By Kaleen Luu
The American Family Association is urging people to sign a petition to have the Netflix series “13 Reasons Why” removed from their streaming platform for glorifying suicide.
While the show does not accurately depict real life suicide, it’s portrayal can still be beneficial and it should not be removed.
The non-profit organization, whose mission statement is to “strengthen the moral foundations of American culture,” posted the plea online after 14-year-old Anna Bright died by suicide after allegedly binge-watching the show.
The AFA was reached out to by the Bright family, who believe the show caused their daughter’s death.
The series “13 Reasons Why” was developed for Netflix and is based on a 2007 novel by Jay Asher. The first season was released in 2017 and was the media service provider’s most popular show.
While the show was met with heavy criticism for its graphic depiction of sensitive content like rape and suicide, it was still popular enough for a second season to be produced and released earlier this year.
Opinions on the show are divided; some praise the show for its subject matter, but others believe it contributed to a number of suicides.
The hashtag #pull13reasonswhy is the headliner of this appeal.
The AFA are imploring people to spread awareness about the potential danger of young viewers watching such mature content.
There are problems with the show and it’s not perfect.
The show’s main flaw is that it focuses too heavily on how one person could’ve changed everything.
It can, at times, feel like it romanticizes suicide because of its focus on the love story and not the main character’s whole life.
Removing the series is not the answer.
“13 Reasons Why” shows graphic scenes, but that kind of imagery is necessary. Suicide isn’t something that can or should be swept under the rug. It’s a very real and sensitive topic. It must be heard.
“13 Reasons Why” is necessary. It touches upon the aftermath of suicide and it reveals how one person’s choice will affect not just their tormentors, but the ones they loved.
Bright’s mother said, “It causes suicide to look like an act of revenge, which it is not. It destroys your loved ones, not the people who have mistreated you.”
Suicide is not revenge, it is an escape. People do it because they feel like they have been cornered and have no other choice.
The story of “13 Reasons Why” is special because it shows all the events that built up and caused someone to make that decision.
It showcases how suicide isn’t something that always happens in the spur of the moment, it’s something that people struggle with and are tormented by.
It’s important because it puts effort into understanding why people come to that decision and gives a perspective that may not always be known.
The show garnered so much attention that it forced people to talk about a subject so many people prefer to avoid.
People don’t like “13 Reasons Why” because it makes people reflect on thier own behavior and decisions. It makes people uncomfortable to think that non-action can be a contributing factor in someone else’s torment. It forces people to be accountable, but also pushes for them to be more understanding. The show is being used as a scapegoat.
Netflix should not pull “13 Reasons Why” because the show is necessary to get people talking about this subject. The claim that the series is the cause behind suicide is misplaced. It isn’t the show that is the problem.Reasons for suicide are personal to every individual. Rebecca Davis, a writer for AFA Journal, said “The influence of media on a person is so powerful,” in the context that the show’s graphic depictions are harmful. While her words are correct, her reasoning is not.
“13 Reasons Why” isn’t powerful because it portrays suicide. It’s powerful because it shows why people get to that point and it’s powerful because of the reaction it sets.
It’s powerful because it made people think about their actions.