After being on the receiving end of hateful and mean comments from fans online, 13 Reasons Why star Grace Saif deleted everything off of her Instagram account and has gone silent on social media.
Saif plays the role of Ani Achola, a new character on Season 3 of the popular Netflix show, which debuted Aug. 23. The entire third season is narrated by Ani as the rest of the characters navigate Bryce’s death, with her reflecting back on their relationship, as well as everyone else’s role in his possible murder.
Ani is a new student at Liberty High School who moves to town when her mom becomes a caretaker for Bryce’s grandfather, all of them living under the same roof. Viewers eventually learn that, the whole time, Ani’s been narrating this from the police station in a confession to Deputy Standall.
A lot of 13 Reasons Why fans have gone on Twitter to express their dislike of Ani, using memes to make fun of her character.
“Petition for ani to fuck off of #13reasonswhy season 3,” Twitter user @_torihoward_ wrote. “Who thought it was a good idea to bring a new character in and make her the narrator??? As much as she wants to be she will never be part of the group.”
Twitter user @_AJKhan_ also wrote, “Ani could do whatever she wants to that’s her choice but you really have to be big dotish to fucking sleep with a rapist & try to be friends with one of his victims too. Like sis has NO morality whatsoever & her character is poorly written what a shame #13ReasonsWhy.”
Netflix and representatives for Saif did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News’ requests for comment. The Instagram account is still active with over 37,000 followers, including some other 13 Reasons cast members.
Timothy Granaderos, who plays Montgomery de la Cruz on the series, came to Saif’s defense on his own Instagram account a week ago by posting a behind-the-scenes photo and writing a lengthy caption.
“One of the underlining themes in our show is to take care of each other. I’ve seen some pretty nasty things being said online, concerning the introduction of a new character,” Granaderos wrote. “Y’all are passionate & we love you for that, but PLEASE PLEASE try to be kind and respect the work of the talented actress/actor behind the character.”
Anne Winters, who plays Chloe Rice on the show, also defended her costar to People, saying the backlash is “unwarranted.”
“I think her role was very important this season, because, you know, you need someone that has the other side of Bryce, and we wouldn’t have really gotten to see that unless there was some sort of new character that was living with him,” Winter said. “That’s vital to the story to see and Ani is amazing. Grace who plays Ani is like the sweetest girl ever. I really loved her character this season.”