A conservative group wants to delay the premiere of 13 Reasons Why season two to make sure its safe for the youths.
Ahead of its expected premiere sometime this year, the Parents Television Council urged Netflix to hold off on releasing the suicide-themed teen drama until “experts in the scientific community have determined it to be safe for consumption by an audience that is comprised heavily of minor children.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the first season of the Netflix drama found itself in the middle of a global conversation as to how some of the mature subjects were handled by the show, especially the graphic depiction of Hannah Baker’s (Katherine Langford) suicide.
In response, the streaming service added warning cards and crisis hotline cards to season one, as well as conducted a research study with Northwestern University. After the study, Netflix announced the series would begin to produce custom introductions for each season from the cast about the nature of the show, an online hub of resources that includes a downloadable discussion guide created with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and a season-two after show to continue the conversation with cast members, experts and producers on some of the show’s most serious topics.
The PTC complimented Netflix on the new viewer protections but asked on Wednesday for the streaming service to add additional warnings for young users.
“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. “We may never know the full extent of how grave the influence was, but we do know it was enough for Netflix to commission a research report on how the show has impacted the lives of its viewers — especially young viewers — in positive ways.”
Following the research study, series creator Brian Yorkey said the show’s authenticity and storylines would not change in season two, making it clear that adding the expert notes and conversations would help continue the conversation started by the series’ tough themes.
“The content of the show hasn’t changed, but the research showed that people are craving more information and they are craving help,” Netflix original series vice-president Brian Wright told The Hollywood Reporter. “I’ve always felt this show had the ability to start a really important dialogue. I do think that’s what we saw born out of season one and through the research — that it made people talk. I never would have predicted that it would have done that extra thing, which is to make people act more kindly to each other, and we’ve also seen that in the research and for me that is incredibly powerful. That’s the power of art.”
Though no official premiere date has been announced, 13 Reasons Why is expected to return sometime in 2018.