Popular Netflix show is prompting teen suicide


In at least two instances, teenage girls who have watched the Netflix series “13 Reasons Why” have decided to commit suicide. Now their families are demanding that the popular steaming video service take the series down.

The show about a young girl who kills herself after making audio tapes that give the “13 Reasons Why” she did committed the act.

The show broadcasts warnings that it contains graphic depictions of violence, but after Bella Herndon and Priscilla Chiu, both 15, killed themselves in April just after watching the series, perhaps warnings are not good enough.

Reporting on the story for CBS News, correspondent John Blackstone interviewed Bella’s father, John Herndon, and Priscilla’s uncle, Peter Chiu. The two had never met before, but they had this tragedy in common.

Herndon and Chiu said that they knew their girls were troubled, but they didn’t know they had watched the show until after their deaths.

“So, Netflix is showing children how to commit suicide,” Chiu concluded.

“They provide a blueprint for that action. I agree with Peter. That is totally irresponsible,” Herndon said.

Executive Producer Selena Gomez defended the “13 Reasons Why” series, saying, “It hits a very important part in me, and I think this is what they need to see. I want them to understand it.”

Clinical psychologist David Swanson, who was interviewed by CBS News, said that he doesn’t think the show was the reason the girls committed suicide, stating: “Anxiety, depression and huge life stressors are the triggers for suicide.”

Netflix issued a statement saying that ’13 Reasons Why’ “has opened up a dialogue among parents, teens, schools and mental health advocates around the intense themes and difficult topics depicted.”

“Really, you’re going to tell me that showing the tragic, dramatic death of a 15-year-old girl is supposed to provide some kind of, some kind of venue for a discussion?” Herndon said.

In an effort to make sure that other teens like Bella and Priscilla don’t take the show to heart, Herndon and Chiu want to convince the network to stop showing the first season and cancel its plans for another season.

“My question to Netflix would be, did they take into account any potential negative impact that season one has had?” Chiu said.

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