• Urgent Warning to Parents and Schools About Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why” Season Two

    by  • May 21, 2018 • 4 Every Girl, Cable Choice, Internet Safety, Profanity, Sex, Streaming, Violence • 32 Comments


    The Parents Television Council issued an urgent warning to parents and schools about the content found in Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why” Season 2, which was just released on the platform last Friday, and has called on Netflix to pull the series entirely because of the potentially harmful content.

    The second season of “13 Reasons Why” picks up with a lawsuit brought by the family of Hannah Baker against the school for failing to protect their daughter, and the many lives impacted by Hannah’s suicide. As the story unfolds, viewers learn about a pattern of coercive and predatory sexual behavior by the “jocks” against many female students at the school; the administration prioritizing and protecting the athletics program at the expense of the emotional and physical well-being of many of the students; and the “system’s” (school guidance counselors, teachers and administrators; parents; the criminal justice system) consistent failure to protect the kids who were being bullied and abused.

    One of the horrifying moments in the series is a group of boys sodomizing a teenage boy with a mop handle.

    This character is then shown plotting revenge by planning a school shooting.

    “Netflix has delivered a ticking time bomb to teens and children who watch ’13 Reasons Why.’ The content and thematic elements of the second season are even worse than we expected. We would have liked to have 13 reasons for hope and redemption following the graphic suicide of the lead female teen character, but rather than providing a path forward, the season only provides cause for despondency,” said PTC President Tim Winter.

    PTC Program Director Melissa Henson, who watched the entire second season, said, “If you come into the series with feelings of hopelessness or depression, you’ll never walk away from the series feeling any better. And if you’re not feeling that way, the series will make you feel hopeless and depressed. For kids who are already at risk, who are being bullied or abused, the show may only serve to trigger those feelings and create dangerous real-life circumstances. We urge parents and schools to be alert and on guard in the weeks and months ahead.”

    Suicide HotlineThe PTC has raised concerns about Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why” because the company is marketing graphic adult content to children. Following the Season 1 release, the  Google search term for how to commit suicide spiked 26 percent, and there were news reports of children literally taking their own lives. Concern over this content were so great that Netflix added warnings to the series — video of some of the series’ actors talking about how this program may not be for them and urging them to talk with their school counselors or a trusted adult.

    The unfortunate reality is that the show is clearly produced for young viewers despite being rated for mature audiences. The fact that Netflix would point back to its website for those needing crisis intervention after watching the show demonstrates the company’s belief that at-risk viewers will need crisis intervention. Ironically, the entire crux of the show demonstrates that crisis intervention doesn’t really matter because the system doesn’t work to protect children from harm,” Winter continued.

    “This content, the target audience, the intensity, and its graphic nature require legal accountability for any resulting real-life tragic consequences that may occur from this show.

    What you have here is knowledge afterthought:

    • experts in the field warned Netflix not to release the series;
    • Netflix funded its own academic research to try to counter the negative; and
    • Netflix is aware of other academic research showing harm.

    There is abundant evidence that Netflix realizes just how dangerous this program is and is capable of being, and yet chose to move forward with releasing the season anyway.

    While we hope there will be no real-life consequences, after reviewing season two, we’re only left with grave concern for children who watch the show.

    “It has been reported that high school counselors across the country have been on high alert, and they are right to do so. Parents also need to be on guard.

    “We urge Netflix to immediately pull the show – both season 1 and 2 – because of its potential to harm teens and children.”

    If you need help, or know somebody you think is in need of help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or go to www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org and Click to Chat



    Ms. Henson is a noted expert on entertainment industry trends and the how the impact of entertainment affects children and the American popular culture at large. She also directs the organization’s Advertiser Accountability Campaign, which encourages companies to sponsor family-friendly entertainment. She previously supervised the research and program content analysis operations of the PT and produced a number of groundbreaking PTC studies that document the levels of graphic sex, violence and profanity on television. Some of those reports include: The Ratings Sham I & II, Dying to Entertain, Faith in a Box, The Sour Family Hour, The Blue Tube, and TV Bloodbath. She began her career with the PTC in 1997 as an entertainment analyst, documenting instances of inappropriate content on television. Ms. Henson has appeared on a variety of television shows including Fox News Channel’s The O’Reilly Factor, Your World with Neil Cavuto, The Big Story, CNN Headline News’ ShowBiz Tonight, CNBC’s On the Money, MSNBC’s Scarborough Country, and CBN’s Newswatch. She is a frequent guest on radio talk shows across the country and has been quoted extensively in news sources such asEntertainment Weekly, Time, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, USA Today, New York Daily News, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Variety, Associated Press, Reuters, and Bloomberg. Ms. Henson is a graduate of the University of Virginia where she received a BA in Government. She resides in Falls Church, Va., with her husband and their son.

    32 Responses to Urgent Warning to Parents and Schools About Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why” Season Two

    1. amanda d colby
      June 2, 2018 at 6:15 pm

      So over reacting! Instead of canceling the show why not asks the parents to watch what there child is watching.It is the job of a parent to watch and screen what their children are watching on TV. If the show is to intense for your child or you turn it off and don’t watch it. A show should not be forced to be canceled just because it offends you or is to mature for certain age groups. This society has a right to make whatever TV shows or movies they want. It is your job to patrol what your child is watching and listening too.

      • John H Pew
        June 10, 2018 at 8:01 am

        Amanda, are you really suggesting I should sit with my child and watch a group of boys sodomize another boy with a broom handle? It is naive as to think that viewing such actions won’t result in those behaviors being mimicked by someone on someone? It is not just my job to patrol what my child is watching. It is our collective job as parents to use wisdom in what all children are watching. No one lives in isolation where only their actions affect their world.

        • Realistic Mom
          July 11, 2018 at 10:54 pm

          This series is clearly produced for young viewers despite being rated for mature audience. Realistically, not all parents are good parents. Some don’t bother to raise their child, much less, monitor their viewing habits.

          Last week a Washington State teen (Benjamin Eastman) was raped (with a stick) and beaten to death by another 16-year-old. Coincidence that it was done in this manner? I don’t think so! This is what happens when you plant evil in the minds of young children. Same with school shootings- made popular by the media.

          As a society, it’s irresponsible to gamble with the lives of our children.

        • Bruce Rioux
          December 21, 2018 at 2:03 pm

          I agree. This show has no redeeming social value whatsoever. This is why I rid myself of television many years ago. I saw this coming.

    2. Ej
      May 29, 2018 at 8:30 pm

      If you come into the series with feelings of hopelessness or depression, you’ll never walk away from the series feeling any better. And if you’re not feeling that way, the series will make you feel hopeless and depressed. For kids who are already at risk, who are being bullied or abused, the show may only serve to trigger those feelings and create dangerous real-life circumstances. We urge parents and schools to be alert and on guard in the weeks and months ahead.”

      Of course you’ll never feel any better because it RAISES AWARENESS to topics such as Suicide, Sexual Assault and Bullying

      Thats why they put a warning on the first episode of season 2 to let the children who might be suffering from depression or anything negative that affects their thoughts not watch it because it cant help it raises awareness.

    3. Ej
      May 29, 2018 at 8:21 pm

      First I’d like to say that 13 reasons why tackles topics like Sexual assault, bullying and suicide

      Understand these are the things some students in schools experience

      This show raises awareness
      That is the sole purpose of the show to raise awareness to topics that I just stated

      So instead of trying to cancel it
      Atleast know the purpose of it
      Watch it
      Because why the hell would a person make a tv show that makes students think suicide is for revenge or anything that is completely against the purpose of the show

      It may be very sensitive and triggering that is why the put a warning on the first episode of season 2

      If you’re not very okay with the show
      Dont let your children watch it
      And let the other people who actually enjoy the show watch it
      Because anyone who is stupid enough to think that the show is not gonna be dark is stupid
      It takes commonsense to understand that the show isn’t for everybody
      Understand that and dont take away our favorite show just because its causing children to kill themselves or because it promotes suicide or whatever

      Parents should actually know what the show is about and know what the child is watching not cancel it

      Guide your child and observe them
      Talk to them dont just cancel a show because its sensitive

      Remember: 13 reasons why isnt a show for everyone

      • Realistic Mom
        July 11, 2018 at 11:05 pm

        “Understand that and dont take away our favorite show just because its causing children to kill themselves or because it promotes suicide or whatever”

        In other words, who cares if other children die, as long as you get to be entertained by your “favorite show.” Wow! The lack of respect for human life is appalling.

    4. Tiffany Zamora
      May 29, 2018 at 9:57 am

      I strongly disagree with this article. I have watched the shows-both seasons and while it was difficult at times, the reality of it is clear for me. When I asked my daughter- who is a junior in high school- if things like bullying and that stuff happen in her school..and she paused and said ” uh yeah” …my heart dropped. Maybe not to those extremes but as portrayed in the show, kids often don’t ask for help because an adult like this writer will be overwhelmed by what they see or hear. We are not here to feel comfortable. We as parents are here to guide and protect our children. Under 18, considered a child for a reason. They often don’t know where to go for help and this show can act as a guide to reinforce the importance of the kids to open up to someone. I stand by the show and will continue watching-with my kids because I don’t know what I don’t know and if this show can stand as an entry way for an important convo that can possibly help save my child’s life-then I’m ALL IN…why wouldn’t you be?

    5. Vanessa
      May 28, 2018 at 11:42 am

      The only harm that’s being done is people trying to keep us from talking about these valid issues. The more we try to pretend things like this don’t happen in the real world, the harder you make it for people who actually experience these tragedies to get help. You make it seem like they should hide instead of opening up and speaking to someone!

    6. Collin Nolan
      May 28, 2018 at 3:00 am

      I honestly don’t get it. Y’all complain about how the show is. Shut up. This is the real world. Congrats to 13 rw. I can’t stand hypocrites like this. Y’all complain about how the show is so graphic. Well maybe if y’all looked y’all see the ironic truth behind it. Oh y’all are parents trying to protect your children but yet this is what they face at school. You complain over a tv show as if it will make them shoot up a school or kill themselves. This show is popular because it tells the truth instead of being hypocritical people who claim they wanna fix the problem, but alter the problem and cover it up from the next generation. Where does that sound li,e fixing the problem. “The first step in solving a problem is to recognizing there is one,” Zig Ziglar. By looking at this series, it’s making me realize we have a problem. 11% of teen deaths are suicide. That is 2% less than homicide. Isn’t that sad. Imagine how you are making kids feel by complaining about a show that describes their suffering. You are telling them they don’t matter by trying to shut them up and covering up their story. Their life. What gives you that. Your life in high school might have been amazing or might not, but it doesn’t matter because what worst things done back them have no comparison to today’s new brand of bullying. It is parents who punish their kids for wanting to kill themselves that is the problem as well. A person being punished for punishing themselves thinks they aren’t punishing themselves enough. Get your hands dirty and do your own non bias investigation and I bet you that you will scream for change in schools and mental healing instead of throwing a fuss over a show that shows the public what it’s like and what it could cause.

    7. Kevin
      May 27, 2018 at 12:41 pm

      There is NO reason to pull this TV series!
      If you dislike this TV series don’t watch it, simple as that. plus this TV show is ma so course that means mature audience and if you’re not Mature enough don’t watch. Yes I understand that there’s Strong content but all the things that’s happening. This show is good to learn from, so we can use the tools to help people in need and save. Plus this TV show give You an Urgent Warning before watching and provides a Number to call if you Need help or Reach out.

    8. Brucy
      May 26, 2018 at 12:22 pm

      I have to say this whole website is full of BS attacking 13 reasons why Walking dead and all other shows like that! I,understand if you watch with your kids and learn from it that’s excellent !! But don’t attack just cause it’s “too graphic” because this is reality people it’s rare but somethings like this,can happen rare but can happen!!

      Also don’t let your kids watch it alone if their young that’s your responsibility to,know what they can and can’t watch ! Hense walking dead don’t say it’s too graphic it’s a zombie show!!! You need to stop hating and arguing on reality except walking dead that’s something you don’t let young kids watch! And just cause you don’t like it doesn’t mean others do or don’t some people really enjoy these shows and you guys are trying to,get it removed!! Also 13 reasons why is not being cancelled and is,getting a 3rd season so tough for you guys!!

      Sorry for the rant but just big thing is if you don’t like something DONT WATCH IT!!

      thank you for listening and all have a blessed day :)

    9. Shinji
      May 25, 2018 at 2:25 pm

      PTC, I beg of you, please drop this obsession with 13 Reasons Why. Trying to convince Netflix to completely pull the show is unreasonable and wouldn’t solve anything – the two seasons would still be out there on illegal streaming sites.

      If you’re really in the mood to pick a fight with Netflix, complain about TV-14 originals with F-bombs creeping in (The Kissing Booth, Everything Sucks!).

    10. Darren
      May 24, 2018 at 4:47 am

      I’m sorry but this article needs to be pulled, for this writer to sit here and say its a “ticking time bomb” is laughable. It has tv ma rating, it warns people to watch with a responsible adult if they’re suffering from depression, anxiety and such things, and it has GOOD information to where you can get help if you need it. If this show is such a problem for you grow up be the parent your supposed to be and kick your kids outside instead of watching the tv all day or playing call of duty on their Xbox, which I shall remind you that, that game promotes violence but its been being made for years and I don’t see you guys writing articles to have those games stop being manufactured. Far as the show goes it can be and is hard to watch for even adults but it shows you what happens in these schools, to these kids, teachers not caring enough or do find that teacher that does care and the bullies retaliate so now the victims are more scared than ever to go back to an adult in fear of more retaliation. I know this first hand and i have attempted suicide when i was younger because of the bullying but i seeked the help I needed and was shown that it wasn’t my only option. Kids, teenagers, even adults still learn everyday and we as parents need to teach our children that suicide is not an only option, that there are other options and we need to stop hiding these things from them.

      • William Proctor
        May 27, 2018 at 1:17 am

        Hear hear, Darren and Louise (and everyone else who has commented)! Louise’s experience—thanks for sharing!—demonstrates that there may also be a pro-social protective factor about shows like 13RW. Why is no-one talking about people who find comfort and catharsis in the series? Well, that wouldn’t make for click-bait or sensationalist news stories, would it? A “ticking time bomb” indeed. Again, the research does not bear this kind of thinking out, and it’s bad for teens to learn such b.s.

    11. Louise gilquin
      May 23, 2018 at 7:41 pm

      I think you’re just not able to face the truth. being a teenager who has been harassed this serie allows me to conquer my fears and go talk to adults. and you want to remove a series that allows us to meet what is really going on in high schools? I think that removing this series is closing a means of communication for victims and stalkers. It is to leave his children alone in front of them. You are not teenagers and you do not know what’s going on in our head. So we look at this series, we become aware of the harassment and we want to do everything to eradicate it. It would be a big mistake to want to ban a series that can help children who have not been helped by parents. If you know that your child is not fit to watch the series it is up to you to forbid him but not to forbid him to millions of people having no problems, not necessarily living in the United States so having no weapons accessible to minors, countries that know how to handle harassment. If you want to protect children start with yours and deprive your country of this series but not others. Thank

    12. Conor
      May 23, 2018 at 2:56 pm

      The show is a brilliant way to have an insight into school life around the world and what people go through. Yes the scenes are hard to watch but they are conversation starters that will bring the talk of bullying, self harm and suicide into the light for everyone to see. The 13 Reasons Why cast actively share resources throughout the series to help people in crisis. The show is also classed as mature on the platform and so “children” shouldn’t be viewing it. Good on the cast for highliting what people go through and giving them the visualisation of how much their lives mean to others. Roll on series three!

      • Marina
        May 24, 2018 at 1:39 am

        I agree with Conor. I wonder whether the people who want to shut down the series are only so shocked because they cannot imagine and do not want to hear that this is the real life of many kids in school today. I’m 30 years old now, and I’ve been bullied for 7 years – until I quit school – I became sick during these years and full of self-hatred. In that age, 15 years ago, I would have begged for a series like 13 Reasons Why – a series that tells me I am not ALONE, that I am not less worth than other, more popular kids. Because that is how so many kids feel like. Alone. Less worth.
        Even watching it now it gives me the chills, and yes, I cried so much during the finale of the 1st season, I cried for the whole episode and also before, but I did not only cry in remembrance, I cried as well in relief. In relief that there is some part in the media that started to speak up, to break a taboo that is usually treated so superficially in so many series. Don’t be afraid because the series touches you, because it is horrifying. Life of today’s kids is. And it doesn’t become less horrifying by taking away figures those kids (and me as well, not a kid anymore) can relate to.
        I’d recommend to rather ask yourself how many topics there may be your child doesn’t dare to talk to you about.
        It’s not the program that is dangerous. The world we are living is.

      • Blake Scanle
        May 24, 2018 at 1:41 am

        Yes – Children shouldn’t be viewing it… but they CAN. Talking about such topics is pointless, the real thing that needs to happen is action.

        • Ryan
          May 29, 2018 at 2:19 pm

          Children can because parents pay the $8.99 a month to let Netflix into their home. So here’s a simple solution. If any parent doesn’t want their children watching a specific show on Netflix, they shouldn’t pay for Netflix. And those of us who wish to enjoy Netflix’s programming can continue.paying for it.

          That’s what consumer freedom is. Why are the PTC and it’s supporters against consumer freedom?

        • Ryan
          May 29, 2018 at 2:23 pm

          Or in other words, don’t tell someone they can’t show content I want to watch because you lack the self control to not use your credit card to pay for what you object to

    13. Dr. William Proctor
      May 23, 2018 at 9:26 am

      As an academic expert in so-called ‘media effects,’ I have to say that I am appalled at the way in which ’13 Reasons Why’ is framed as a “ticking time bomb.” Existing research already points out a “forbidden fruit effect,” whereby teens and children will actively seek out content that adults try to hide them from, not the opposite. That said, there is NO empirical merit to research that claims effects of the kinds displayed and deployed in this article. This is moral panicking at its apotheosis, but without research on its side. The research linked to by the PTC is egregious and hypothetical; a quantitative number-crunching game without any cogent application to real life. So, 13RW has ostensibly seen an uptick in google searches on suicide (a statistic evoked via google trends, an absurd ‘illusory correlation’)— and visits to Doctor surgeries about suicidal ideation seems to be more prosocial than what the PTC claim. This kind of discourse is more dangerous than any TV show, be it on Netflix or other services/ channels. Check the research. It’s nonsense.

    14. Liz
      May 22, 2018 at 8:12 pm

      While, yes, the show 13 Reasons Why contains material that can be considered triggering, it is also one of the few shows on television that openly discusses valid issues such as self harm and rape.
      As someone who suffers from depression, I advocate for shows such as 13 Reasons Why, but within moderation. If your children are not mature enough to handle the show, then perhaps you should be monitoring what they watch instead.
      If your child suffers from a mental illness, the show is clearly marked as triggering and they will know their own limits. It is no secret that the show is intense and honest.
      Control your children, rather than asking others to do it for you.

    15. Georgi Malchov
      May 22, 2018 at 7:28 am

      Dear PTC,
      I am alerting you about a new show currently in development at NBC-owned Bravo, called “Your Shitty Family”.

      The network describes it like this:
      “Bravo is redefining the prank show by making it a laugh-out-loud family affair. In each episode, families will compete against each other in embarrassing, awkward and hilarious pranks they’ve come up with themselves-specifically designed to torture their kin. The family member willing to take it the furthest, wins. In this show, we aren’t solving family problems; we’re creating them.”

      Oh. My. Word. There is so much going on here, from the uncensored s-word in the title to the extreme premise a la Spike TV(now called Paramount Network)’s “1000 Ways to Die”. There is even a possibility that some of the pranks may occurr during sexual intercourse, thus giving the show a TV-MA rating.

      But worst of all, YOU will be paying for this show. That’s right, when Bravo premieres “Your Shitty Family”, your cable bill will finally get the chance to support grotesque family pranks every week. And to think that Bravo was once a fine arts channel…

      But we can stop this madness. By launching petitions on, let’s say, Change.org, you will be supporting the cause to prevent this show from entering the airwaves. And maybe, just MAYBE, Bravo will listen to us. But if they don’t, the channel will have to be moved to the premium tier of your cable package.

      Kind regards,

      • Maddox Cox
        May 23, 2018 at 2:17 am

        you can’t do that, because you remind me of ned flanders and parental christian petitions NEVER WIN!

        • Georgi Malchov
          June 2, 2018 at 1:05 am

          Except that the PTC’s petition against Sex Box succeeded, and that show eventually got cancelled.

    16. ABROWN
      May 22, 2018 at 3:37 am

      The show does not need to be pull everyone needs to see what is going on in these schools now a days they just made a show about it and i think it’s great it opens up my mind to what potentially happens in these school now a days. I wanna no WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN what causes these children to act out where did it began. I just feel like the world needs to be open minded about what goes on in these school think about the bigger picture how can we prevent this from happening because what we are doing now is not working. Lets stop judging because at the end of the day we as parents need to learn how to be better parents to our kids because at the end up the day they learn from us.

    17. Melissa
      May 21, 2018 at 8:01 pm

      I don’t think 13 Reasons Why should be pulled either. My personal opinion (and you know what they say about opinions) is that if people raised their children like we were raised then things like this wouldn’t be a problem. Instead of letting the television babysit your children try spending time with them and teaching them right from wrong yourself and ALWAYS have open lines of communication with them so they understand that they can come talk to you about ANYTHING even feelings of depression, anxiety, bullying, and everything else that kids see these days. Don’t you know how to use parental controls? Don’t you want to know about the things that your kids are dealing with in real life these days? When I was that age we didn’t dream of bullying somebody else because we had to fear what would happen to us when we got home if we did. In case you don’t know what that would be….your ass torn up big time. We were too scared to do something like that. And we wouldn’t dream of going to the school with a gun and shooting the place up because if you did you better hope the police, judge, and jury got to you and gave you the death penalty because trust me it was preferred over what your parents would have done to you if you had done something like that. Our parents told us that they put us in this world and they could take us out and they meant business. Then again, we didn’t sit on our asses all day watching television either. We went outside and played after we came in and did our homework from the time we were old enough to go to school until we were grown. We also worked in the garden or tobacco fields when we were old enough to do so which was by the age of 13 every Summer because if you weren’t in school you weren’t sitting around playing video games or watching shit on TV. That requires parents to actually be involved in their child’s life and stay on top of what’s going on instead of walking around with their head up their own ass. A good parent stays on top of things and trust me I know that’s no easy feet because I am a single mother of a 17 year old girl who would like to think she’s grown but knows she’s not. The show is for parents so that they will wake up and realize what their child sees in school all the time. If you stay on top of your job as a parent then you will know when something’s not right with your child without them having to tell you. Instead of trying to pull the show how about you start holding parents accountable because after all, we are. Your child should know that you will ALWAYS love them but also know the difference between right and wrong and if parents take an active role in their child’s life and teach them then it will come back to them ten fold. I can say I have a daughter that I am truly proud of and I worked my ass off to make sure things would turn out that way. That’s my job as a parent.

      • Abrown
        May 22, 2018 at 3:55 am

        Well said :)

      • Jaf Spear
        May 24, 2018 at 11:44 pm

        Prefectly said. My daughter is 12 she has watched it yet, but when she does it will be with me and my husband. My husband and I are watching and learning from it. We are using it to open conversations. When we decide that she can watch it will be a great teaching moment.

    18. Chris
      May 21, 2018 at 6:50 pm

      there are disclaimers in the first episode at the beginning and at the end of every episode. There are parental controls. It has a tv ma rating. It’s a little extreme for this program to be pulled as well as the media attention you are getting over it.

    19. Jimmy Dimone
      May 21, 2018 at 3:16 pm

      Agreed. Don’t censor me because you can’t control your children.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *