Netflix adds warnings to 13 Reasons Why after backlash

The show, which adapts Jay Asher's best-selling book, has drawn criticism over the way it depicts suicide

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The Independent Culture

Netflix is taking action in response to severe concerns over its new series 13 Reasons Why.

Mental health groups, including Australia's National Youth Mental Health Foundation, have urged schools, communities, parents, and mental health services to take caution over the show's depiction of suicide without a discussion either of surrounding mental illness or depression, and without portraying viable alternatives. 

The show, adapted from Jay Asher's best-selling book of the same name, centres on a 17-year-old high school student who commits suicide, after leaving behind 13 cassette tapes for 13 different people she felt were instrumental in her decision to take her own life. 

To address these concerns, Netflix has issued a statement (via The Hollywood Reporter) saying it is adding stronger warnings to the series. In addition to the warnings that precede the three episodes featuring scenes of graphic rape and suicide, a new warning card will be placed at the beginning of the entire series.

"There has been a tremendous amount of discussion about our series 13 Reasons Why," the statement reads. "While many of our members find the show to be a valuable driver for starting important conversation with their families, we have also heard concern from those who feel the series should carry additional advisories. Currently the episodes that carry graphic content are identified as such and the series overall carries a TV-MA rating." 

"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 — a global resource center that provides information about professional organizations that support help around the serious matters addressed in the show."

Issues aside, it seems Netflix is close to announcing a second season of the show

*If you are worried you or a loved one may be suicidal or having suicidal thoughts, phone Samaritans on 116 123*