’13 Reasons Why’ Author Files Defamation Lawsuit Against Writers’ Group After Misconduct Accusation

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

“13 Reasons Why” author Jay Asher has filed a lawsuit against the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the writers’ group’s executive director, Lin Oliver, for making what he says are false and defamatory statements about him that have damaged his reputation and career, after he was accused of sexual misconduct last year.

According to the lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court last week and obtained by TheWrap, Oliver issued a statement to the Associated Press last February that said the organization conducted an “investigation” and that Asher was “found to have violated the SCBWI code of conduct in regard to harassment.” The suit says those statements were false and Asher is seeking monetary damages for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Butaccording to Asher’s suit, the SCBWI did not conduct an investigation, and the author did not violate the SCBWI code of conduct.

Also Read: ’13 Reasons Why’ Author Jay Asher ‘Was Not Involved’ in Season 2, Netflix Says

“The executive director of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators made reckless and false statements about me to the news media, greatly harming my family, career, and reputation,” Asher said in a statement to TheWrap Friday. “I do not condone harassment of any sort, and have spent my entire career standing up for its victims, so these statements were devastating. Today, I filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles to set the record straight. Ms. Oliver’s statements were completely false and I look forward to proving that in court.”

SCBWI did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment on the lawsuit.

“SCBWI failed to conduct an investigation of any kind, and intentionally ignored evidence that would have shown Mr. Asher was completely innocent,” Patrick L. Fisher, Asher’s attorney, said in a statement. “Instead, SCBWI recklessly issued a false statement – in the heat of the ‘Me-Too’ movement – that unfairly damaged the reputation and career of one of the country’s most successful young adult authors. We look forward to presenting these facts to a jury.”

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According to Asher’s lawsuit, Oliver received anonymous emails in April 2017 accusing Asher of using SCBWI conferences to entice women into physical relationships and then threatening them to remain silent. The suit says these accusations were false and that these relationships were voluntary — and sometimes started by the women. The suit asserts there was no harassment by Asher at any point in these relationships and that he did not offer to help any of them professionally.

Oliver discussed the accusations with Asher, according to the lawsuit, telling him she thought they were an attempt to ruin his reputation just as Netflix debuted its adaptation of his YA novel. Oliver took no action regarding the emails for over nine months after that and Asher voluntarily stopped attending SCBWI events, though he did renew his membership when it expired at Oliver’s suggestion, according to the court documents.

According to the suit, two women later contacted Oliver who said they were involved in the anonymous emails. One woman said she knew firsthand the accusations were false and the second woman contradicted the emails, but Oliver didn’t question them further, the filing states.

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Asher showed Oliver proof that the author of the email had been harassing him for over a decade and offered to put her in touch with someone who could support his story, but Oliver took no action, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit states that Oliver then released the statement in February of last year, saying the organization had conducted an “investigation” and that Asher was “found to have violated the SCBWI code of conduct in regard to harassment.”

According to the suit, this caused Asher to suffer “injury to his personal, business, and professional reputation including suffering embarrassment, humiliation, severe emotional distress, shunning, anguish, fear, loss of employment.”

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’13 Reasons Why’ and Other Projects Resume Production After California Wildfire Shutdown

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Film and TV productions can now begin shooting in various areas affected by the November wildfires in Northern and Southern California, people knowledgeable of the situation told TheWrap.

This includes Netflix series “13 Reasons Why,” which had shooting locations in the affected city of Vallejo in Salano County for Season 3. The production was forced to evacuate during the fires due to poor air quality, a California Film Commission spokesperson said. The series also had to shut down during the production of Season 2 last October for similar reasons.

“Production teams are very resourceful and know how to adapt quickly,” Amy Lemisch, California Film Commission executive director, said in a statement. “We were able to work with them to help ensure safety and find alternative sites for filming.”

The fires in Northern California began when a campfire spread in the city of Paradise, killing at least 86 people. It was the deadliest U.S. wildfire in at least a century, according to the most recent report by the AP.

At the same time, the Woolsey Fire took a toll in the Southern California cities of Malibu, Thousand Oaks, Calabasas, Agoura and Hidden Hills, with three fatalities reported and more than 100,000 acres of land burned.

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While “13 Reasons Why” resumed production a week after the shutdown — with Season 3 scheduled to wrap in February — it was one of the lucky ones, as dozens of film permits in locations affected by the wildfires had to be declined due to the poor conditions. Netflix did not comment at the time of publication of this article.

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A month after the devastation, wildfire-affected areas are starting to rebuild. Locations like the Malibu Pier and El Matador State Beach started accepting applications for filming again on Dec. 13 after a period of about four weeks that began on Nov. 9 during which no filming was permitted and existing permits were suspended, according to a city of Malibu spokesperson.

Other locations that are now open for film permits include many spots located southeast of Malibu Canyon Road. The Adamson House, Countyline State Beach, Malibu Pier, Mugu State Beach, Point Dume Bluffs State Park, Robert Meyer Memorial State Beach (El Matador, El Pescador and La Piedra), Sycamore Cove State Beach, Tapia State Park and Will Rogers State Historic Park are now all open for applications.

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Leo Carillo State Park and Malibu Creek State Park, as well as the Pacific Coast Highway, are not currently accepting filming applications.

Filming in Los Angeles proper was not as affected by the fires, according to a spokesperson at the Los Angeles film office FilmLA.  There were five requests by TV and film productions during the November fires that were declined, but no productions evacuated completely.

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No, university study, 13 Reasons Why isn’t persuading kids to commit suicide

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How ’13 Reasons Why’ Changed Star Dylan Minnette’s Outlook on Hollywood (Video)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Before working on “13 Reasons Why,” star Dylan Minnette didn’t think he’d be changing any lives as an actor.

But playing Clay Jensen, who is consumed by audio tapes left by deceased classmate Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford) throughout Season 1, changed Minnette’s outlook on the impact TV can have on viewers.

“As an actor, like I’ve always just thought… what you do for people, it’s sort of irrelevant, besides entertaining them,” he told TheWrap in recent interview. “You’re not doing anything to, like, save anyone’s life or anything, you know?”

Also Read: ’13 Reasons Why’ Star Justin Prentice Says ‘You Should Be P–ed Off’ by Bryce’s Sentence (Exclusive Video)

The “Goosebumps” star said “13 Reasons Why” isn’t necessarily saving lives, but “we’ve definitely changed some.”

“I know that,” added Minnette. “People have told us.”

“It’s kind of given me a different outlook on the industry, on acting, on this art form as a whole,” he added. “It’s like, wow, I really can bring change to people.”

Minnette said the Netflix drama feels particularly relevant today — especially after the Season 2 premiere was cancelled in the wake of a deadly shooting at a high school in Santa Fe, Texas, last month.

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Of the shooting, Minnette said it “was shocking.” “It’s a shame how we’re just becoming numb to it, or more so as we go,” he said.

“The fact that people would be watching the show that weekend and that had just happened, it was so related and it just felt like at that point, I wasn’t going to go anyway,” he said. “You can’t celebrate anything on such a tragic day.”

Minnette knows the show has to walk a “fine line” between discussing important issues and coming across as preachy or one-sided.

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“It’s almost like a tightrope of trying to discuss important topics while also not becoming a PSA or talking down or losing its sense of being a compelling television series as well,” the 21-year-old actor said. “So it’s like, you have to kind of balance it. And I know the show is not about like, shoving a message down someone’s throat. So to me, in the way that I look at the story line of Season 2 is how dangerous it can be when kids, or people who are so young who are so destructive, and so confused, can easily have access to weapons of destruction like that.”

“None of them should be able to have access to that,” he continued. “That’s something that is also really true to life with teens and kids right now. It’s like, why are we so easily able to access these weapons? I think and hope that’s something that can be explored or discussed in future seasons of the show.”

The drama was renewed by Netflix for a third season earlier this month.

As for criticism of the show — some have said the way the show portrays suicide, gun violence and sexual assault is too graphic — Minnette’s view is that “no one is wrong.”

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“It’s how you feel and how you react,” he said. “And I think the show and everyone on it understands why the show does what it does, and the decisions that they make. I mean I’m not in control of any decisions they make, but it’s up to me to just try to understand it all and agree to the best of my ability, and I think the show and Netflix do the best that they can to kind of warn people before hand and let them know what’s coming.”

“I’m proud of the show, and I’m proud of all the decisions it’s made thus far,” he added.

“13 Reasons Why” Season 2 is now streaming on Netflix. Watch our full interview with Minnette above. (And for our interview with co-star Justin Prentice, head over here).

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’13 Reasons Why’ Star Justin Prentice Says ‘You Should Be P—ed Off’ by Bryce’s Sentence (Exclusive Video)

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(Spoilers ahead for Seasons 1 and 2 of “13 Reasons Why”)

Justin Prentice is nothing like the rapist he plays on Netflix’s teen drama “13 Reasons Why.” In fact, he’s just as angry as you are about his character’s light sentence of three months probation.

Prentice is well aware of all the controversy surrounding “13 Reasons.” Critics say that the show, which was based on Jay Asher’s novel of the same name in Season 1 but ventures beyond the source material for the second season, too realistically depicts the suicide of its main character, Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford). In Season 2, there is a graphic sexual assault scene that caused an uproar online, and the show’s LA premiere was canceled after a recent school shooting in Texas because of a thwarted school shooting storyline at the end of the sophomore run.

But Prentice wants viewers to start conversations of their own and “change the world.”

Also Read: Netflix Renews ’13 Reasons Why’ For a Third Season

“I think that people like Bryce can change,” Prentice said. “The way that they see other human beings, the way they view women, I think that’s all subject to change if we challenge the way they see things.”

“I didn’t know to what extent of evil he was,” Prentice said of his character, Bryce Walker. “For the callback, they added the scene which almost word for word, funny enough, ended up being the scene with Clay in Season 1 where he comes to confront me and get me on mic. So that’s when I knew, at that point, like ‘oh, he like actually rapes people and this is really intense and dark.”

Prentice said that during that audition process, the Brock Turner case was in the news, “so that was very fresh in my mind.”

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In Season 2, Bryce gets arrested for raping Jessica (Alisha Boe), but he’s only sentenced to three months probation. Brock Turner was sentenced to six months in jail after being convicted of sexual assault of an unconscious person, sexual assault of an intoxicated person and sexual assault with intent to commit rape, according to the New York Times. (The California judge who gave Turner that sentence was recalled on Tuesday).

“Fair? No. Realistic? Very much so,” Prentice said of Bryce’s punishment. “I think we all knew it was coming, those who work on the show … And that pisses people off, and you should be pissed off. But yeah, it’s a light slap on the wrist and it sucks, but he’s a white straight guy and he comes from a power family, and they have money and they have ways of making things go away.”

Watch the full interview above.

“13 Reasons Why” Season 2 is now streaming on Netflix. 

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Netflix Renews ’13 Reasons Why’ For a Third Season

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“13 Reasons Why” was renewed for a third season on Netflix, the streaming company announced on Wednesday.

The third season, which will debut in 2019, will consist of 13 episodes. Brian Yorkey will return as showrunner, with Joy Gorman, Mandy Teefey, Kristel Laiblin, Tom McCarthy, Steve Golin and Selena Gomez returning as executive producers.

The renewal of the controversial teen drama comes weeks after it debuted its second season, which premiered May 18.

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The first season of the drama received both praise and criticism for its graphic depiction of teen suicide. During the second season, a scene in which Devin Druid’s character Tyler is violently sexually assaulted in a bathroom with a mop handle was met with controversy.

Viewers of the show were divided on that scene: Some say that showing a sexual assault in such graphic detail is too disturbing, while others say it needs to be shown to portray the pain that some teenagers experience. For his part, Yorkey defended the scene.

The show is produced by Paramount Television and Anonymous Content for Netflix.

Watch Netflix’s announcement video on the show’s twitter account below.

What happens now? Season 3 of #13ReasonsWhy is coming. pic.twitter.com/B5brKfPGYZ

— 13 Reasons Why (@13ReasonsWhy) June 6, 2018

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