Netflix’s original series 13 Reasons Why has been accused of glamorizing suicide – and the controversy is forcing a ban on the hit show. RadarOnline.com has exclusively learned a New York City school is advising parents to have their middle school students refrain from watching the series.
“After hearing that some of our students have been watching 13 Reasons Why on Netflix, we felt it was important to reach out to the parent community to share our concerns and offer some advice,” Stephen Gaynor School wrote in a statement to parents. “This miniseries attempts to address many themes that can lead to important conversations with students; however, aspects of the miniseries go against the recommendations of mental health professionals and suicide prevention models.”
13 Reasons Why, which was adapted from the young adult novel of the same name, is a fictional story of high school student Hannah Baker. The main character, who has committed suicide before the story begins, leaves behind cassette records for the 13 people she blames for her suicide.
“On the surface, a show grappling with the difficulties of being an adolescent and the issue of suicide appears positive,” the statement continues. “However, this program includes an explicit, graphic scene depicting the actual suicide of the teenager. It also simplifies the issue of suicide to cause and effect, and places blame on individuals. This is a dangerous way for a young person to view and hear about suicide.”
The school ends the letter with, “As a parent, it is important to consider whether your teen is ready to watch a series as intense as 13 Reasons Why, which is actually rated TV-MA, for mature audiences. We do not recommend that your teen watches the series, however, if your teen is going to watch the series, we encourage you to watch it together and to discuss your reactions. If your teen has already watched the series, it is still important to discuss the issues raised in the series.”
The show has been controversial since its premiere, as critics believe it glamorizes suicide.
A suicide prevention advocacy group says the series could do “more harm than any good.”
“Young people are going to over identify with Hannah in the series and we actually may see more suicides as a result of this television series," Dan Reidenberg, the executive director for Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, told ABC News. "I've heard from others that are really concerned because its so sensational and so graphic that they're worried about the copycat effect of suicide.”
He continued how the show does not present an alternative to suicide, and doesn’t talk about the issues of mental illness or depression.
Do you think the series should be banned? Tell us in the comments.
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