The Parents Television Council has urged streaming giant Netflix to put on hold the release of the second season its hit show 13 Reasons Why. The conservative group said Netflix should pause the release of the second season until “experts in the scientific community have determined it to be safe for consumption by an audience that is comprised heavily of minor children”.
The show was heavily criticised last year for the graphic depiction of its lead character’s suicide. It also touched upon various other issues such as teen depression, bullying, rape and suicide. Netflix had last month announced that it added warning cards and crisis hotlines information to episodes and also commissioned a global research study with Northwestern University’s Center on Media and Human Development titled, “Exploring How Teens and Parents Responded to 13 Reasons Why.”
The study led Netflix to introduce even more changes, including a custom introduction to each season from the show’s cast about the issues explored within the season. The PTC has lauded Netflix for the new viewer protections, but also stressed that the streaming giant must add additional safeguards.
“The impact of season one of 13 Reasons Why, which culminated with a graphic suicide scene of a high school-aged character, was powerful and intense: millions of children watched; the Google search term for how to commit suicide spiked 26 percent; and there were news reports of children literally taking their own lives after the series was released,” PTC president Tim Winter said in a statement.
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The group also asked Netflix to implement a pricing structure to allow subscribers to opt out of adult or explicit programming in exchange for a reduction in price; work with a filtering service provider to allow consumers to censor explicit content; and participate in a national symposium to “develop and identify effective protective measures for children and families”.
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