Netflix make changes to '13 Reasons Why' following criticism

News 04/05/2017

Netflix has made some changes to one of its biggest new shows following numerous concerns and complaints about the themes of the series.

The new drama series, '13 Reasons Why' targets teens and features graphic scenes of suicide and rape has been accused of putting youths at risk. It centres on the self-inflicted death of 17-year-old Hannah Baker, who leaves behind 13 tapes - one for each of the people she says caused her to end her life.

The popular series has been in the centre of controversy around the topic of mental health and suicide, especially around the concern that impressionable young people could be triggered by this content.

In New Zealand, '13 Reasons Why' has been classified as RP18 by the Classification Officer over concerns about graphic rape and suicide scenes.

The National Association of Schools Psychologists released the following statement:

"Its powerful storytelling may lead impressionable viewers to romanticise the choices made by the characters and/or develop revenge fantasies. They may easily identify with the experiences portrayed and recognize both the intentional and unintentional effects on the central character."

Following numerous messages of concern and complaints, Netflix have now added new "trigger warnings" before each episode, as well as specific warnings around content included in each individual episode on the series.

They released the following statement:

"While many of our members find the show to be a valuable driver for starting important conversation with their families, we have also heard concern from those who feel the series should carry additional advisories. Currently the episodes that carry graphic content are identified as such and the series overall carries a TV-MA rating. Moving forward, we will add an additional viewer warning card before the episode as an extra precaution for those about to start the series."

If you feel you need help dealing with depression or a difficult time in your life, call Lifeline on 0800 543 354 or the Suicide Crisis Helpline on 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO). Both are available 24/7.