Should Netflix’s 13 Reasons be held responsible for teen suicide spike or should grown-ups own it?
The popular Netflix series ’13 Reasons Why’ has sparked controversy in the US as some studies claim it was conducive to a spike in suicide rates, while activist groups demand the company justify airing the show.
The series centered around a teen suicide, which has already ran for two seasons, has attracted a significant audience but also generated controversy over its portrayal of self-harm and suicide, which, according to some activists, encouraged people to take their own lives.
Meanwhile, the third season of the show is poised for release later in 2019. RT reached out to Julio Rivera, an editorial director for the Reactionary Times and Mark Rutherford, a licensed psychotherapist to discuss the issue.
“The problem is that they glamorized … romanticized the idea behind [a suicide],” Rutherford said. He explained that even if the show intended to say that one’s life could eventually get better and the only thing that needs to be done is to turn to loved ones for help, this idea was not apparently properly conveyed. “Kids that see these kind of things … cannot understand the idea that it will get better. They believe that what it is at this moment is what they will always feel.”
The show can only encourage someone to commit a suicide if this person already has some serious personal problems or is subjected to some kind of abuse or bullying, Rivera believes. “People are tying this to the program,” he said, adding that “we have to put responsibility for this on the parents.” "Parents have to be more involved in the lives of their children and to communicate more,” he told RT.
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