In case you missed it, there is a new Netflix original series that is taking the world by storm: ’13 Reasons Why’.
Based on Jay Asher’s novel of the same name, and with Selena Gomez listed as executive producer, the show tells the sad story of Hannah Baker, a teenage girl who kills herself after leaving cassette tapes for her friends, revealing why she was driven to suicide.
Selena previously revealed that she’d joined the show in a bid to offer her support to struggling teens, however, several mental health experts have now slammed the series.
Both viewers and professionals have come forward to accuse ’13 Reasons Why’ of romanticising and glorifying suicide, with the incredibly graphic scene of Hannah’s suicide also being blasted as irresponsible and damaging.
Yesterday, a mental health organisation called Headspace spoke out to criticise the show, issuing a warning about the “dangerous content”.
They explained that they had “received a growing numbers of calls and emails directly related to the program”, adding to the Huffington Post: “There is a responsibility for broadcasters to know what they are showing and the impact that certain content can have on an audience – and on a young audience in particular.
“We need to talk more about youth suicide, but theres a way of doing that and a way we can raise those concerns and have a range of awareness.
“But we need to steer clear of really dangerous things like method, or oversimplifying it to one thing like bullying.
“This is in the marketplace and the audience is young adults and teens, people who are at most risk of suicide. The mental health and media sector, we need to be savvier.
“The content has created a lot of distress in recent weeks. People have disclosed their own distress, and that they’re being triggered. It’s great that people are talking about being in distress but this is also magnifying those vulnerabilities.”
Traditionally, broadcasters are urged not to depict the method or location of any screened suicides in detail, with watchdogs fearful that graphic scenes could both trigger and inspire vulnerable people watching.
Meanwhile, the TV series of ’13 Reasons Why’ actually changed Hannah’s suicide method from the one used in the book, seemingly in a bid to add shock value and to make it more gory.
Taking to Twitter, many shocked viewers have also slammed the show, writing:
13 reasons why is glorifying suicide. It's giving the impression that if you just do it everyone will regret being mean and miss you.
— Jake Dale (@DakeJale) April 18, 2017
I genuinely think anyone who has mental health issues should NOT WATCH 13 reasons why. Not only is it triggering, but it glorifies suicide.
— Abbas Azmat (@Abbasizme) April 18, 2017
I LOVE when people ask me if I've seen 13 Reasons Why and I have to explain that it's super triggering and I care about my well being
— Katie Greene (@onlykatiegreene) April 19, 2017
I am so happy that people are finally speaking out about how 13 Reasons Why is very dangerous and NOT a good show to watch. F that show tbh
— KT (@kittenmagee) April 19, 2017
We have contacted Netflix UK for comment.