‘Please watch with caution’: All the Bright Places viewers urge Netflix to add trigger warning

Viewers criticised the service for making new film seem ‘light and fluffy’

Jacob Stolworthy
Sunday 01 March 2020 12:58
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All the Bright Places - trailer

Netflix subscribers are issuing warnings to those planning to watch All the Bright Places and criticising the service’s decision to not include a trigger warning.

The new film, which is based on the bestselling novel by Jennifer Niven tackles the subject of mental illness, starring Elle Fanning and Justice Smith as Violet Markey and Theodore Finch, two people who “bond over their struggles with emotional and physical scars of the past”.

Those who have watched the 15-certificate film since its release on Friday (28 February) are alerting their Twitter followers to the fact it is not a “light and fluffy romcom” as the trailer might suggest, but something far more sensitive.

“Netflix should add a trigger warning bc it’s going to trigger so many people of it doesn’t,” one concerned viewer wrote, with another writing: “Please watch with caution.”

Another added: “All the Bright Places was released yesterday and Netflix hasn’t posted a trigger warning. If you do watch it, it’s not a cheesy love story the trailer makes it seem like, but deals with triggering topics and could be hard to watch.”

Netflix has faced similar controversy before. Upon the release of 13 Reasons Why in March 2017, the series sparked a debate about whether it deals with the subject of teen suicide tactfully and was criticised heavily by mental health organisations.

It was reported at the time that schools were issuing letters to parents warning them about the drama, which led to the show’s producers defending their decision to include the controversial scene.

Brett Haley, who directed All the Bright Places, told Vanity Fair that Netflix provided a network of mental health professionals with whom to consult at each stage of production.

“We ran the script by them and talked to them in pre-production about what kind of message we were putting forth,” he said. “We made sure that we weren’t depicting anything in any kind of dangerous capacities that could be triggering. There was a lot of conversation around what this film was about, what it was saying, and how it was saying it.”

The film’s stars have reflected on the film’s ending, which has been called “heartbreaking” by viewers.

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