’13 Reasons Why’ Will Now Include A Warning Video Before Each Episode
Netflix’s show 13 Reasons Why, which follows the story of a teenage girl fighting depression and committing suicide, will now have to air a warning video along with it.
The show sparked a debate on the depiction of suicide on TV. Some viewers felt that the show helped ignite a discussion on the sensitive topic of suicide, however some believed that the show romanticized the idea of it.
A study on the show’s effect on viewers was produced by Northwestern University’s Center on Media and Human Development. Researchers discovered that “71% of teens and young adults found the show relatable, and nearly three-quarters of teen and young adult viewers said the show made them feel more comfortable processing tough topics.” The study also found that, “more than half of teens reached out to someone to apologize for how they had treated them, and nearly three-quarters of teens said they tried to be more considerate about how they treated others after watching the show.”
After discovering these findings, Netflix is working to ensure that the show will not cause harm to its viewers, but rather show how to responsibly deal with depression, bullying and suicide.
Before each episode, a video featuring four of the show’s cast members, Dylan Minnette, Katherine Langford, Justin Prentice and Alisha Boe, speaking to viewers as themselves, and not their characters. In the video, Boe says that “If you’re struggling with these issues yourself, this series may not be right for you, or you may want to watch it with a trusted adult.”
In addition, Netflix has added a downloadable viewing guide to help start a conversation between parents and teens about the show’s difficult themes.
Since it has been a year since the show’s release, the streaming website also shared videos of the stars of the show reading letters from fans and their stories on how they dealt with their struggles.