New Zealand bans teens from watching 13 Reasons alone

Ben Lee
Photo credit: Netflix

From Digital Spy

13 Reasons Why may be targeted towards teens, but New Zealand has banned them from watching the Netflix drama without an adult supervising.

The Office of Film & Literature Classification (OFLC) made the call based on the show's depiction of suicide.

In the season finale, Hannah Baker dies by suicide in the bathtub, slitting her wrists with a razor blade in a brutal and disturbing moment.

Photo credit: Netflix

The writers and creator of the show have come out to defend the scenes, arguing that it was necessary to show the death and make it uncomfortable to watch.

But New Zealand's classification office assigned the series an RP18 rating, explaining: "New Zealand has one of the highest youth suicide rates in the OECD, and mental health advocates are extremely concerned about the effect 13 Reasons Why could have on the teenagers around the country who are binge-watching it at just this moment.

"The Mental Health Foundation New Zealand has also said that 13 Reasons Why presents a good opportunity to raise awareness around youth mental health issues, and can be used as a jumping off point for important conversations.

Photo credit: Netflix

"These conversations need to be informed and safe, though, which means that parents, guardians and other adults need to have open conversations with their young people about the issues raised by the show.

"13 Reasons Why brings up a lot of problems, but it doesn't really provide many solutions. Young people need guidance and support from the adults in their life in order to help keep them safe."

Brandon Finn, who plays Justin, recently hit back at critics of the show's depiction of suicide, saying that it had not been "glorified".

"I'm not sure what they see in someone cutting their wrists as glorification," he said.

"What I hope people come to realise is that the show is much more than just that one scene. The scene is so graphic, but what the show deals with leads up to that scene - which is really important to talk about."

Regardless of the controversy, 13 Reasons Why has been an immense hit for Netflix, and it looks set to receive a second season.

13 Reasons Why can be watched on Netflix right now.

Suicide is preventable. Readers who are affected by the issues raised in this story are encouraged to contact Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org), or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). Readers in the US are encouraged to contact the National Suicide Prevention Line on 1-800-273-8255.

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