Did a Netflix Show Kill Anna Bright?
TUPELO, Miss.—The hugely popular Netflix series, “13 Reasons Why,” has become a lightning rod for critics who say it glorifies suicide and might even make it an attractive option for teenagers who are enduring difficult times in their lives.
American Family Association (AFA, www.afa.net) is encouraging parents, grandparents and others who are concerned about the nation’s youth to watch a heartbreaking video about Anna Bright, a 14-year-old who committed suicide after binge-watching “13 Reasons Why,” then sign a petition demanding that Netflix remove season one from the streaming service and drop plans for the upcoming season two.
The Bright family contacted AFA several months ago, asking the organization to help tell Anna’s story.
“The influence of media is so very powerful over a person,” said Rebecca Davis, a writer for AFA Journal. “And there is a second season of ‘13 Reasons Why’ coming out soon. So the Bright family wants to get their message out, and they want us to help them get it out now.”
AFA President Tim Wildmon added that AFA sent a private letter to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, respectfully asking for a short meeting to discuss the concerns. The letter was ignored.
“Even the mainstream media has publicized the potential dangers of ‘13 Reasons Why,’ and some schools here in America and abroad have sent home letters to warn parents about the series,” Wildmon said. “These dangers are very real. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that suicide has risen to become the second-leading cause of death among teenagers. Therefore, asking Netflix to drop this dangerous series is the right thing to do. We ask that our friends and supporters please sign this petition, then share it as a way to warn other friends, family and church members about the dangers of ‘13 Reasons Why.’
Read the AFA Journal feature about this series and its impact on the family of Anna Bright and others.
AFA is sharing the resources below with parents, young people and others:
- “13 Reasons Why, and Its Unintended Consequences”—a blog by licensed clinical social worker Brooke Fox
- “13 Reasons Why”—a blog by Julie Lowe that gives 13 reasons life is worth living
- Grieving a Suicide: Help for the Aftershock—a minibook by David Powlison
- I Just Want to Die: Replacing Suicidal Thoughts with Hope—a minibook by David Powlison
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline—1-800-273-8255
- www.AFA.net/Netflix—AFA’s ‘13 Reasons Why’ Action Alert and petition
American Family Association representatives are available to do 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, contact Deborah Hamilton, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, 610.584.1096, ext. 102, or Emily Brunner, ext. 100.