A TV watchdog group issued an “urgent warning” this week to parents and schools about Netflix’s second season of the suicide-themed 13 Reasons Why, saying the series will leave children and teens feeling even more hopeless and depressed.
The new season shows a “a group of boys sodomizing a teenage boy with a mop handle” and then shows the victim “plotting revenge by planning a school shooting,” said the watchdog, Parents Television Council, on its blog.
“Netflix has delivered a ticking time bomb to teens and children who watch ‘13 Reasons Why.’ The content and thematic elements of the second season are even worse than we expected,” said PTC president Tim Winter. “We would have liked to have 13 reasons for hope and redemption following the graphic suicide of the lead female teen character, but rather than providing a path forward, the season only provides cause for despondency.”
According to the PTC, viewers learn about a pattern of “predatory sexual behavior” by the “jocks” against the school’s female students; the school failing to protect the bullied kids; and the administration protecting the athletic department.
After Netflix released season 1, Google saw a 26 percent spike in the phrase “how to commit suicide.”
Melissa Henson, PTC program director, watched the entire second season.
“If you come into the series with feelings of hopelessness or depression, you’ll never walk away from the series feeling any better,” she said. “And if you’re not feeling that way, the series will make you feel hopeless and depressed. For kids who are already at risk, who are being bullied or abused, the show may only serve to trigger those feelings and create dangerous real-life circumstances. We urge parents and schools to be alert and on guard in the weeks and months ahead.”
The series is rated TV-MA.
Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com.
Photo courtesy: Facebook/13 Reasons Why
Publication date: May 24, 2018