School across the U.S. are issuing cautionary messages to parents about the latest original series on Netflix, “13 Reasons Why,” due to concerns that the teen drama series is glamorizing suicide among young individuals. Despite being widely received by audiences, this new series by Selena Gomez has raked in negative reviews for making teen suicide seem desirable. “13 Reasons Why’ has also been accused of highlighting the act as a means of getting revenge on bullies.
A Texas counselor who resides in the same home state as Selena Gomez opened up to KCENTV to express her disapproval over “13 Reasons Why” and her reason why such show cannot be recommended for teens or parents. “We don’t want to glamorize it. Once it ends it ends there are no tapes or flashbacks that we get to keep watching, they don’t get to see the finality and the grief that goes along with the ending,” she said.
“13 Reasons Why” has received both praises and criticism for featuring graphic content; while some approve of the series’ depiction of reality, others say Selena Gomez’s approach is “too much” for a TV series. Kate Walsh, who takes on the role of lead character Hannah Baker’s mother, already defended the show, emphasizing the importance of honesty. “I think that anything that’s at all kept secret is inextricably intertwined with shame and secrecy, (and) should be outed. I can’t speak for Brian [Yorkey, the creator], but I know that it was important for us to be as honest as we could,” Walsh explained, as noted by Buzzfeed.
Getting a Netflix release last March 31, “13 Reasons Why” draws out its main story from the 2007 young adult novel of the same title, written by Jay Asher. The episodes follow a sequence of audio recordings by a teen girl, Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford), who leaves the tapes behind for her classmates as the explanation behind her decision to kill herself. With Selena Gomez working as an executive producer, every episode of “13 Reasons Why” transitions from the past and present, and vice versa, pointing out how every tape subject affected Hannah’s decision to commit suicide.
Although “13 Reasons Why” was initially planned to be released as a mini-series, there have been rumors that Selena Gomez and the cast and crew are up for a second season. Throughout the episodes, there have been scenes showing rape and sexual assault, underage drinking, body shaming, and even a depiction of Hannah’s suicide.
The National Association of School Psychologists has already issued a warning against watching “13 Reasons Why” to the family members of “vulnerable youth. “Its powerful storytelling may lead impressionable viewers to romanticize the choices made by the characters and/or develop revenge fantasies,” the statement noted. “They may easily identify with the experiences portrayed and recognize both the intentional and unintentional effects on the central character.”
“13 Reasons Why,” executive produced by Selena Gomez, is still available for streaming on Netflix.