Warnings About Netflix’s ‘13 Reasons Why’
TUPELO, Miss.—Families around the country sympathized with the tragic story of the Bright family, shared by the American Family Association (AFA, www.afa.net), who is encouraging parents, grandparents and others concerned about the nation’s youth to watch a heartbreaking video about the Bright’s daughter, Anna. The 14-year-old girl committed suicide after binge-watching the Netflix series “13 Reasons Why.”
Now, AFA is spearheading a petition drive—already signed by more than 57,000—demanding that Netflix cancel season two of the series that critics say glorifies suicide and might even make it an attractive option for teenagers who are enduring difficult times in their lives.
“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,” said AFA President Tim Wildmon. “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.’”
Wildmon had sent a private letter to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, respectfully asking for a short meeting to discuss AFA’s concerns, but the request was ignored.
Even more concerning, a pop culture news outlet reported that the high school where the first two seasons were filmed has approved further filming, possibly for season three. Additionally, Netflix is distancing itself after Jay Asher, the author of the book on which the show is based, was accused of sexual harassment. In fact, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators has expelled Asher over the allegations. Just last week, a Fox News affiliate in Utah reported that another school is sending home warnings to parents in advance of the upcoming second season.
Several months ago, the Bright family contacted AFA asking the organization to help tell Anna’s story—and to spread the word about the potentially damaging series, “13 Reasons Why.”
“The influence of media is so very powerful over a person,” said Rebecca Davis, a writer for AFA Journal who has worked closely with the family. “And there is a second season of ‘13 Reasons Why’ coming out soon. So the Bright family wants to get its message out, and they want us to help them get it out now.”
Read the AFA Journal feature about this series and its impact on the family of Anna Bright and others.
AFA is also 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.