Netflix has added a PSA to the beginning of "13 Reasons Why," to start a larger conversation about why suicide is never the answer
While 13 Reasons Why was one of Netflix’s biggest breakout series of 2017, it was also one of the most controversial shows of the year. The series, which is based on the YA novel of the same name and follows the events directly leading up to and following the suicide of a teenager, stirred up a lot of controversy last year due to its graphic depiction of self-harm and suicide.
While the series, which also delves into heavy topics including depression, alcohol and drug abuse, bullying, and sexual assault, has been generally praised for its attempt to start a dialogue between teens and parents regarding these difficult issues, the graphic nature of a handful of scenes — most notably the on-screen suicide of the leading female character — have been the subject of intense scrutiny.
In addition to the criticism of the scenes themselves, the series has also been criticized for not doing enough to warn viewers of the sensitive content ahead. While the episodes containing the graphic scenes are prefaced with a trigger warning, many felt that the show could — and should — go further.
It seems Netflix has been paying attention to the criticism and is taking the advice, releasing a brand new cautionary PSA starring a handful of the series’ stars.
In the PSA, which has been added to preface the first season and will be included in the forthcoming Season 2, four of the show’s lead actors — Dylan Minnette, Katherine Langford, Justin Prentice, and Alisha Boe — directly address viewers regarding the show’s content. After giving a preview of the difficult topics addressed on the season, the actors reiterate their hope that the show can help start a conversation, while also admitting that the show isn’t for everyone.
The clip ends with Minnette listing a number of resources for those currently struggling with the issues depicted on the series and Boe offering final words of support. In addition to the new PSA, the second season of the series will feature another installment of 13 Reasons Why: Beyond the Reasons and the series’ online global resource page is continually being updated with additional resources and discussion guides.
We’re glad Netflix is taking the criticism seriously and working to further address the difficult topics depicted in the series. While we’re interested to see if the cast and crew have any other PSAs or dialogues planned for season two aside from Beyond the Reasons, including this more direct content warning is certainly a start.
Season two of 13 Reasons Why is slated for release sometime in 2018.