No alternate to Netflix’s 13 Causes Why plans amid sexual misconduct allegations towards writer Jay Asher

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A planned second season of 13 Reasons Why on Netflix will be unaffected by the recent allegations of sexual misconduct against author Jay Asher.

Netflix said in a statement on Tuesday that Asher was uninvolved in the new season, scheduled to air this year. The streaming network added that the series would “not be impacted.”

Asher’s best-seller from 2007 about a suicidal teenager is the basis for the popular Netflix show.

On Monday, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators told The Associated Press that Asher was kicked out of the organization because of complaints about harassment. The Oklahoma Writers’ Federation already has cancelled a planned keynote address by Asher at a conference in May.

Asher has said he chose to leave the children’s writers society and was himself a victim of harassment. In an email to the AP, he did acknowledge having affairs with “consenting adults.”

Books-Jay Asher

Author Jay Asher is seen with his wife, Joan Marie, at the March 2017 premiere of 13 Reasons Why in Los Angeles. (Steve Cohn/Netflix/Associated Press)

“I am ashamed of myself and the pain our actions caused our families,” wrote Asher, 42, who has been married since 2002.

“During the past decade of harassment related to these affairs, I have never once retaliated. I will continue to leave my accusers to their anonymity in order to save them and their families from further hurt.”

Writers’ group expands harassment policy

Later on Tuesday, the executive director of the SCBWI told the AP that it had strengthened and expanded its anti-harassment policy. The additions included a code of conduct and a plan to have an anti-harassment monitor at SCBWI events. Lin Oliver also disputed Asher’s contention that he had left the SCBWI voluntarily and was himself a victim of harassment.

“If he chose to leave, it was under duress,” said Oliver, adding that she had made it clear to Asher that the SCBWI wanted him out.

“And the reason he left was not because he was being harassed.”

13 Reasons Why

Based on Asher’s 2007 bestseller, 13 Reasons Why tells the story of a high school student who takes her own life and leaves behind 13 audiotapes detailing the events that led to her death, including sexual assault, substance abuse and bullying. A 13-episode second season is forthcoming. (Beth Dubber/Netflix)

Also Tuesday, Asher’s publisher issued a statement saying it had no comment on the allegations.

“We are unable to comment on Jay Asher’s relationship with SCBWI because we have had no involvement with or knowledge of our author’s history with this organization,” reads the statement from Penguin Young Readers, which currently has no plans for new books by Asher.

SOURCE: CBC.ca

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