'13 Reasons Why' Star Devin Druid Defends His Graphic Season 2 Scene

Warning: This article contains spoilers for 13 Reasons Why season 2, and mentions of sexual assault and suicide.

Netflix's 13 Reasons Why is no stranger to harsh criticism. The show's first season faced backlash for the way it portrayed suicide, and since season 2 premiered, a number of people have taken issue with a particularly graphic scene in the finale.

In the scene, Monty and two other members of the baseball team beat Tyler up before holding him down and raping him with the end of a mop. 

A number of tweets warning viewers to skip the scene went viral, and others even pledged to not watch the show again. 

Now, Devin Druid, who plays Tyler on the show, is speaking out. In a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight, Druid defended the show's inclusion of the scene. 

"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," he said. "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 also discussed how important it was for him to portray the events of 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," he told ET.

Druid continued, "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."

To prepare for the scene, Druid said he not only did extensive research, but also spoke with other actors, such as David Morse. "He was lovely in talking to me and giving me plenty of advice and talking me through the scenes and giving me amazing resources to look up about the scene that I was gonna be tasked with and was incredibly helpful," Druid said. 

Justin Prentice, who plays Bryce Walker on the show, also addressed the controversial scene. He told ET that upon receiving the season's scripts for the first time, the cast thought it was an "interesting choice," before the writers informed them that "this is actually going on in high schools." 

"At that point we were like, ‘Well, we've never shied away before in the show'… so I stand behind it," Prentice said. "I get that there's controversy, I get that it's hard for people to watch, but imagine the people that are dealing with this and going through it, you know, so be upset, be mad, let’s change this stuff and prevent it from happening. It's absurd that that's something that's going on in high schools."

13 Reasons Why is set to return for a third season in 2019.