When it was announced that Selena Gomez had been an executive producer on a Netflix version of Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why I think the world around people were admittedly wary. With such touchy subject matter how would they turn the revered novel into something visual? And then it came out – and we were in awe. It became the Netflix’s most popular show, racking up 3.5 million social volume impressions in the first week following its release. Here’s why that’s important: it’s proof positive that if celebrities are provided with the information to disseminate to their fans we will be establishing an entire generation of socially, politically engaged individuals with actual fact behind their engagement. The fact that the show features powerful messages about mental health and other issues that teens face today means that hopefully, people will be encouraged to talk about their own experiences after talking about the show; and that the stars and in Selena’s case producers, are accessible because of social media makes it that much more powerful – its tangible because of this.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – social media is not the root of all evil; celebrities having an opinion on social issues and politics and expressing them is not cause for telling anyone to shut up and sing – both of these things come together to create a dialogue from which we have a lot to learn. I give Selena mad props for putting herself out there for a project as important as this one. As we learn in Thirteen Reasons Why – everything affects everything.