Tara Sonin
September 05, 2019 8:08 am

Relentless online bullying has led Grace Saif, an actress on Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why, to quit social media—and celebs are coming to her defense. Specifically, Riverdale star Ashleigh Murray tweeted her support and understanding of the actress’s decision. And honestly, no one should have to go through this.

Murray, who plays Josie on the CW show, related her own experiences of social media harassment.

She encourages her fans not to blame Saif for leaving the online platforms, and with over 60K likes on Twitter, it seems her message has gained a lot of support.

According to Teen Vogue, Saif joined the show in its third season as Ani, a new character and the new omniscient narrator, taking over for the character Hannah Baker. Ani is also involved with Bryce, who in Season 1 was revealed to be a rapist, and whose death the new season revolves around.

“Fans” of 13 Reasons Why reacted strongly to the new character on social media, bullying Saif because of their opinions about Ani, a fictional character.

13 Reasons Why has been plagued by controversies, including multiple studies that linked the program to an increase in teen suicide, as well as the #MeToo scandal plaguing the author of the book that inspired the production.

Women of color have long been targets of racism and sexism, but in 2019 alone the attacks against Black actresses on multiple TV shows have increased, including Murray, Saif, and The Flash actress Candice Patton, who has also experienced online bullying from racist trolls (causing the show’s star, Grant Gustin, to issue a statement in her defense).

Despite the on-screen and off-screen drama, we’re glad that Saif has an advocate in her corner in the form of a fellow actress and the many fans who support her both on the show and off.

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