Watchdog group calls on Netflix to pull 13 Reasons Why

A media watchdog group is calling on Netflix to pull its 13 Reasons Why series because of potentially harmful content.

The Parents Television Council describes the second season of the series as “a ticking time bomb to teens and children.” It wants both seasons yanked because of themes of sexual assault and a planned school shooting.

The conservative council claims 1.4 million members and is dedicated to curbing sex, violence and profanity on TV and in other media. In the past, it has opposed shows such as GleeThe MickScream Queens and The Real O’Neals.

A request for comment from Netflix wasn’t immediately returned Monday.

Katherine Langford appears in a scene from 13 Reasons Why. The first and second season explores the aftermath of a teen’s suicide. (Beth Dubber/Netflix/Associated Press)

Based on the YA novel by Jay Asher, the first season of 13 Reasons Why included a graphic depiction of suicide in telling the story of a teen named Hannah, who sends a series of tapes to the classmates she says played a role in her decision to take her own life.

Singer-actor Selena Gomez is among the show’s executive producers.

The hard-hitting series was critically acclaimed and won over scores of young fans for its unflinching portrayal of high school life, bullying, sexual assault and teen suicide. It was lauded by some parents and educators for helping start important conversations about these topics.

However, the show has also attracted criticism from mental health experts and some educators over its graphic content, with critics arguing that the show could trigger vulnerable teens.

The sophomore run of 13 Reasons Why is set two weeks after the end of season one, as Hannah’s family, friends and classmates deal with her death. It also includes a story line about a student’s thwarted plans to shoot up a school dance.

For this new season Netflix has included a preface for each episode: with cast members warning viewers about the potentially triggering topics addressed in the series.

On Friday, Netflix also cancelled its Los Angeles premiere event for the second season of 13 Reasons Why, following the Santa Fe High School shooting.

SOURCE: CBC.ca

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