13 Reasons Why is no stranger to controversy. It is the story of a high school student who commits suicide and the tapes that haunt her classmates.
The show came under criticism because of how it tackles the heavy content of the Jay Asher novel. It kept things real by showing rape and suicide in detail on the screen. These harsh depictions raised concern among mental health groups.
Another criticism was that parents felt like, while the show did bring awareness, it lacked proper resources.
Despite the backlash, the Netflix series had a very successful first season. Netflix polled viewers and found that “nearly three-quarters of teen and young adult viewers said the show made them feel more comfortable processing tough topics”.
Netflix responded to the criticism by creating a video warning viewers of the graphic content. The video stars the cast of the show as they encourage viewers to reach out and talk to someone that they trust.
The video will autoplay before the first episode of each series on Netflix.
Viewers can also find valuable resources and contact information on the show’s official website.
“The hope is that the steps we’re taking now will help support more meaningful conversations as season two rolls out later this year,” said Brian Wright, vice president of original series at Netflix.