Selena Gomez was just as excited as fans to announce that filming wrapped for season 2 of Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why earlier this week. But one heartbroken father whose daughter committed suicide after watching the popular show’s first season is now slamming the pop star for completing season two – and claims he wants to sue.
John Herndon, of Livermore, Calif., says executive producer Gomez couldn’t be more clueless.
“I’m still completely disgusted,” Herndon told RadarOnline.com in an exclusive interview. “Selena makes me sick. She is an extremely disturbed individual to think that this show has any kind of redeeming social value at all.”
Herndon and his wife, Donna, discovered their 15-year-old daughter, Bella, hung in her closet on April 18. The teenager was rushed to the hospital, and died 10 days later.
Shortly after Bella’s funeral, Herndon learned his teenage daughter had binge-watched the Netflix show. Herndon then began his quest to stop the show from being renewed for a second season.
Herndon, who told news outlets in April that his daughter had battled depression, claimed the show was a trigger for Bella.
“Remember that there are teens out there that are in a little darker place and these could be your friends, your sisters,” Herndon said. “Selena Gomez and Netflix need to understand that not everybody’s going to understand this very well. Some people who are battling with depression, this could catch them at the wrong time, creating what is called the trigger event.”
The series has been accused of glamorizing suicide from parents and even school districts.
Herndon said he has reached out to Gomez and her team via her website, www.selenagomez.com, begging for her to end the show.
“I asked that she remove her support and get Netflix to stop,” Herndon said. “I received no response.”
Herndon called both Gomez and Netflix “hypocritical” as the streaming service fired Kevin Spacey and Danny Masterson after allegations of sexual harassment, but has made no changes to 13 Reasons Why.
“They made those decisions to make themselves look like a socially responsible company yet they are making a product about people who are hurt and how they can hurt themselves,” Herndon said.
Herndon claimed Netflix, like Gomez, has ignored his emails and phone calls multiple times. With season 2 ready to air, Herndon said he’s lost all hope that the new episodes won’t trigger vulnerable viewers from hurting themselves.
“I’ve seen too many posts by the creators who indignantly say it’s helped more people than it’s hurt,” the devastated dad said. “How many people have to be hurt before somebody aside from me stands up and says, ‘You know, this is wrong.’”
Herndon said no matter how much time has gone by, he and Donna experience the effects of their daughter’s suicide daily. “Every day we’re assaulted by these feelings we get for Bella. I can’t control how sick it makes me feel,” Herndon said.
The father added that seeing Gomez receive attention for speaking up about her own health struggles angered him even more.
“She has spared no expense rattling her own saber about her kidney transplant,” Herndon said. “She talked about how painful it was and spent significant effort getting that ‘oh poor me’ out there. That’s just disgusting.”
Herndon said that if he could, he would sue everyone involved in the show.
“Suing a billion-dollar company like Netflix is not within my means right now unless there are other like-minded individuals that want to engage collectively together to bring a suit against them,” said Herndon.
If that were ever to become reality, Herndon added he would bring forth a huge liability and wrongful death suit, naming “Selena, Netflix, the show director, screenwriter – anybody I could think of.”
“I’d do it in a heartbeat,” Herndon concluded.