Netflix CEO Defends ’13 Reasons Why’ Renewal After Backlash

NOTE: This article contains graphic language that some readers may find offensive. It also contains spoilers for Season 2 of ’13 Reasons Why.’ Please read at your own discretion.

“13 Reasons Why” Season 3 has been confirmed for a 2019 release date, but Netflix’s chairman and CEO, Reed Hastings, found himself defending the decision.

He was asked about the renewal on Wednesday at Netflix’s shareholders meeting, which was conducted via webcast.

“It is controversial,” Hastings said. “But nobody has to watch it.” He said “13 Reasons Why” is “engaging content” that “has been enormously popular and successful.”

READ MORE: ’13 Reasons Why’ renewed for Season 3

13 Reasons Why drew criticism in its first season for its graphic depiction of a teenager’s suicide. The character, Hannah Baker, is still a prominent character in the show’s second season through flashbacks, which also sparked criticism.

An American parental council called for the streaming service to cancel the popular teenage drama after a young man was shown being violently raped in a Season 2 episode.

WATCH BELOW: The latest on 13 Reasons Why

In the final episode of Season 2, character Tyler (Devin Druid) is raped by a school bully with a mop handle after being viciously beaten in the bathroom. It’s then implied that he contemplates a school shooting massacre as revenge.

Based on the events of that finale — in addition to other themes — the American censorship advocacy group Parents Television Council wanted the show removed from Netflix, saying it’s a real danger to present morbid, dangerous ideas to teenagers.

READ MORE: ’13 Reasons Why’ stars discuss spotting signs of depression in new video series

On Wednesday, Parents Television Council released a statement about the 13 Reasons Why renewal, suggesting that Netflix “potentially has the blood of children on their hands from keeping this series… on its platform for children to view.”

Netflix has responded to concerns about the show’s themes by adding a new advisory video in front of the Season 2 episodes, telling viewers how to get help if they’re in a crisis.

The streaming service also released a suite of all-new resources on 13ReasonsWhy.info, including a discussion guide, video message from the cast and more.

Netflix also has an after-show-style discussion special called Beyond the Reasons, which features the 13 Reasons Why cast, producers and mental health professionals discussing Season 2 scenes dealing with difficult issues, including intervention, bullying and sexual assault.

WATCH BELOW: 13 Reasons Why Season 2 ‘Beyond the Reasons’ Trailer

Season 2 of 13 Reasons Why is now streaming on Netflix.

If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 911 for immediate help.

The Canadian Association for Suicide PreventionDepression Hurts and Kids Help Phone (1-800-668-6868) all offer ways for getting help if you or someone you know is suffering from mental health issues.

If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse or is involved in an abusive situation, please visit the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime for help. They can also be reached toll-free at 1-877-232-2610.

 

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