'13 Reasons Why' Blasted by Schools for Glamorizing Teen Suicide
The show deals with a high school student's suicide. Pop singer Selena Gomez is one of the show's executive producers.
"My concern is that 13 Reasons Why could be dangerous because it does glamorize, in some ways, the idea of suicide," Psychiatrist Dr. Gail Saltz told Inside Edition. "Specifically of using suicide as a method of revenge."
The series has a TV-MA rating, meaning it's for mature audiences, and is not considered suitable for kids under 18.
Despite the mature audiences rating, 13 Reasons Why is enormously popular among teenagers and that has school principals very worried. One concern is that parents are clueless to the fact that kids are watching the show on their mobile devices.
Notices have been emailed to parents in recent days warning parents about the show’s content.
“We do not recommend that vulnerable youth, especially those who have any degree of suicidal ideation, watch this series," the National Association of School Psychologists said in a statement on their website. "Its powerful storytelling may lead impressionable viewers to romanticize the choices made by the characters and/or develop revenge fantasies. They may easily identify with the experiences portrayed and recognize both the intentional and unintentional effects on the central character.”
From the beginning, the show has generated an intense response, for what some believe is glorifying and trivializing teen suicide.
A 29-minute clip appears at the end of the 13th and final episode with Selena Gomez and the cast, discussing suicide prevention and explanations behind choices they made in the show.
Netflix is standing behind the show, saying it sought the help of “medical professionals" in developing the series. It's estimated nearly 30,000 Americans take their lives every year.