Parents Television Council asks for a delay of second season of Netflix's '13 Reasons Why'

When Netflix dropped the first season of “13 Reasons Why” in March 2017, the show that consisted of a series of video recordings of a teenage girl who commits suicide was, to put the matter mildly, controversial. Many parents’ groups expressed the fear that the series glamorized the act of suicide. Teenagers, a group that is characterized with poor impulse control and a lack of ability to think things through, might be inspired to end it all after watching the series. Others maintained that “13 Reasons Why” raised some important issues regarding the stress that many teens have to undergo in the modern world, including bullying and sexual assault, and thus facilitated discussion.

Regardless, according to Screen Rant, Netflix has filmed the second season of “13 Reasons Why,” which will depict the aftermath of the suicide on the girl’s friends. However, the launch date has yet to be announced. The Parents Television Council would like that date to be postponed until Netflix can insure that the series will be “safe” for teen audiences to watch, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

What Netflix can do to satisfy the demands of the Parents Television Council is a little vague. The group suggested that the second season should be held off until "experts in the scientific community have determined it to be safe for consumption by an audience that is comprised heavily of minor children." The group noted that Google searches on how to commit suicide spiked when “13 Reasons Why” first aired.

Netflix has been proactive in trying to turn its programming into something positive. It added warning cards about the content of the series, along with numbers for crisis hotlines. The Parents Television Council would like Netflix to go farther, including an option to opt out of intense, adult programming and for a way for parents to censor content they deem to be too intense for their children.

Some of the cast members of “13 Reasons Why” have already cut a video advising young people to not watch the series alone and to seek out a trusted adult for advice on the issues raised by the program. Whether this addition will satisfy groups such as the Parents Television Council is open to question.

One rumor that has been floated regarding the lack of a drop date concerns a scene from the last episode of season one, in which a character is seen going to school with a backpack containing a firearm and ammunition. If there is any subject that is more sensitive that teenage suicide in the current political climate, it is school shootings. In the wake of the Parkland school massacre, a start for season two for “13 Reasons Why” with a character shooting his classmates would be dramatic, but also impossible to air. The second season will either have to be heavily re-edited and perhaps even reshot or shelved indefinitely.