This article contains spoilers and graphic details that may disturb.
An actor from controversial high school drama 13 Reasons Why has defended a brutal rape scene in the show's second season.
Devin Druid, 20, plays Tyler Down, a socially awkward photographer who is shown being bullied throughout the series.
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In the final episode of the second season, Tyler is savagely beaten by three other boys in a school bathroom. He is then anally raped with the end of a mop.
The scene was roundly criticised for its graphic violence, which many called exploitative and unnecessary.
The Parents Television Council, a TV censorship watchdog, urged Netflix to cancel the show because of the scene - but Druid told Entertainment Tonight that he felt it was important to show the reality of sexual assault.
"We can't sugarcoat it or censor it at all, because that's not how these events happen," he said.
"And I think it is this trying to portray and make people understand what happens in these unfortunate and tragic circumstances."
The actor said he felt a lot of pressure to "accurately portray the pain and humiliation" of male rape, as he feels there is still significant stigma around the issue.
"Especially this age of kind of toxic and fragile masculinity, I think that plays a big part in this idea of men being raped, it's not something that people think about a lot," he said.
"And then as a male character, what does that feel like for you in a society where you're told this shouldn't happen to you?
"And not that it should happen to anybody, but that this can't happen to you, but it does - what does that do to you on a mental level as well as physically - obviously an enormous amount of pain."
The show, which centres on a teenage girl who takes her own life, has also been criticised for glamorising suicide, which it portrayed in an extremely graphic way in a scene in the first season.
On Thursday (local time), it was announced that 13 Reasons Why had been renewed for a third season.