Tuesday 22 August 2017

Netflix adds extra warning to 13 Reasons Why in response to criticism from suicide prevention groups

13 Reasons Why
13 Reasons Why
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Netflix has responded to criticism over it's controversial new series 13 Reasons Why by adding stronger warnings to the series.

The series has come under fire from mental health and suicide prevention groups all over the world for 'glamourising' suicide and failing to portray viable alternatives.

In Ireland the National Suicide Research Foundation issued a briefing on Friday stating that there is international evidence that detailed and graphic portrayals of suicide can have a negative impact on vulnerable young people in terms of an increased risk of copycat suicides.

The Irish body also stated that there is "violation of media guidelines for suicide reporting" across the series.

Dylan Minnette and Katherine Langford in 13 Reasons Why
Dylan Minnette and Katherine Langford in 13 Reasons Why

13 Reasons Why, which debuted on the streaming site last month, tells the fictional story of a teenage girl who leaves behind 13 audio recordings on tapes after taking her own life.

The recordings are each addressed to a person who the girl says played a role in her tragic decision and the scenes in which she takes her own life are depicted in graphic detail.

Now Netflix has issued a statement via The Hollywood Reporter saying it is adding stronger warnings to the series.

There are already warnings preceding the three episodes which feature graphic scenes of rape and suicide but now an additional warning card will be added to 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 13ReasonsWhy.info — a global resource center that provides information about professional organizations that support help around the serious matters addressed in the show."

Despite the controversy, Deadline reports that a second series will be announced soon.

Relevant helplines that can be accessed by people in distress include: Childline: 1800 66 66 66; Aware: 1800 80 48 48; Samaritans: 116 123 and relevant websites: www.reachout.com, www.aware.iewww.yourmentalhealth.ie, www.jigsaw.ie

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