Netflix’s Unacceptable 13 REASONS WHY Announces Release Date For Final Season
By Tess Farrand, Associate Content Editor
*Editor’s Note: This article talks about suicide. If you or someone you love is struggling, please reach out to your church and/or the National Suicide Hotline 1-800-273-8255.
Netflix’s suicide drama 13 REASONS WHY announced the final season will premiere on June 5, 2020.
In the past, Movieguide® warned media-wise viewers of the unacceptable content in the series that’s targeted towards teenagers.
According to Netflix, “In the series’ final season, Liberty High School’s Senior Class prepares for graduation. Before they say goodbye, they’ll have to keep a dangerous secret buried and face heartbreaking choices that could impact their futures forever.”
Movieguide®’s Evy Baehr Carroll reported:
To give background on the series, 13 REASONS WHY follows a high school girl named Hannah Baker who has made 13 tapes for the people who wronged her and lead her to commit suicide. The show graphically depicts the suicide and also depicts rape.
The writer of the episode depicting the suicide, Nic Sheff, told Vanity Fair, “From the very beginning, I agreed that we should depict the suicide with as much detail and accuracy as possible. I even argued for it, relating the story of my own suicide attempt to the other writers.”
Experts say this decision is wrong.
The show’s glorification of suicide created significant problems for families. Movieguide®’s own staff has mourned losses due to suicide.
In May of last year, we told you how the 2017 release of the popular Netflix series, 13 REASONS WHY, increased the teenage suicide rate to 29% higher that year than mental health professionals had expected based on previous statistics and models. It’s not just us making the correlation. The National Institute of Health has done extensive research showing correlation between national suicide rates and the portrayal of suicide in popular media.
Movieguide®’s own Michael Howell lost his son to suicide.
As he shared with our supporters:
Sadly, Movieguide®’s data points to the ones most likely to be affected by media’s powerful call are the highly intelligent and overly compassionate of our youth. In short, our nation’s future is being murdered by our adversary right before our very eyes and often in our own homes. …
I’m sorry to say, and many of you know, my wife Kim and I have direct experience with this in that our own son Connor took his life September 28th, 2016 at 4:00am. He was a Christian and went to Christian school and church. He was bright and compassionate. Yet, in spite of our best efforts and prayers, he was pulled away. Suicide, like the COVID virus, respects no religion, race, creed, or background. The only way to overcome this is through prayer and a successful game plan on the ground in Hollywood, the internet, and by giving parents the tools they need to feed young minds redeeming content. Movieguide (thanks to you) has many victories, but we need many more to turn back the tide.
Although Netflix ultimately removed the graphic suicide scene in season 1, plenty of viewers still were exposed. Though 13 REASONS WHY will be done soon, but that doesn’t mean its lasting effects are over.
We must continue to stand for wholesome content in our television programs and remain discerning in what our families consume. For more information on how to teach your families to be media-wise, click here.