Lifestyle

Bryce Walker's fate in '13 Reasons Why' is terrifyingly close to reality

It's happening all over the world.

By Angelique Thompson

TRIGGER WARNING: This story contains discussion of sexual assault.

This post contains spoilers about 13 Reasons Why season two.

Although 13 Reasons Why's second season was only released less than a month ago, people are already debating the controversial topics that develop during the series' storyline.

Nonetheless, despite how confronting the Netflix drama may be to comprehend, the brutal themes and issues portrayed on-screen are sadly far from fiction.

Just like terrifying reality of Tyler's graphic sexual assault scene, it seems the frustrating fate of Bryce isn't out of the ordinary, either.

Throughout the season, Bryce seems to dodge any and all consequence in relation to the rapes of Jessica, Hannah and his own girlfriend Chloe.

However, it's the shock discovery of the 'clubhouse' that encourages Jessica to file a police report, with the help of Justin as a witness.

While many expected that Bryce would finally face repercussions after being arrested for sexual assault, the character was only sentenced to three months' probation and given the opportunity to start over at a new school.

Understandably, viewers were left outraged by the ending of season two and not even Justin Prentice, who plays Bryce, was happy about it either.

"In terms of Bryce's ending, it pisses me off," he told Entertainment Tonight.

"Our show is fictional and there are dramatised events. But one thing that it tries to do is sort of mirror reality in a sense and kind of put up a mirror and spotlight the issues that our country is specifically dealing with, but really all over the world."

Prentice also added that these events disappointingly reflect reality. "Bryce is privileged [and] comes from a powerful family. He's a straight, white male, and so it's easier for him to get off, and we see that happening all the time and it sucks," he said.

When comparing Bryce's light sentence to that of Justin's (who was arrested as an accessory to rape and received six months' probation) it's obvious that Justin was left disadvantaged by his underprivileged background and drug history.

So, it doesn't come as a surprise that critics have likened the fate of Bryce to Stanford University Student and athlete, Brock Turner.

In 2015, Turner was accused of sexually assaulting a drunk and unconscious 22-year-old woman. A year later, the then 20-year-old was found guilty of three felony counts of sexual assault — leading the prosecution to believe that he should spend six years in prison.

Turner was sentenced to serve six months in jail, however, only spent three months incarcerated before being released. He was added to the sex offender registry for life and was ordered to complete three years of probation.

In addition to that, Brock Turner's father further minimised his sons heinous acts by describing them as '20 minutes of action'.

Parallels to the case don't end there.

Jessica's heartfelt plea to the presiding judge in 13 Reasons Why also echoed the sentiments expressed in the letter Brock Turner's victim read aloud at her own court hearing.

The similarities between Bryce and Turner's fate are heartbreakingly similar, but they're only a sample of the maddeningly light sentences privileged sexual perpetrators have received worldwide.

"I know fans are going to be super pissed off, but you should be pissed off because that's the reality right now," Prentice said.

13 Reasons Why may cause public outrage over its representation of "tough, real-world issues," but there's no denying the series closely mirrors the harsh realities of life — and that's something worth talking about.

If you, or someone you know, is struggling emotionally or having a hard time you can contact Lifeline found on 13 11 14.