Netflix has announced it will add a content warning to its original series “13 Reasons Why” after multiple mental health advocacy groups and parents expressed concerns with its graphic depiction of suicide.
In the series, based on Jay Asher’s young adult novel, 17-year-old Hannah Baker commits suicide and leaves behind 13 tapes containing reasons why she did it.
USA Today reported that teachers, parents and psychologists have said the show glamorizes suicide and could lead to copycat suicides.
“There has been a tremendous amount of discussion about our series 13 Reasons Why. While many of our members find the show to be a valuable driver for starting an important conversation with their families, we have also heard concern from those who feel the series should carry additional advisories,” Netflix said in a statement, according to Variety.
“Moving forward, we will add an additional viewer warning card before the first episode as an extra precaution for those about to start the series and have also strengthened the messaging and resource language in the existing cards for episodes that contain graphic subject matter, including the URL 13ReasonsWhy.info — a global resource center that provides information about professional organizations that support help around the serious matters addressed in the show,” the statement said.
The series currently has a content warning before two of the 13 episodes. Netflix also has a documentary called “13 Reasons Why: Beyond the Reasons” which includes suicide-prevention resources.
The show’s executive producer, Selena Gomez, and Kate Walsh, who plays Hannah’s mother, have both defended the show.
“Parents and teachers and students should watch this and have conversations about sexual assault, about bullying, about LGBTQ issues, about race issues, gender issues, and suicide and depression and mental health because largely in our country, as we see now, it's still in shroud of shame or silence,” Walsh said in an interview with AOL. “So to really see it for what it is and talk about it and get people help, in so doing I think prevent it.”
Gomez told The Associated Press of the criticism: “It's going to come no matter what. It's not an easy subject to talk about. But I'm very fortunate with how it's doing.”
Netflix said the changes in advisories will happen as soon as next week.