13 Reasons Why has been inspiring difficult conversations ever since its debut this year, with some parents, school administrators, and mental health organizations condemning the Netflix series for what they see as a glamorized depiction of suicide.
Now, there's a backlash to the backlash — and it's coming from one of the show's stars.
Christian Navarro, who plays Tony Padilla, pushed back against the accusations in a chat with People, saying, "I think they're not watching the same show. When we were working on it, we had tons of mental health experts on set at all times, our producers were very diligent on making sure that the tone was inclusive and helpful and not harmful."
While Navarro respects that the series' nay-sayers are coming from a place of wanting to protect kids, he added, "I think they should listen to their children though, this is happening right now all over the world in high schools. I think the parents should watch it with them."
Navarro's is among several cast members, producers, and directors to defend the Netflix series, which recently addressed the controversy surrounding its depiction of suicide by adding additional warning cards to its opening credits. A school district in Colorado also briefly pulled Jay Asher's book, upon which the show is based, from its libraries this week after a spate of teen suicides.
13 Reasons Why is currently available on Netflix.