Should Netflix remove '13 Reasons Why'? | The Tylt
Should Netflix remove '13 Reasons Why'?
Suicide prevention experts say "13 Reasons Why" is dangerous because it doesn't do enough to minimize the harm that depicting suicide can inflict on a community. It's well known that depictions of suicide can inspire copycat attempts and increase the likelihood of suicide in a population.
The study, published at JAMA Internal Medicine, used Google Trends to monitor certain search terms regarding the subject of suicide, like “how to commit suicide,” “suicide hotline number,” and “teen suicide.” Seventeen out of the top 20 searches were significantly elevated, and the biggest increases came with terms related to suicidal thoughts and ideation, like “how to kill yourself.”
Given how massively popular this show is, experts worry "13 Reasons Why" could lead people down a path that ends in suicide. With the second season coming soon, experts are urging Netflix to either cancel the show entirely or rework it with the help of suicide prevention experts to ensure the right message is being sent.
Others argue the show broke important ground and started conversations about mental health that simply weren't happening before its release. Taking down the show is the wrong move. If you want to protect teens from suicide, it should be talked about openly and constructively. Removing "13 Reasons Why" from Netflix won't really change anything.
“Don’t disrespect why this is so riveting to kids,” Cowan says. “It’s because these issues resonate with the kids. If adults say, “you should never have watched the show. It’s really bad for you,” and we shut down the reasons why it’s important to them, then we contribute to the barrier between adults and kids that the show depicts. We will actually be proving that the show was right about the way adults behave.”
Instead of the incessant hang-wringing, adults should use the show as a starting point for a deeper and more important conversation about the issues the show brings up. These are conversations that are incredibly important and must be brought into the open. The show is already out there. The conversation is happening.
What matters most is creating a dialogue with teens and making sure issues are being genuinely addressed.