Netflix says that a series of sexual harassment allegations against 13 Reasons Why author Jay Asher won’t stop Season 2 of the show from moving forward, claiming the author was not part of the new season’s creation.
“Jay Asher was not involved in the second season of 13 Reasons Why. The upcoming season will not be impacted in any way,” a spokesperson for Netflix told EW.
Netflix did not, however, specify whether or not Asher will receive additional earnings for the show’s second season or if buying the rights to the book and its characters back in 2015 was a one-time deal. It’s an important distinction for those of us who’d like to protest with our wallets from here on out.
Sexual harassment allegations against Asher came to light in the comments of a School Library Journal article about the issue within the context of children’s publishing. Several anonymous accusers named Asher, some of whom claimed he was the person they told Anna Ursu about for her survey and subsequent article about sexual harassment in the industry, which specifically asked female authors to share their experiences without naming accusers. This prompted SCBWI chair Lin Oliver to publicly address that the author was quietly expelled from the organization last year after they received complaints against him.
According to author Leah Clifford, Asher’s behavior has been a known among industry insiders for quite some time:
I guess I just wanted to add my voice and say YES, Jay Asher using his status and power to sexually harass women writers is something that was well known when I started going to conferences in 2011. I've been waiting years for him to get called out.
— Leah Clifford (@LeahClifford) February 11, 2018
Asher has since claimed that, despite Oliver’s announcement that he was expelled, he voluntarily left the organization after he himself was harassed and “thrown under bus.”
His response was met with this comment from author, literary agent, and alleged former friend Eve Porinchak:
— Stephanie Pasciuti 📖 Book Reviews (@SPasciuti_) February 13, 2018
The Maze Runner series author James Dashner, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian author Sherman Alexie, and Mexican WhiteBoy author Matt de la Peña were also accused by more than one party in the SLJ article’s comments, though Oliver said SCBWI had not received complaints against them. The three have not released statements, nor have they been active on social media since they were accused (though it’s important to note that Alexie is not active on social media in general.)
Netflix has not announced a release date for 13 Reasons Why Season 2, which goes beyond Asher’s book to delve further into the aftermath of Hannah’s death.