(ABC)– Responding to concerns about its new series “13 Reasons Why,” Netflix announced that it has strengthened its warnings to viewers and added some new ones.
“There has been a tremendous amount of discussion about our series ’13 Reasons Why.’ While many of our members find the show to be a valuable driver for starting important conversation with their families, we have also heard concern from those who feel the series should carry additional advisories,” the subscription streaming service said in a statement obtained by ABC News.
“Currently the episodes that carry graphic content are identified as such and the series overall carries a TV-MA rating,” the statement continued. “Moving forward, we will add an additional viewer warning card before the first episode as an extra precaution for those about to start the series and have also strengthened the messaging and resource language in the existing cards for episodes that contain graphic subject matter, including the URL 13ReasonsWhy.info — a global resource center that provides information about professional organizations that support help around the serious matters addressed in the show.”
The 13-part series, based on a 2007 young adult novel of the same name, revolves around the story of 17-year-old Hannah Baker, who takes her own life and leaves behind audio recordings for 13 people who she says were part of why she killed herself. The series deals with bullying, depression, sexual assault and suicide.
School officials across the country have sent letters to parents warning them about what their children may be watching. Mental health advocates have also expressed concerns that the series is widely available to children of all ages and that it could lead to a “copycat” effect of suicide.
The production team said they consulted with mental health professionals extensively while making the series and provide suicide prevention resources and information on crisis hotlines in more than 35 countries on the website 13ReasonsWhy.info.
In a video released by Netflix to accompany the series, Selena Gomez, one of the producers, said, “We wanted to do it in a way where it was honest, and we wanted to make something that can, hopefully, help people, because suicide should never, ever be an option.”