Netflix distanced itself from the sexual harassment allegations involving “Thirteen Reasons Why” author Jay Asher.
A spokesperson from the streaming service provider released a statement to Entertainment Weekly about the effect of Asher’s controversy on the second season of his book’s TV adaptation “13 Reasons Why.”
According to the spokesperson, “Jay Asher was not involved in the second season of 13 Reasons Why. The upcoming season will not be impacted in any way.”
The statement came after the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) executive director Lin Oliver told BuzzFeed News that Asher was kicked out of the organization after a thorough investigation.
“We have always been really sensitive to sexual harassment issues and have a zero tolerance policy, but clearly our policies haven’t prevented violations, so we’re taking this opportunity to take another look at our guidelines,” Lin stated.
Asher wrote the book where the controversial Netflix series was based on. It centers on the story about a female high school student who committed suicide after being sexually abused. But before her death, she enumerated 13 reasons why she decided to end her life through an auto diary.
On the other hand, Asher defended himself from the accusations in another interview with Buzzfeed News. The author admitted on Tuesday that he had affairs in the past, but they were all with consenting adults. He also claimed that he was the one who has been constantly harassed because of the said affairs, but he never retaliated.
Asher’s representative also released a statement Wednesday to declare that the statements of the SCBWI executive director are not true. “In April 2017, Mr. Asher voluntarily agreed that he would no longer attend SCBWI conferences,” the statement read. “This was in response to hurt feelings of a group of authors with whom he had consensual relationships that ended poorly. Mr. Asher was not banned by the SCBWI. In fact, when he let his membership in the group lapse last summer, Lin Oliver, the group’s executive director, suggested that he keep his membership going. He did as requested, and Mr. Asher’s membership is active today.”
Netflix has yet to announce the release date of “13 Reasons Why” season 2, but it is expected to be launched later this year.