Dear Mr. Hastings,
We need to talk. My name is Aaron L., and I am a college student from Green Bay, WI, and we need to talk about 13 Reasons Why. In 10 days, the second season of this Netflix Original is set to come out, and that’s why it is important that we talk now, rather than later.
When 13 Reasons Why Season 1 came out, against my better judgment, I tried to watch it. Now know that I do not blame Netflix for this, and I don’t mean to insinuate that no one should watch it. I mean I shouldn’t have tried to watch it. I made it through about 2 and a half episodes before the panic attack let me know I had to stop. It’s not the acting or the actors, I love Salena Gomez, I love Kate Walsh, I love Dylan Minnette, I love Katherine Langford, I love the whole cast. They aren’t the problem.
The problem is the content. I skimmed the rest of the episodes, and I read everything I could about it at the time, because I honestly don’t think I should talk about it if I have no idea what I am talking about. The show does three things that make it a problem;
1. It glorifies suicide: For a television show about suicide, and supposedly about how damaging it is, we are instead given a view of closure, and revenge by the protagonist Hannah. This is not what suicide is. Suicide is not a nice ending. It is not closure. And it is never, ever, one more time for people in the back E V E R an answer to any problem.
2. It is graphic: The show is graphic, to an unnecessary level. Fundamentally it goes beyond what could ever be okay, we see sexual assault, and we see the act of suicide. We see things no one should ever see, and that makes the show intriguing in a manner that it has no place being intriguing.
3. It is dangerous: The aforementioned factors contribute to a show that is in severe danger of causing an unprecedented suicide contagion, that is, if it hasn’t already. Data from the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests a correlation (not necessarily a causation) between 13 Reasons Why and Google Searches for suicide related phrases and terms.
So here, Mr. Hastings is my personal appeal. You are CEO. Intervene, and do not allow this new season to come out. If for no reason other than the potential risk to the public health. Take action. Take action NOW. If you would like to speak to me with me about my concerns, I implore you to do so. I will answer. Please take action.