Season 1 of Netflix's 13 Reasons Why was met with plenty of praise for its raw depiction of teen issues such as bullying, sexual assault, and slut-shaming. However, despite the critical acclaim, the series also received some negative attention. Some mental health organizations criticized the series for depicting the death by suicide of Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford), stating that it could be dangerous for viewers, specifically teens, who watch the series and are at risk for suicide.
With season 2 of 13 Reasons Why on the horizon, the cast of the Netflix show is responding to such criticism with a new video that will play before each episode of the series.
The video includes Langford, Dylan Minnette who stars as Clay, Alisha Boe who portrays Jessica, and Justin Prentice, who plays Bryce. The video acts as a disclaimer, stating that the show will discuss issues like substance abuse, sexual assault, and suicide.
"If you are struggling with these issues yourself, this series may not be right for you, or you may want to watch it with a trusted adult," Boe states in the video.
It's responsible of 13 Reasons Why to acknowledge that if someone feels triggered by the material in the series, it may not be the right one for them to watch. That can only help viewers make informed decisions about what media to consume — or not to consume. Given 13 Reasons Why's commitment to moving the conversation about mental health forward, it's important that it understands not everyone may be in the right place to watch the show's more harrowing moments.
That's not to say that teens can't take away important things from the series. Netflix commissioned a study from Northwestern University’s Center on Media and Human Development which revealed that many teens felt positively impacted by the Selena Gomez-produced series.
Per the Northwestern study, around half of all viewers reported seeking information about sexual assault, depression, suicide, bullying, and supporting others. 78% of viewers believed that the series helped them understand that their actions can have an impact on others, and 73% percent decided to be more considerate about how they treated other people following their view of season 1.
Season 2 of 13 Reasons Why has not released a premiere date yet.
If you are thinking about suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the Suicide Crisis Line at 1-800-784-2433.
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