American Family Association and Parents Television Council Call on Pro-Family Organizations to Issue Own ‘13 Reasons Why’ Statements for Cancellation
TUPELO, Miss.—For several weeks leading up to the airing of season two of the controversial teen series “13 Reasons Why,” the American Family Association (AFA, www.afa.net) has been calling on Netflix to pull the series from the streaming service because of the detrimental effects on America’s youth.
AFA has been working with the Bright family, whose 14-year-old daughter, Anna, committed suicide two weeks after binge-watching season one of “13 Reasons Why.” After hearing the Bright family’s plea to help tell Anna’s story, AFA President Tim Wildmon sent a private letter to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, respectfully asking for a short meeting to discuss AFA’s concerns. The request was ignored.
However, AFA continues to work to stop season two of “13 Reasons Why,” which has been criticized for glorifying suicide, and also includes strong language, sexuality and extremely adult situations. Especially now that 13 new episodes are available, AFA is encouraging families to sign a petition urging Netflix to pull the series. More than 61,000 have done so.
Other examples besides Anna’s tragic story abound. Fox News has reported that a Florida mother says the show influenced her daughter to attempt suicide on Mother’s Day when she tried to mimic the show’s main character from season one, Hannah Baker. Fox also reported that two California families have blamed the show for the deaths of their daughters, stating it acted as a trigger for the depressed teens.
Additionally, the final episode of season two featured a violent bathroom sexual assault on a male student. Fox also reported that Twitter users have called the bloody attack “insensitive” and commented, “Netflix better cancel ‘13 Reasons Why.’ I don’t ever want to see anything like season 2 again.” Since the airing, others have also said cancellation is in order.
Now, AFA is working with like-minded pro-family organizations to urge Netflix to cease airing “13 Reasons Why.” Namely, the Parents Television Council (PTC) is partnering with AFA to urge others to also call on Netflix to end this damaging series in an effort to put maximum pressure on Netflix. PTC is a nonpartisan education organization advocating responsible entertainment.
AFA and PTC are calling on pro-family leaders and organizations to individually and collectively speak out against Netflix for intentionally marketing this program to children. Season two of “13 Reasons Why” contains some of the most graphic, anti-social, drug-infused, sexually violent and nihilistic content ever produced for television. Severe bullying even leads to a planned school shooting that is thwarted at the last minute.
AFA and PTC are asking for statements from organizations to be submitted via email directly to PTC’s president, Tim Winter, by Monday, June 4 at the following email address: 13@ParentsTV.org.
“Teen lives and souls are at stake,” Wildmon said. “The dangers of ‘13 Reasons Why’ are very real. Suicide is the third-leading cause of death among teenagers, and we know that the gratuitous, damaging content contributes to a host of other problems. Demanding that Netflix drop this dangerous series is the right thing to do. Together, and with God’s help, America’s pro-family organizations can make a difference.”
PTC President Tim Winter echoed Wildmon’s concerns, saying, “Now is the time for us to loudly call on Netflix to remove this teen-targeted show from its platform. There is abundant evidence proving that Netflix realizes just how dangerous this program is—and how dangerous it is capable of being—yet they have chosen to move forward with releasing the second season anyway. We urge Netflix to pull this harmful show to protect the safety and well-being of children.”
American Family Association representatives are available to conduct immediate breaking news interviews via its LTN line at AFA studio headquarters. Contact Media@HamiltonStratetgies.com for more information or call 610.584.1096, ext. 102.
To interview a representative from the American Family Association or Parents Television Council, contact Deborah Hamilton, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, 610.584.1096, ext. 102, or Emily Brunner, ext. 100.