a really happy place. It's been good."